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August 29, 2004

Crim Pro in Action

I'm done with all my reading for the coming week save for a little bit of Unfair Competition which I've kept for tomorrow, both to keep myself engaged and because it's far and away the best written textbook I have this semester. The fact that Chancellor of my university is the co-author has nothing to do with my endorsement.

Tonight I discovered another reason to have my reading done by Sunday evening. Season III of The Wire is set to start on HBO September 19th. I think it's the best TV cop show in production right now, not just because it's on HBO where the characters can act and sound like humans, but because it has some of the best, least formulaic crime fiction writers around working on the scripts. George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane both worked on Season 2, and while I haven't seen who's working on the Season 3 scripts, I imagine they'll both be back, maybe along with some other well-known writers.

The show's website says the while it is about characters and criminal procedure, it is really about the city of Baltimore. That's a true statment. I've never been to Baltimore, but I get a great feel for the city, both good and bad, from watching the show.

However, the show's name says it all. The Wire. It's about wiretaps and other, more sophisticated forms of surveillance. By the time the new season begins I should be versed well enough in search and seizure issues that I can drive Sarah crazy by nitpicking, although if memory serves, the writers of the show do a terrific job of getting the legal issues and procedures right.

Posted by Half-Cocked at August 29, 2004 11:15 PM


I have seen a couple episodes from the first season and quit watching. Maybe I will check it out. I agree that it gives a pretty accurate depiction of Baltimore.

You should also check out Entourage. I have been loving it.

Posted by: Eric H at August 30, 2004 08:26 AM

I've never seen it -- but I've yet to see any cop show that actually treats criminal procedure in an honest way. Does The Wire spend an inordinate amount of time showing preparation of search warrant affidavits and judicial review of said affidavits? How often are wiretapes (or other warrant applications) rejected or denied on the show?

Posted by: Kevin at August 30, 2004 06:03 PM

Eric, I saw the 2nd season first and it was far better than the 1st season. I think the writing and characters had developed pretty well toward the end of the 1st season, though.

Kev, Since it's a TV show, time is compressed somewhat but there is a lot of cops going to the ADA who goes to her boss who goes to the magistrate who hems and haws and thinks about politics. There's also a lot of interdepartmental BS. There's a good amount of pencil pushing for a cop show, that's for sure.

Posted by: Steve at August 30, 2004 08:41 PM