Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Richard Jewell

 

“I still think your client is as guilty as hell.” — FBI Agent Shaw, Richard Jewell

On the recommendation of @cliffordbrown and others, I went to see Richard Jewell. It is a profoundly disturbing movie.

The protagonist is the kind of person who steps up in a crisis to do the right thing. He’s not perfect; his love affair with law enforcement seems to get him to go into beyond his job duties, and he is trying to help even when the FBI is targeting him – but we would hope that a security officer took his job seriously. Remember “If you see something, say something!” Richard saved lives and really tried his best to do a good job.

For this, the FBI profiled him as a terrorist. All of his idiosyncrasies were turned into signs of guilt, and he was fed into the media wood chipper. For all the complaining about the heartless journalist and portrayal of the media, the journalist actually reconsiders. The FBI agent does not. Even as the situation changes, they stretch the theory of the case. And at no time is there any direct evidence – the FBI decided he was guilty, and that was that. The quote above is as the agent’s hands over a letter clearing Richard’s name.

It is a nightmare. The full weight of the government brought against a law-abiding citizen for doing the right thing. It makes me think of George Zimmerman, who stopped to try to help the police deal with a crime rather than walk on by. He was then put under the microscope for his actions, declared to be white, and prosecuted on shoddy evidence that was revealed to be fraudulent. Incentives work – if you punish good behavior, expect less of it.

This movie is also one of the best portrayals of an annoying defense lawyer as a heroic figure. He’s a jerk, but that’s because he is adversarial. It’s a paean to the adversarial justice system. You need a lawyer because the FBI might just decide to exploit any law-abiding traits to screw you over. I think lawyers would benefit from having defendants watch it, particularly regular citizens.

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  1. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin

    I wonder what the FBI thought when they caught the actual bomber, and the scumbag confessed?


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    • #1
    • December 18, 2019, at 11:38 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  2. Rodin Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
     

    “I still think your client is as guilty as hell.”

    – FBI Agent Shaw, Richard Jewell

    I think we need to be a little charitable to all of the true believers in whatever. Knowledge bias is a real thing. What we know makes it nearly impossible to conceive of the world as it existed before we knew what we know, and thus get a fresh perspective on the evidence in front of us.

    But having said that, it is incumbent on certain professions — police and prosecutors being one of them — to be on guard against knowledge bias and have robust systems in place to avoid the pitfalls and errors that come with committing to a certain path and minimizing or ignoring contrary evidence as it develops. 

    • #2
    • December 19, 2019, at 12:00 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    OmegaPaladin: It makes me think of George Zimmerman, who stopped to try to help the police deal with a crime rather than walk on by. He was then put under the microscope for his actions, declared to be white, and prosecuted on shoddy evidence that was revealed to be fraudulent.

    Talk about adding insult to injury. But frankly this is nothing new. One of my relatives was called Scottish when he cheesed off the people in power.

    • #3
    • December 19, 2019, at 1:48 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. Gary Robbins Reagan

    As a lawyer, I felt very proud of Richard Jewell’s lawyer who stopped him from being railroaded. Even as a family law attorney, there have been a couple of times I have suddenly been forced to step up and protect my client’s constitutional rights.

    • #4
    • December 19, 2019, at 3:08 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  5. Nohaaj Coolidge

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    As a lawyer, I felt very proud of Richard Jewell’s lawyer who stopped him from being railroaded. Even as a family law attorney, there have been a couple of times I have suddenly been forced to step up and protect my client’s constitutional rights.

    Ironic that you would comment on this subject as your anti- Trumpism conviction is eerily similar to agent Shaw’s belief about Jewell.

    • #5
    • December 19, 2019, at 4:23 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    I wonder what the FBI thought when they caught the actual bomber, and the scumbag confessed?

    Conspiracy! Jewell is still guilty!

    • #6
    • December 19, 2019, at 5:44 AM PST
    • 1 like
  7. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad: Conspiracy! Jewell is still guilty!

    Well, if that’s how you feel

    • #7
    • December 19, 2019, at 2:43 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Henry Castaigne Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    As a lawyer, I felt very proud of Richard Jewell’s lawyer who stopped him from being railroaded. Even as a family law attorney, there have been a couple of times I have suddenly been forced to step up and protect my client’s constitutional rights.

    Though no one likes to admit, on occasion, we have need of lawyers. 

    • #8
    • December 19, 2019, at 6:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. WilliamDean Coolidge

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    As a lawyer, I felt very proud of Richard Jewell’s lawyer who stopped him from being railroaded. Even as a family law attorney, there have been a couple of times I have suddenly been forced to step up and protect my client’s constitutional rights.

    Ironic that you would comment on this subject as your anti- Trumpism conviction is eerily similar to agent Shaw’s belief about Jewell.

    Unprovoked personal attacks against another commenter for merely commenting. Real classy guy, you are.

    • #9
    • December 19, 2019, at 11:50 PM PST
    • 1 like
  10. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    I admit the reason I dont see the movie is that I fear it will make me so mad I will snap half way through the film.

    • #10
    • December 20, 2019, at 6:24 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  11. Ammo.com Member

    It’s a truly harrowing story. What Jewell experienced was an absolute nightmare. Everyone should see this film. 

    • #11
    • December 20, 2019, at 2:25 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    As a lawyer, I felt very proud of Richard Jewell’s lawyer who stopped him from being railroaded. Even as a family law attorney, there have been a couple of times I have suddenly been forced to step up and protect my client’s constitutional rights.

    Ironic that you would comment on this subject as your anti- Trumpism conviction is eerily similar to agent Shaw’s belief about Jewell.

    I would think that if someone is a Trump supporter, they ought to be happy when they see that Gary makes a comment that has nothing whatsoever to do with Donald Trump. What purpose is served by beating a horse so dead it’s bones have turned to powder?

    • #12
    • December 21, 2019, at 8:18 PM PST
    • 1 like