The Star Chamber

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  • Topic: Law, Judge, The Star Chamber
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  • Published : July 13, 2006
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The Star Chamber

The movie, The Star Chamber, takes a poignant look at our judicial system and forces us to consider what is legally and morally right. The movie stars Michael Douglas as a judge who is discouraged after he sees that one of his cases is dismissed on a technicality. The defendants, two men charged with kidnapping and murder, are released because the police officers who arrested them did not follow the law when it came to collecting the evidence. Michael Douglas's character becomes highly discouraged when two men, whom he believes are clearly guilty, are set free.

Douglas later learns from his mentor, played by Hal Holbrook, that there is a secret "club" of judges who meet privately to discuss cases that were dismissed on technicalities. The Star Chamber, as the group is called, not only review the cases, but assign their own punishment, usually in the form of a hired hit man.

It is later found out that the group of judges was wrong in one of their "verdicts." Michael Douglas starts to have doubts about this club. Maybe they are not the ones who should be deciding the fates of these alleged criminals.

The movie forces us to consider the fact that our judicial system and the rights of the accused were set up for a reason. Maybe all facts point to the criminal being guilty. Maybe we believe within our hearts that he or she is guilty. However, we need proper laws set up to protect the defendant. These laws are here for a reason. They are there to protect the innocent defendant who is being accused.

The writers of The Star Chamber want us to see that our judicial system was set up for a reason. And, that reason is to make sure that not one innocent person is wrongly convicted.
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