Playing With / Kangaroo Court

Basic Trope: A sham proceeding headed by a Hanging Judge.
  • Straight: Judge Alex decides that Betty is guilty of murder, without any evidence, and throws her into jail.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alex punishes Betty by having her shot to death by an angry mob.
    • The trial is held at the gallows, and Betty already has a noose tied around her neck when it begins.
    • Betty is charged with the murder of Charles, who clearly died of a heart attack on live TV. Alex still decides that Betty is guilty.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alex decides Betty is guilty for shoplifting, with no evidence, and gives her a $20 fine.
    • Alex convicts Betty of murder even though the evidence is somewhat shaky. However, if she were obviously innocent, he'd acquit her.
  • Justified:
    • Alex is a Knight Templar who indiscriminately punishes people he sees as "sinners". Betty happens to be one of them.
    • Betty is living under a dictatorship, and she is seen as a state enemy.
    • Betty is in a community that is mostly cut off from the rest of the country, meaning it doesn't have to go by the laws because there is nobody from the higher government to enforce this.
  • Inverted: Betty is acquitted by the judge and is declared innocent despite evidence to the contrary.
  • Subverted: The trial seems staged to Betty but it is not—it simply follows the rules of a different legal system.
  • Double Subverted: But even under that system it is unfair.
  • Parodied:
    • The judge presiding at Betty's trial, along with all other members of court, are actual kangaroos.
    • Betty tries to defend herself, but the judge and jury use Insane Troll Logic to convict her anyway.
    • Alex's court openly brags about its absurdly high conviction rate.
    • Alex believes Betty is guilty just for having a lawyer.
  • Zig Zagged: There are fair judges, as well as corrupt ones.
  • Averted: Alex is a fair judge.
  • Enforced: Moral Guardians want the author to add a scene to show just how much of a bastard a group was and decides to do it by having the hanging judge.
  • Lampshaded: "Hey, did you realize that the number of convictions has risen five-fold after Alex was appointed as a judge?" "Yeah, I wonder why..."
  • Invoked: Somebody wants Betty out of the way and uses a lot of money to get it made so.
  • Exploited:
    • Betty, aware of impending verdict, decides to make a complete and total ass of herself during the trial, to the point that that the court is left with 2 options: Convict Betty and let her basically use this freedom to incriminate and insult everybody involved because she's already being punished, or let her go so she won't talk.
    • Carl, knowing Alex will rule in his favour, slaps Betty with a Frivolous Lawsuit.
  • Defied: Betty exposes the judge before the trial so that a non-hanging judge could reside.
  • Discussed: "I may be innocent, but Alex is presiding at my trial. I don't think this will end well."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Implied: Betty's trial takes ten minutes.
  • Deconstructed: After one too many false verdicts, someone informs the government about Alex, who is investigated for corruption. He is found guilty, and is stripped of his position.
  • Reconstructed: After a heavy checking, somebody noticed that the effect was actually positive to a point, and the government lets Alex keep going but assigns only very specific cases to him that would otherwise legally let a guilty party go.
  • Played For Laughs: Betty is a Hate Sink who - among many other things - loves to inflict Disproportionate Retribution over "offences" that never even took place. While they do have enough real dirt on her to give her the desired sentence anyway, the heroes decide it'd be more fun and karmic to send her through a mock trial that uses Insane Troll Logic to convict her of bizarre things.

Back to Kangaroo Court
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/KangarooCourt