The next time you see that screenwriter in the law library hard at work, poring through some fat brown book, don't be confused. He isn't trying to get a law degree; he's just trying to pluck out an obscure piece of legal mumbo jumbo to rest his next plot on.
Okay, so maybe the fifth amendment to the Constitution isn't legal mumbo jumbo, but with today's incarceration times for the most heinous offenses approximating the employee turnover rates at Burger King, you'd think trying people for the same offense more than once would be an excellent political issue for the right wing to rest its hat on in the next election. In the case of Libby Parsons (Ashley Judd), she's convicted of offing her husband (Bruce Greenwood), but suspects he's still alive during a phone call to her best friend, Angie (Annabeth Gish), who's taking care of her son while Libby's in the big house.
Thus Libby can track down her husband, shoot him in the face, and not be tried, because she's already been convicted of that crime. Or so a conveniently-placed female prisoner/former lawyer tells us. So she hunts him down, much to the consternation of her parole officer, Travis Lehman (Tommy Lee Jones), who's a former law professor with a muddied past. Apparently, some kid in this town has a lemonade stand where he also sells law degrees.
Another characteristic of the town is that everybody hangs their keys on little hooks next to whatever it is the keys lock. If you don't want people opening up your locks, I'd suggest not doing this. Also, when you're the only person on the boat with your husband and you follow a trail of blood to a big knife, don't pick it up. Another thing: When burying your wife alive, make sure to check her pants for any weapons she could possibly use to pry or shoot the hinges off the coffin from the inside. Finally, when writing a script based on a flimsy idea, try not to fill it so full of clichés that two-year-olds are sitting in the theater calling out the characters' next moves like moderators of a Bingo game.
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