THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AS ENTERTAINMENT CRITIQUE
April 6, 2011
The purpose of this paper is to try to depict how America views the criminal justice system through entertainment. Two segments from Law and Order SVU were viewed. Segment one, a rape victim, Vicki, (portrayed by Jennifer Love Hewitt) is brought into the hospital initially claiming the same man has attacked her multiple times. Detectives Benson and Stabler are determined to help her, but she lives in such terror that she then denies she has been raped at all and refuses to submit to a rape kit. The other segment is the investigation into the death of a young boy who appears to be the victim of a ritualistic killing leads to the discovery that he was one of many children smuggled from Nigeria to be sold into slavery.
During segment one; the justice system was the highlighted subject. The system was portrayed to be undermanned and having no budget. Moreover, the lack of concern from other precincts sends a strong message throughout the show that the justice system cannot help because their work load is to great to help all victims. Vicki was raped four times by the same man and due to New York’s statue of limitations the evidence would not be allowed in the prosecution of the man who raped her. New York’s statute of limitation of a rape victim is five years and Vicki only had three days before the evidence would become inadmissible. Therefore, Detectives Benson and Stabler were put on a very strict timeline to find enough evidence to convict Vicki’s rapist. Like all SVU shows the criminal was identified early and he was treated as a monster. The SVU detectives tracked him down through out the show; they publicly announced he had raped Vicki. Until the end of the show Vicki seemed to be one of million of woman who have been raped and was unable to get justice. She had been raped in Detroit by the same man and seeing how the police station in Detroit was in the process of...