murder-trial

vimeo

Here’s my graduation film from CalArts! Thanks to my friends and family who supported me along the way!

Watch other films made by my classmates: vimeo.com/channels/calartscharanimfilms2015

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  • Erik & Lyle Menendez’s defense. 

After being charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 20, 1989, for the killings of their father, defense lawyers say they acted out of fear for their lives. Three days after Lyle Menendez had threatened to disclose years of sexual abuse by his father. They say Jose Menendez sexually molested his older son from the ages of 6 to 8 and his younger son from the ages of 6 to 18.The brothers are claiming self-defense in the same manner that battered wives have successfully argued that killings of abusive husbands are justified even at a moment when they are not under physical attack.

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In the notebook he titled “Course of Life”, James Holmes described his obsession with killing others, something he said he’d had since he was a child. He wrote down various ideas for murdering people, considering becoming a serial killer, but ultimately dismissing the idea because it was “too personal” and time consuming, and left “too much evidence”. He decided on mass murder, he wrote, because it was “easily performed with firearms” although he thought this was “primitive in nature”.

‘First, we know from observational studies, from experience, that it is a red flag that when a child is not reported immediately to authorities…that is something we look for for foul play.  This child, from history, was not reported for a long time.  The other thing that makes it a homicide is that the body was hidden; a child’s body is thrown out, hidden in a field. We know that is one of the things we look for when we are looking for homicide. 

Also it’s often found that these bodies are in, not always, but closed containers, a suitcase or a plastic bag, like this child was.  That again, is from our experience from observational, systematic studies, a red flag for homicide.  And the last, besides the delay, besides being found in a field, decomposed, would be the duct tape, somewhere located on the lower half of the face.  There is no child that should have duct tape on its face when it dies.’

-Chief Medical Examiner Dr Jan Garavaglia testifies at the trial of Casey Anthony, accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.  Despite a mountain of evidence against her, in 2011 Casey was found not guilty of murder.

Imagine that you are convicted in murder although you didn’t commit it. You are in jail, waiting for the trial. 


One night your sobs echo through the prison; you don’t want to go to jail but you feel so hopeless. The guard, Loki, hears you and he feels sorry for you. He enters your cell, sits down next to you, pulls you into his lap and consoles you.

Amanda Knox murder conviction annulled

In a stunning turn in a legal saga that has lasted more than seven years, Italy’s high court has not only rejected the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, it has annulled them and declined to order another retrial.

After 10 hours of deliberations, the ruling closes the case, and Knox and Sollecito are free without fear of charges or, in Knox’s case, extradition to Italy.

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Jodi Arias

Killed her Ex-Boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008 by stabbing him, shooting him in the face and slitting his throat nearly ear to ear. In 2015 she was sentenced to natural life in prison.

The judge stated that the crime “was especially cruel. It involved substantial planning and preparation. … The defendant destroyed evidence … and went to great lengths to conceal her involvement.”