The miniseries which is written by Richard Price and Steven Zaillian tells the story of Nasir “Naz” Khan, a Pakistani-American who is accused of murdering a girl in New York City.
The American Justice system in modern times has morphed into an unrecognizable entity. It is no longer about the truth. Prosecutors are trying to build a career and detectives who will do anything to get ahead in their profession collude to do whatever it takes to get a conviction. They use the media in the pursuit of their sometimes very sinister goals, releasing circumstantial evidence to the press in an attempt get the public to pass the guilty verdict even before a case is properly tried.
HBO’s miniseries which premiered on July 10 displays the ugly side of the justice system. It also expertly tackles other social issues: bullying, racism, and class differences. The series focuses on the inner workings of the justice system, from police investigations to legal prosecution. It exposes how the justice system is no longer about the truth, but a bunch of lawyers and cops feeding their egos.
Also, the series is centered on a Pakistani-American by name Naz Khan which was played by Riz Ahmed. After a night of hard partying, he wakes up next to a dead girl. She had been stabbed to death, and Naz has no recollection of the previous night. He is later arrested and charged with the girl’s death even though the police have no concrete evidence that he is the killer.
His life is turned upside down. He is sent to prison while awaiting his prosecution and his prosecutor manages to convince the world through circumstantial evidence released to the press of his guilt. Naz is presumed guilty even before the case is tried; exposing one big flaw in the justice system, the presumption of innocence is nothing but a fantasy.
The series narrates the story of a man broken by the system. It mirrors real racial issues, showing how racial prejudices sometimes have an effect on the opinions of the public. It also displays how members of different classes are treated by the law. It shows the underhanded methods police use when investigating. Naz whose family belongs to the working class is denied access to an attorney when he asks for one.
The series reflects real problems within the justice system; jury bias, the war on drugs that has specifically targeted African-Americans, longer incarcerations for members of a certain race or class. The new HBO miniseries has it all. We highly recommend you watch it.
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