My Cousin Vinny as It Relates to Criminal Jusice

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My Cousin Vinny as It Relates to Criminal Jusice

By | May 2010
Page 1 of 5
My Cousin Vinny is a hilarious rendition of the American criminal justice system. It taps into various elements of the system as a whole. Most people probably never realize the formality that goes into actually being convicted of a crime. My Cousin Vinny explores many of the steps such as pretrial stages, key actors in the court process, and the criminal trial. There are some difference and similarities between what the movie portrayed and the actual criminal justice process which will be explored. In the movie, My Cousin Vinny, when Bill and Stan went to Alabama, they thought they were getting pulled over because Bill stole some tuna fish. The county Sherriff pulled them over with his gun drawn. Now to me, the fact the Sheriff had his weapon pointed at the suspects stood out to me. So, at best, Bill and Stan could have been pulled over and approached with no weapons drawn and then properly searched. However the sheriff felt as though he had probable cause to pull them over. This is exactly what would be done in a typical situation if a felony or misdemeanor is believed to have been committed. Unbeknownst to the pair, they were being pulled over for a felony, which according to our text, is “a relatively serious offense punishable by death, a fine, or confinement in a state or federal prison for more than a year.” (Bohm and Haley, p.35) Now, I am unsure of the proper procedures for pulling someone over when it is a felony verses something less minor like a misdemeanor. Then Bill and Stan were arrested. Now, we all know that an arrest by no means equals a conviction of a crime. The arrest appeared to be normal for most jurisdictions. Again the sheriff had probable cause to make the arrest. However, the booking process was a bit different from the actual process. “Booking is the process in which suspects’ names, the charges for which they were arrested, and perhaps their fingerprints or photographs are entered on the police blotter.” (Bohm and Haley, p.285) In...
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