In 2001, Kenny Waters, a man who was wrongly imprisoned 18 years for murder, was finally freed after his high-school dropout sister went to law school to prove his innocence. Tragically, Kenny Waters died in an accident 6 months after his release from prison.
Conviction is a 2010 biographical legal drama film based on this story.
In 1508, Autun, France pressed charges on rats for destroying barley crops. The lawyer representing the rats argued that the court’s summons wasn’t specific enough to his clients, and that Autun’s cat population made it unsafe for his clients to come to court. The rats were acquitted.
The “bar” in Law, isn’t just the name of the exam. It refers to the physical gated wall in a courtroom dividing the lawyers and judges from the general viewing public. “Passing the bar” gains you admittance to work on the other side of the wall.
In 1971, a woman petitioned a Judge for permission to sterilize her “somewhat retarded” daughter. Without a hearing, evidence, or representation for the daughter, the judge granted permission. The daughter later tried to sue the judge, but the Supreme Court voted 5-3 to grant the judge immunity.
In 1818, an Englishman accused of murder demanded a trial by combat. Surprisingly, the law that allowed for trial by combat was still valid, and the man was acquitted when his accuser declined the offer of battle. Trial by combat was abolished the following year.
In 2007, a Texas man saw his neighbor’s empty house being burglarized. He told 911, “I’m not gonna let them get away with it.” After they left the house he said, “I’m gonna kill him”, and then went outside and shot both men in the back, killing them. The grand jury found it was justified.