Squint and you might think you’re in the U.S. Supreme Court. But then a man in a T-shirt and blue jeans, spraying the heavy red curtains with fire retardant, brings you back to reality, which in this case is a set for Boston Legal, a David E. Kelley television series that dramatizes life at a fictional law firm.The set appeared in an episode that featured the rakish yet charming character Alan Shore, played by James Spader, arguing on behalf of a capital defendant who is mentally retarded and convicted of raping a child. Also appearing before the court was Denny Crane, an eccentric name partner at the fictional Crane, Poole & Schmidt.The episode was likely inspired by Patrick Kennedy, a Louisiana death row inmate convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter. The U.S. Supreme Court granted his cert petition and oral arguments took place April 16, a week before the Boston Legal episode aired.Like the fictional character, Kennedy has an IQ of 70, but that was not properly presented during trial, so Kennedy’s lawyers couldn’t argue it in the Supreme Court. But Shore could, sort of, by ignoring the bench’s warnings to stick to the record. Indeed, a large part of… Read full this story
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