Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Murder of Crows

After many successful years as a criminal defense attorney, Lawrence Russell finally succumbs to his conscience and verbally attacks his own client in court. As a result, the defendant is found guilty, and Lawrence is disbarred.

Happy to be free of the burden of defending people whom he knows are guilty and unrepentant, Lawrence sets about making a new life for himself. He decides to write a book but can't get started so he spends his days drinking and dreaming instead. One day he meets a man who gives him a manuscript about a man who murders five defense lawyers, and the man asks him to read it over and offer his opinion. When the man dies, Lawrence decides to put his own name to the novel and submit it for publication. Although A Murder of Crows is a huge success, it also turns out to be a true story. As the "author", Lawrence becomes the prime suspect in the subsequent criminal investigation.

Lawrence Russell did the right thing in obeying his conscience to quit as a defense attorney but when the rewards he hoped for, like success as a writer, did not materialize, he disobeyed his conscience by putting his name to a manuscript which he did not write. The consequences of this latter decision were life threatening.

The film, A Murder of Crows, demonstrates two things. Firstly, the rewards for doing right are not always immediate or obvious. And secondly making a decision to do good, or to do the right thing at one time in your life does not make it any less likely that you won't make a wrong decision, or a decision to do something bad, at another time.

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