Murder on a Sunday Morning

Topics: Murder on a Sunday Morning, Murder, Accusation Pages: 2 (724 words) Published: April 7, 2013
When it comes down to a film or television series that is known as a popular hit, most people may consider something along the lines of a comedy or drama. No one, in my opinion, gives much thought into viewing a film such as a documentary. A person may say or hear the word ‘documentary’ and particular stereotypical views such as elderly-people-sitting-around-on-a-Sunday-afternoon-with-nothing- better-to-do, or the history channel perhaps come to mind. Not many individuals give documentaries a chance, but I would encourage the viewing of the Academy award-winning documentary, Murder on a Sunday Morning, also known as Un Coupable Ideal, directed by the French-film maker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade.

On the Sunday morning of May 7th, 2000, a 15-year-old African American male named Brenton Butler was accused of murdering a 65-year-old vacationer named Mary Ann Stephens from Georgia. At the time of the shooting she was accompanied by her husband, James Stephens, in front of the Ramada Inn in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooter had approached the couple and demanded that Mrs. Stephens hand over her purse. Within moments, Mary was lying lifeless on the ground in front of her husband with a bullet through the ridge of the right side of her nose.

Director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade ‘specializes’ in making documentaries that examine and oversee judicial systems, which includes his well-received television series, The Staircase.Throughout the film, Murder on a Sunday Morning, chain –smoking, meticulous, public defender Pat McGuinness had gone through and carefully investigated what had occurred the day of the shooting in Jacksonville. He had suspected a rushed accusation of the individual who had committed the crime on that Sunday morning, which is in fact, why they had accused Butler so quickly. McGuinness had despised the laziness and lack of investigation the officers performed, but in the end it had only benefited him. The only evidence the officers had to offer within...
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