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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

It’s no wonder that America’s most-watched television dramas draw their material from the country’s chronic “war on crime.” Reduced to its most sensational elements, the criminal justice system is portrayed in melodramas featuring violence, heartbreak and retribution. But beyond the snarling punks and streetwise cops of fiction are far more prosaic — and yet far more suspenseful — stories of ordinary people struggling to free themselves of poverty, addiction and the legacies of broken families, from Love & Diane.

Image from 15 to Life (POV 2014)

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Herman's Prison Cell

Herman's Prison Cell

Except for an eight-month stint in a maximum security unit, Herman Wallace has remained in isolation since 1972. April 17, 2013 marked 41 years since Wallace was placed in solitary confinement. Hear Herman describe his cell, and see artist Jackie Sumell's model, based on his cell at Louisiana State Penitentiary (aka Angola prison).

Related Film: Herman's House

15 to Life: Kenneth's Story Timeline

Explore a timeline of Kenneth's life and the changing laws and legislation around juvenile justice in the United States that have determined his sentencing....

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15 to Life: Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will practice writing, listening, discussion, and research skills as they examine policies around juvenile sentencing in the United States.

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Granito: Full Film (English)

Granito: How To Nail A Dictator Feature Films

The extraordinary story of how a film, aiding a new generation of human rights activists, became a granito — a tiny grain of sand — that helped tip the scales of justice.

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Herman's House: Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will look at one of those concepts: cruel and unusual punishments. In particular, they will use a lesson focused on the relationship between evidence and opinion as they examine whether or not prolonged solitary confinement should be declared unconstitutional based on the Eighth Amendment.

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If a Tree Falls: Full Film

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front Feature Films

This provocative film lifts the veil on a radical environmental group that the FBI calls America’s "number one domestic terrorism threat."

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Give Up Tomorrow: Trailer

Give Up Tomorrow Trailer

A riveting exposé of corruption and injustice in the Philippines, chronicling a sensational murder case that ends a nation’s use of capital punishment — but fails to free an innocent man.

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Give Up Tomorrow: Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will investigate how press coverage of criminal trials has the potential to influence public opinion and the rights of the accused. Using a video case study of a trial in the Philippines, the class will first discuss how a man was characterized in the media following his arrest, and then analyze the coverage of the trial and verdict.

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