HBO’s Perry Mason takes a critical look at America’s flawed justice system

HBO’s Perry Mason takes a critical look at America’s flawed justice system

Polygon·2020-06-20 00:26

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When the Dragnet radio series moved to television in 1951, creator Jack Webb launched what would become one of the medium’s most enduring genres: the police procedural. The show established a heroic version of the LAPD in the minds of viewers that often had little to do with reality. Perry Mason, which debuted six years later, offered the other side of the story. Based on Erle Stanley Gardner’s detective novels, the legal procedural made it clear that the police and prosecutors were far from infallible, and that the American justice system could easily wrongfully convict people of dire crimes while the real perpetrators went free.

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