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what's it like elsewhere
defense lawyers & district attorneys react to "real justice" and offer a national perspective
photo of lisa medeiroslisa medeiros
photo of viktor theissviktor theiss
video excerpt
a look at how defense attorney Lisa Medeiros has to spend a lot of time each day just explaining the criminal justice process to defendants
stats & facts
an overview on prosecutors and defense lawyers' salaries, resources and caseloads

behind the scenessynopsistapes & transcriptspress reactioncredits

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what's it like elsewhere? | viktor theiss | lisa medeiros | behind the scenes
stats & facts | discussion | video excerpt | synopsis | credits
press reaction | tapes & transcripts | FRONTLINE | pbs online | wgbh

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Real Justice

Homicides, drug arrests, car theft, assault and battery...it's all in a day's work for the prosecutors of Boston's criminal courts, where 50,000 cases are decided each year. In a two-part special report, FRONTLINE goes inside the halls of the Suffolk County courts to reveal the offers, counteroffers, deals, and compromises that keep cases moving through our crowded courts.

Part I of the documentary takes viewers inside District Court, where overworked and underfunded prosecutors and public defenders shuttle between different cases and different courts in a seemingly endless attempt to keep the wheels of justice turning.

Part II of this special report moves from District Court to Suffolk County Superior Court, where the crimes are serious and the stakes are high. From manslaughter to child abuse to murder, FRONTLINE's cameras follow the prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims, and defendants as they bargain and negotiate their way through the criminal justice system.

published nov. 2000