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ABC (ended 2004)

Has there EVER been a satisfying Guilty verdict on this show?

  • Avatar of JuliettaStrauss

    JuliettaStrauss

    [1]Nov 4, 2009
    • member since: 11/02/09
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 2

    I'm addicted to the plotlines as much as anyone, but it does bother me that every single guilty as hell Donnell et al client gets acquitted. I don't get nervous anymore when the jury reads its verdicts in criminal trials when there's a "scum" defendant with a seemingly hopeless case because I ALWAYS know it's going to be NOT GUILTY - the writers have shown us this consistent pattern with NO exeptions that I can think of.

    There's also a pattern of Guilty verdicts coming down when there's either an innocent client - often being framed by or covering up for someone else - or a technically guilty client with either a heartwrenchingly sympathetic story or a relatively petty crime that incurs an absurd sentence: doctors and family members getting convicted of murder in mercy killings of their consenting, terminally ill and suffering families and patients; life sentences for both a deaf mother who killed the man who raped and killed her young daughter and Christian Scientist parents who denied thier sick son medical treatment, genuinely believing prayer to be the best thing; a teenage boy who got 20 years for perjury when he refused to incriminate his own father for murder.

    In other words, justice is almost never served on this show, giving the frustrating impression that the system is not just imperfect but absurdly arbitrary.

    OCCASIONALLY Donnell et. al will save an innocent or sympathetic client. Their two death row exonerations and the moral passion defense for Gerald Braun come to mind but I know there are more. These are the only cass where I get to really feel good about what they're doing and satisfied with the result.

    I realize a main theme of the show is how great the firm is at criminal defense, but I'd like a bit more variety and for them to be fallible, not just able to get anyone off at will - and for Helen Gamble to SOMETIMES get the satisfaction of successfully putting away a heinous criminal - when she's not pursuing a client she knows is likely innocent or a mercy killer, I actually tend to like and syympathize with her.

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  • Avatar of jamesparcs

    jamesparcs

    [2]Nov 5, 2009
    • member since: 11/05/09
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 6
    Where can I watch The Practice ?
    Edited on 11/05/2009 6:11am
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  • Avatar of hmnut7

    hmnut7

    [3]Nov 29, 2009
    • member since: 08/22/04
    • level: 12
    • rank: Evil Bert
    • posts: 669
    Well there are a handful of scum clients who do go to jail. Off the top of my head, the guy who threatened to kill Richard is found guilty of his crime as well as the murder of Richard. There was a guy who killed a Nun (not George) who originally got away free, but then I remember for some reason they caught him trying to kill someone else and he goes away for that. There are a few others but I agree not many, and usually when the scum goes down it is a bitter sweet victory at best, they usually end up taking someone innocent down with them.

    But I agree, 9 times out of 10 the verdicts were very predictable in a very cynical way. It is a decent person who did not comment a malice crime, or did not comment a crime at all, decent chance they will be found guilty. If it is a piece of scum who kills kids, nuns or puppies just for kicks they will go free.

    I think near the end of the series they got a little too predictable with this, but I did enjoy this aspect of the show when it was still fresh. I think Eugene show cased it best, that's what being a criminal defense lawyer is about, it is about getting the worst of the worst of society off on crimes they did commit and it is an important part of legal system (even if it is an ugly part of it too). Someone has to make sure the state meets its burden of proof, and they have to do it with every single criminal defendant, not just the nice one, the scum too. But again at some point it stops being believable too.
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  • Avatar of blackmage8472

    blackmage8472

    [4]Jan 9, 2010
    • member since: 07/29/08
    • level: 15
    • rank: Ginsu Knife
    • posts: 1,002
    JuliettaStrauss wrote:

    I'm addicted to the plotlines as much as anyone, but it does bother me that every single guilty as hell Donnell et al client gets acquitted. I don't get nervous anymore when the jury reads its verdicts in criminal trials when there's a "scum" defendant with a seemingly hopeless case because I ALWAYS know it's going to be NOT GUILTY - the writers have shown us this consistent pattern with NO exeptions that I can think of.

    I realize a main theme of the show is how great the firm is at criminal defense, but I'd like a bit more variety and for them to be fallible, not just able to get anyone off at will - and for Helen Gamble to SOMETIMES get the satisfaction of successfully putting away a heinous criminal - when she's not pursuing a client she knows is likely innocent or a mercy killer, I actually tend to like and syympathize with her.

    Well that kinda is a major theme in the show. Eugene at one point snaps and beats up a kiddie rapist client right after making a passionate constitutional arguement. Lindsay literally loses it many times because she made her reputation as a drug lawyer and she could get acquittals for Hinks and O'Malley. Bobby constantly lived in a state of a denied guilt trip. But really if you want to know about the satisfying guilty verdicts, watch the plotline after the Vogelman trial, where Tony Danza's character sues the firm for using Plan B. To me, Jimmy's defense during the trial really explains everything.

    Yes, a lot of the obviously guilty ones get away, highlighting he plotlines that I explained above... the fact that they all felt some guilt. Guys like Heric, Hinks, O'Malley, most of the drug dealers, etc were unsatisfying not guiltys in the real world. And trust me, I loved Lara Flynn Boyle as Helen Gamble... hell, I even liked Bay. But also remember despite the show was often highlighting the dirty tactics that Bobby, Ellenor, and Eugene used, the fact of the matter is Helen often did go beyond pushing the envelope. But also remember, as often as they got people like Hinks off they also did get innocent clients off. I remember there was an episode where Ellenor defends a purse snatcher who was found not guilty in state court only to be tried in federal court for the a variation of the crime where he could get 20 years... in that episode the judge was willingly working against Ellenor. Add in that murder trial in LA, the execution that they had to jump through riddiculous hoops to just get a test for, etc. So really between the fact that the obviously guilty ones who go free they agonize about, the fact that they really did represent innocent people, etc... I kinda found every verdict satisfying in its own way.

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