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Writing the Trial, part 2

I am now getting to the meat of the trial scene, and it's turning into something like an American courtroom drama. Interesting. I've always liked courtroom and procedural dramas, so I'm gonna continue this line of writing and see where it might be going. However, I'm not so sure if courtroom drama works well if there isn't a jury in place.
Juries in courtroom dramas probably serve as proxies for the audience. They are the people the advocates of both sides in the conflict argue at, try to manipulate, ingratiate themselves with, and convince. Instead of talking to judges who are intimately familiar with the law, precedent and the criminal mind, courtroom drama lawyers address people who are regular schmucks (the issue of juries being composed, at least in part, of people who couldn't get out of jury duty is glossed over) just like you, the viewer. Even if the jurors aren't shown, the fact that they are there, and being spoken to, affects the drama.

It's probably no wonder that the Netherlands, which doesn't have jury trials, hasn't generated a lot of classic courtroom drama. The Judge Dee series may count; I haven't read it so I wouldn't know. But that one is set in an exotic locale, and in the distant past, and surely draws a lot of its appeal from that.

On the other hand, the movie Witness for the Prosecution, though set in a country that has jury trials, leaves the jury out of the picture entirely, and is still great and dramatic.

[Update: I am now refreshing my memory of what happened at the end of the Corby Tribe storyline. Unfortunately that also meant having to look at that chapter, which is pretty ugly. Should someone ever pay me vast sums of money to do nothing but draw my comic, I oughtta re-work some of that, Hergé-style, so it isn't so awful.


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