Law Abiding Citizen, directed by F. Gary Gray, depicts the events of a man, who was once a law abiding citizen that decides to take justice into his own hands after the government fails to punish one of his family’s killers. However, not only does he work to exact revenge on the killer, but also on anyone who was involved in convicting him during his hearing. In this film, Gray works to highlight a lot of flaws within our judicial system. For instance, when Shelton was speaking with his attorney, Nick Rice, he learns that his case was compromised due to the fact that he black out during the robbery, and the forensic evidence found was sloppy; therefore, the evidence they have against the two robbers is circumstantial. But, due to the idea that Rice wants to keep his conviction rate up, he makes a deal with the Darby in return for his guilty plea to third-degree murder in return for his testimony to send Ames to death row. It is unfortunate that we have so many stipulations that block victims from getting proper justice for crimes that were committed. So because he passed out during an assault, and the forensic team contaminated his evidence, killers can go free? We’re basically placing the blame on the victims for being able to improperly handle an attack, or holding too much value in the hands of poorly trained investigators that contaminate evidence crime scene after scene. It is a scary though in the grand scheme of petty crimes that takes place throughout our society. However, like Shelton points out in the court room later in the film, it is an outrage that our supposed justice system make deals with known criminals.
How it that our government can know someone is guilty, without any doubt, but continue to make deal after deal with them to increase the rate of conviction? Is our legal system a competition? But to what cost? Clearly in this film, it cost the trust of a man’s faith in the government. Thus, he took matters into his own hands, like many others do. As a country shouldn’t we be able to trust that our government can know right from wrong, and punish those who are wronging those who are right? When they don’t, they send a message to the people that if you truly want justice, you must handle your problems yourself. However, is it justice that was truly sought, or revenge? At what point should our government punish a man who was doing what the government couldn’t?