Questions to consider and things to do-

  • Do we want to do one case study or two?
  • Audience engagement? In the form of a poll? If so, how do we present the ‘facts’ of the case before polling?
  • Types of evidence- confessions, media reports, alibi verifiers (like TV schedule or movie program)
  • Facts- through news headlines
  • To speak for 3-4 mins each- What are our 3 mins each? (1-2 pages A4, single spaces)
  • To meet next week with what we think we’d like to talk about, what aspect we want to focus on (legal restrictions, technical and formal film making style, language and bias, media reporting, confessions, etc.)
  • To compile bibliographies and think more about format of presentation.
  • Will it be speaking or recorded speaking overlayed with sound or clips or visuals?
  • Handouts with bibliography, case info., any other information that’s interesting and relevant but we weren’t able to cover, flow of argument.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 17.21.27

I’m also hoping this will be the opening slide. Errol Morris’ consistent view that truth is objective, with an unarguably strong example. (?)



General relationship between media and legal system

Auerbach, J. S.. Justice without Law? (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983)

Buchanan, Ruth and Rebecca Johnson ‘Getting the Insider’s Story Out: What Popular Film Can Tell Us about Legal Method’s Dirty Secrets’ Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 19 (2001), pp. 87-110

Buchanan, Ruth and Rebecca Johnson, “Strange Encounters: Exploring Law and Film in the Affective Register” Studies in Law, Politics and Society (2009), pp. 33-60.

Gordon, Donald R, ‘Mass Media Vs. Rule of Law’ Et cetera: A Review of General Semantics 44:3 (1987), pp. 240-244

Haltom, William and Michael McCann, Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago press, 2009)

Overton, Angela Lynn ‘Media Depictions of Wrongful Convictions: Reality or Distortion?’ The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Master’s Thesis.

Summers, Robert S. ‘Formal Legal Truth and Substantive Truth in Judicial Fact-Finding – Their Justified Divergence in Some Paticular Cases’ Cornell Law Faculty Publications (1999) Paper 1186

Warden, Rob ‘The Revolutionary Role of Journalism in Identifying and Rectifying Wrongful Convictions’ UKMC Law Review 70:4 (2002), pp. 803-846

Culture and law

Roberts, Julian V. ‘Public Opinion, Crime, and Criminal Justice’ Crime and Justice 16 (1992), pp. 99-180

Silbey, Susan S. ‘Legal culture and cultures of legality’ in Handbook of Cultural Sociology, ed. by John R. Hall, Laura Grindstaff, Ming-Cheng Lo (London and New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 470-479.

Warden, Rob, ‘The Role of Media and Public Opinion on Innocence Reform: Past and Future’ in Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform, ed. by Marvin Zalman and Julia Carrano (New York: Routledge, 2014) pp. 39-55

Relationship between media and specific legal actors

Hans, Valerie P. and Dee, Juliet ‘Media Coverage of Law: Its Impact on Juries and the Public’ Cornell Law Faculty Publications (1999) Paper 324.

Janger, Rachel Shapiro and Jennifer McAllister-Nevins, ‘Of Truth and the Jury’ Clinical Law Review 12:1 (2005) pp. 51-106

Powell, Kerry, ‘Media in Court: The strains of providing news coverage’ Law Now July/August 1992, pp. 8-10


The Thin Blue Line

Curry, Renée R., ‘Errol Morris’ Construction of Innocence in “The Thin Blue Line”’ Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 49:2 (1995) pp. 153-167

Gershman, Bennett L., ‘The Thin Blue Line: Art or Trial in the Fact-Finding Process?’ Pace Law Review 9:275 (1989), pp. 275-317.

Musser, Charles, ‘Film Truth, Documentary, and the Law: Justice at the Margins’ University of San Francisco Law Review 30 (1996), pp. 963-984

Sherwin, Richard K. When Law Goes Pop: The Vanishing Line Between Law and Popular Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000)


Durrani, Mariam, Kevin Gotkin, and Corrina Laughlin, ‘Serial, Seriality, and the Possibilities for the Podcast Format’ American Anthropologist 117:3 (2015), pp. 593-596

Glater, Jonathan, ‘When a Reporter Enters a Bamboo Grove: Reflections on Serial’ Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2015-84