Crime & Punishment, from Law and Order’s Dick Wolf is an hour-long, non-scripted “drama-mentary” that offers viewers a look at real-life prosecutors as they prepare for and try cases.
Edited to have the look and feel of a primetime drama series, “Crime & Punishment” chronicles actual cases brought to trial by the San Diego District Attorney’s office, giving viewers an eyewitness view into the criminal justice system.
The stories are “as compelling as any fiction you will see on television,” says Guttentag, and range from the rape of a young lab technician, the abuse of a 4-year-old girl, a father’s murder of his infant son, and a man prosecuted for killing his estranged wife – even though her body has yet to be found.
Filmed in high-definition video, the series combines cinema verité footage – going behind the scenes with prosecutors as they investigate crimes and prepare for trial – with three-camera courtroom coverage, giving it the look and feel of a fictional drama series. Three specially-designed, remotely operated cameras were placed inside courtrooms to capture trial proceedings.
“The way the show has been shot is a tribute to both technology and the art that Bill brings to presenting reality in a totally unique way,” Wolf explains. “The footage he has captured is extremely compelling and sometimes disturbing – but it is also very human.” Guttentag adds, “This is truly the real life ‘Law & Order’ – everything is real, there are no interviews, no narration, and no reenactments – everything is real as it unfolds on the screen.”
The deputy district attorneys featured in “Crime & Punishment” include supervisor Eugenia Eyherabide and deputies Dan Goldstein, Jill DiCarlo, Chris Lindberg, and Garry Haehnle – all from the family protection unit; Lisa Weinreb, Mark Amador, and Michael Runyon from the gang unit; Michael Groch, in the high-tech crimes division; and Blaine Bowman, from the Superior Court Division.
USA / NBC – Universal – Shape Pictures – Wolf Films – Studios USA / 26×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 16 June 2002 – 17 July 2004
Creators and Executive Producers: Bill Guttentag, David Kanter, Dick Wolf / Executive Producer: Peter Jankowski