When movies glorify violence and inspire bloodshed, should Hollywood be held responsible for copycat crimes?
Irwin Kramer: Mickey and Malory were natural born killers, cross country criminals who took many lives, but gained fans along the way. Speaker: If I was a mass-murderer, I would be Mickey and Malory. Irwin Kramer: Two of their biggest fans were Ben and Sarah. They followed the same script on a journey that left one man dead in Oklahoma and 35-year-old Patsy Byers paralyzed in Louisiana. When they confessed to this copycat crime, Patsy shot back and forth. In addition to Ben and Sarah, Patsy sued Oliver Stone and Time Warner for producing a film designed to glorify and incite violence. The trial judge wouldn't hold the producers liable for copycat crimes and dismiss them from the case. Would Patsy have better luck on appeal? Patsy never lived to see the ruling, but the Appeals Court agreed that films designed to incite violence take freedom of speech a bit too far. Her family pressed on, but couldn't prove that these filmmakers actually intended to promote violence. Oliver Stone didn't win an Oscar for the film, but he and his partners did win the case. For the Legal Television Network, I'm Irwin Kramer.