Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Even Better TV:

A recent legal decision – in a case so revolting that I won't even link to it – highlighted an important principle of our legal system: Imagine a jury hearing a criminal case that takes days to complete. Suppose that the defendant happens to be in jail without bail, and he appears in court each day in his prison garb. He looks like a prisoner to the jury. As days go by, they think of him as a criminal, and they convict him. But No! That defendant is entitled to be tried on the merits of his case, not on his looks. He's entitled to wear normal clothes and look innocent in the courtroom. Which brings us to my new idea for a Reality TV show: The Perp Walks!

Each week, the show interviews a defendant whose trial is about to start. You get a pretty good look at him, and you hear the case against him. On camera, he (or she) says whether he's guilty, but you don't get to see that part before the trial. (You think he might lie? That's not important. Read on...)

The makeover crew of 'Perp Walks' gives the defendant a real going over. They spruce him (or her) up and buy a really nice wardrobe. Then we get to find out whether the perp was convicted. Maybe we even get to see a bit of the trial, to see how he (or she) looks in court. On the TV show, the post-trial analysts decide whether the makeover was the crucial step to winning the case, if the perp wins.

Are you wondering how alleged perpetrators get picked for a makeover on the 'Perp Walks' show? They have to compete for it. Of course!
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