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Series / Equal Justice

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Equal Justice is a Courtroom Drama which aired from 1990 to 1991. It follows prosecutors in the District Attorney's Office for an unnamed city, along with one token public defender.

This series provides examples of:

  • Both Sides Have a Point: Both sides in the contentious cases make fair points in favor of their position, no matter who the jury (or the audience) ends up siding with.
  • A Fool for a Client: Averted in "Sugar Blues" (1x10), where a prisoner defends himself on a murder charge. While he ends up losing, he gives the prosecutor a very hard time. He turned himself into a jailhouse lawyer inside and had apparently won previous cases at trial, so it's justified. An old woman who comes just to watch trials claims he's her favorite, since he's that good.
  • Good Lawyers, Good Clients: Averted. No one doubts Peter Bauer is a good guy, but he has to defend some very nasty people, including a completely unrepentant murderer and rapist whom he knows is guilty. Justified as he's a public defender—they have no choice in their clients.
  • Hollywood Law: Mostly averted, but one examples stands out: in the episode "Do No Harm" (2x05) the attorney for a physician charged with assisted suicide does not dispute that he did it, nor does her client. Rather, they argue, as the prosecution says, that "the law is wrong." Problem is, that's jury nullification, and in reality the prosecutor would object right there, as it's unethical for a lawyer to argue that, rather than simply defending it. This one is a staple of most courtroom scenes.
  • Karma Houdini: "In Confidence" (2x04) sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him.
  • Mercy Kill: "Do No Harm" (2x05) explores the "right to die" issue with a physician on trial for assisted suicide in giving a woman with terminal cancer lethal drugs so she could kill herself before it got even worse.
  • Police Brutality: One entire episode revolves around police officers that are on trial for beating a suspect, while in another Barry gets an officer to ease off while arresting one of the disabled activists by threatening to prosecute him over this.
  • Very Special Episode: The episode in which an HIV positive man is charged with infecting his girlfriend. At the end, Jo makes a specific point of telling Peter they need a condom before getting busy.
  • Vigilante Man: The defendant in "The Big Game and Other Crimes" (2x06) is accused of arson for burning down a crack house he felt was a threat to his neighborhood.