Criminal Defense - Netflix

Follow the intense and dramatic work of the passionate and harried Legal Aid lawyers on Brooklyn's criminal defense beat. This innovative new series takes you inside a world of high-stakes battles between public defender and prosecutor. Lives and the future of entire families hang in the balance as our legal system tries to mete out justice for all. Founded on unprecedented access to Brooklyn's Legal Aid Society, in every case the very freedom of an often-innocent client is at stake. These lawyers are overworked, underpaid, dedicated, and tireless advocates–fighting tough battles in the hopes of achieving justice for their clients.

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 2012-09-11

Criminal Defense - Superior orders - Netflix

Superior orders, often known as the Nuremberg defense, lawful orders or by the German phrase Befehl ist Befehl (“an order is an order”), is a plea in a court of law that a person—whether a member of the military, law enforcement, a firefighting force, or the civilian population—not be held guilty for actions ordered by a superior officer or an official. The superior orders plea is often regarded as the complement to command responsibility. One of the most noted uses of this plea, or defense, was by the accused in the 1945–1946 Nuremberg trials, such that it is also called the “Nuremberg defense”. The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the main victorious Allied forces after World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany. These trials, under the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal that set them up, established that the defense of superior orders was no longer enough to escape punishment, but merely enough to lessen punishment. Historically, the plea of superior orders has been used both before and after the Nuremberg Trials, with a notable lack of consistency in various rulings. Apart from the specific plea of superior orders, discussions about how the general concept of superior orders ought to be used, or ought not to be used, have taken place in various arguments, rulings and statutes that have not necessarily been part of “after the fact” war crimes trials, strictly speaking. Nevertheless, these discussions and related events help to explain the evolution of the specific plea of superior orders and the history of its usage.

Criminal Defense - "Nuremberg defense" - Netflix

The trials gained so much attention that the “superior orders defense” has subsequently become interchangeable with the label “Nuremberg defense”, a legal defense that essentially states that defendants were “only following orders” (“Befehl ist Befehl”, literally “an order is an order”) and so are not responsible for their crimes. However, US General Telford Taylor, who had served as Chief Counsel for the United States during the Nuremberg trials, employed the term “Nuremberg defense” in a different sense. He applied it not to the defense offered by the Nuremberg defendants but to a justification put forward by those who refused to take part in military action (specifically America's involvement in the Vietnam War) that they believed to be criminal.

Criminal Defense - References - Netflix