Criminal Justice System as Entertainment Critique Movie Review

Pages: 3 (930 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice as Portrayed in Television Entertainment

American Justice Episode #87 "Donnie Brasco" is the story of former FBI Special Agent Joe Pistone who successfully infiltrated the Bonanno crime family of the New York Mafia for six years, beginning in 1976. As a result of that long-term undercover operation, more than 200 Mafiosi were arrested, more than half of whom were eventually convicted of their crimes. To accomplish his infiltration, Special Agent Pistone exploited the friendship he established with a Bonanno family captain, Dominick "Sonny Black" Napolitano. After the operation was terminated by the FBI and the successful infiltration made public, Napolitano was killed by his former associates for having vouched for Pistone and allowing him access to the organization. The episode portrays the many criminal operations, including murders, committed by the crime family and by Napolitano, who boasted of having killed 26 people in previous years.

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American Justice Episode #71 "The Amy Fisher Story" concerned the case dubbed "The Long Island Lolita" by the press. In 1992, Amy Fisher was a 17-year-old high school student who had been having an affair with a much older married man named Joseph Buttafuco, the owner of a local car repair business where Fisher's father had previously had work done on his car. In May of 1992, Fisher showed up at the Buttafuco home and shot Buttafuco's wife Mary Jo Buttafuco in the head with a handgun; she survived but is disfigured today. Fisher was charged with attempted murder but was eventually allowed to plea bargain the charges down to first degree assault. Fisher served seven years in prison and was released in 1999. Joseph Buttafuco was convicted of statutory rape and only served six months for the crime upon his conviction. There was some evidence that Buttafuco may have actually orchestrated the attempt on his wife's life but that was never established at trial.

Discussion

Movie Review on Criminal Justice System as Entertainment Critique Assignment

The segment of the Criminal Justice system portrayed in Episode 87 is law enforcement and undercover investigations of organized crime. The Mafia "capo" is depicted both as a ruthless criminal who had murdered more than two dozen people but also as a loyal friend to Special Agent Pistone. Pistone described the sense of betrayal he felt at exploiting Napolitano's friendship on a personal level despite the fact that Napolitano was a ruthless criminal and a murder. The FBI is portrayed as a dedicated law enforcement organization whose agents often risk life and limb to conduct investigations where they associate with cold-blooded killer who would murder them on the spot if their true identity were ever discovered.

The circumstances depicted in the episode seem to illustrate the rational choice theory of crime as well as the principle of criminal association. Rational choice describes the fact that every individual makes conscious decisions to abide… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Criminal Justice System as Entertainment Critique."  Essaytown.com.  April 30, 2010.  Accessed February 27, 2020.
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