|Directed by||George Archainbaud|
|Written by|| Louis Stevens (story)|
Gene Fowler (script)
Rowland Brown (script)
|Produced by|| James Kevin McGuinness (associate producer)|
David O. Selznick (executive producer)
|Starring|| John Barrymore |
William "Stage" Boyd
|Edited by||Charles L. Kimball|
|Music by|| Max Steiner |
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
State's Attorney is a 1932 American pre-Code drama film made at RKO and starring John Barrymore. George Archainbaud directed and the film could more or less be considered a warm up for Barrymore when he later went to Universal to film the similar Counsellor at Law . Remade in 1937 and 1951 both titled Criminal Lawyer.  The story was supposedly based on the life of criminal lawyer William J. Fallon, who defended 126 homicide cases without any convictions. 
John Barrymore plays near-alcoholic defense attorney Tom Cardigan who handles a lot of cases for his childhood friend, gangster Valentine "Vanny" Powers (William "Stage" Boyd who used "Stage" as his middle name to distinguish him from the better known William Boyd of Hopalong Cassidy fame).
Powers thinks it would be a good idea for Cardigan to become Attorney General so his friend could do an occasional favor in return for Powers delivering the votes. Cardigan warns him that if Cardigan goes over to "the other side," Powers can expect no favors from him.
Meanwhile, Cardigan decides to defend a homeless woman, June Perry (Helen Twelvetrees), accused of "tapping at the window" and, after secretly fitting her with a wedding ring he keeps in his pocket, frees her by noting the presence of said ring (inferring she therefore could not be loitering for prostitution). He takes her home and, in a plot twist the Production Code would not allow, June stays there overnight. And every night thereafter.
Cardigan's success as Attorney General makes him a likely candidate for Governor. A political kingmaker thinks it's possible and his daughter, Lillian (Jill Esmond), begins dating Cardigan. During a drunken spree, they get married and he then goes home to tell June the bad news. During his explanation, he realizes he has made a terrible mistake and that he loves June, not Lillian. Nonetheless, June leaves and Cardigan goes on a honeymoon bender for several days, alone.
Meanwhile, June has returned to her old friends in the Powers mob at a bar. Unfortunately, she walks outside just in time to see Powers murder a man in cold blood. She turns and walks quickly away. Powers catches up with her and threatens to kill her unless June keeps her mouth shut. She agrees but an off-stage policeman overhears her agreement and jails her as a material witness.
An Italian tenor, Mario (Albert Conti), confronts Cardigan as he is sobering up, saying he wants to marry Lillian. Breathing a sigh of relief, Cardigan says he will annul his marriage. Later, Cardigan interviews the material witness and finds it's June (who refuses to return to him, thinking he has betrayed his values so he can become Governor). She adamantly maintains she did not see the murder so he releases her as a witness.
At Powers' trial, the defense springs June as a surprise witness, forcing her to admit that she could see the killer but didn't see the murder and didn't recognize Powers. Shocking his assistants, Cardigan decides not to cross-examine her. Powers laughs heartily, stopping Cardigan in his tracks. The Attorney General then withdraws his waiver, whispering "that laugh is going to cost you your neck" to Powers and promptly badgers and confuses June so that she blurts out an identification of Powers as the killer.
Begging the court's indulgence, Cardigan abruptly announces that his assistants will handle the rest of the case. He then confesses that he had been sent to reform school—with Powers—for burglary and will therefore not run for governor, returning to his defense attorney status immediately. (Powers had threatened to blackmail him if Cardigan prosecuted him.) Outside, June congratulates him for his courage and for choosing his values over his ambition. They embrace and leave hand in hand.
Roscoe Conkling "Fatty" Arbuckle was an American silent film actor, comedian, director, and screenwriter. He started at the Selig Polyscope Company and eventually moved to Keystone Studios, where he worked with Mabel Normand and Harold Lloyd as well as with his nephew, Al St. John. He also mentored Charlie Chaplin, Monty Banks and Bob Hope, and brought vaudeville star Buster Keaton into the movie business. Arbuckle was one of the most popular silent stars of the 1910s and one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, signing a contract in 1920 with Paramount Pictures for $14,000.
Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom drama and crime film produced and directed by Otto Preminger. The screenplay by Wendell Mayes was based on the 1958 novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name of Robert Traver. Voelker based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney.
A Free Soul is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film that tells the story of an alcoholic San Francisco defense attorney who must defend his daughter's ex-boyfriend on a charge of murdering the mobster she had started a relationship with, who he had previously gotten an acquittal for on a murder charge. A Free Soul stars Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore, and Clark Gable.
Murder One is an American legal drama television series that aired on ABC in the United States from September 19, 1995 to May 29, 1997. The series was created by Steven Bochco, Charles H. Eglee, and Channing Gibson.
Michael Iver Peterson is an American novelist who was convicted in 2003 of murdering his second wife, Kathleen Peterson, on December 9, 2001. After eight years, Peterson was granted a new trial after the judge ruled a critical prosecution witness gave misleading testimony. In 2017, Peterson submitted an Alford plea to the reduced charge of manslaughter. He was sentenced to time already served and freed.
Ruby McCollum, born Ruby Jackson, was a wealthy married African-American woman in Live Oak, Florida, who is known for being arrested and convicted in 1952 for killing Dr. C. Leroy Adams, a prominent white doctor and state senator–elect. The judge restricted her testimony, but she testified as to their sexual relationship and his paternity of her child. The judge prohibited her from recounting her allegations that Adams had repeatedly raped her, and forced her to bear his children. She was sentenced to death for his murder by an all-white jury. The sensational case was covered widely in the United States press. McCollum was subjected to a gag order. Her case was appealed and overturned by the State Supreme Court.
Earl Rogers was an American trial lawyer and professor, who later became the inspiration for Perry Mason.
David Ray Camm is a former trooper of the Indiana State Police who spent 13 years in prison after twice being wrongfully convicted of the murders of his wife, Kimberly, and his children, Brad (7) and Jill (5), at their home in Georgetown, Indiana, on September 28, 2000. He was released from custody in 2013 after his third trial resulted in an acquittal. Charles Boney is currently serving time for the murders of Camm's wife and two children.
The Wiser Sex is a 1932 American pre-Code crime drama film directed by Berthold Viertel and Victor Viertel and starring Claudette Colbert, Melvyn Douglas, Lilyan Tashman, William "Stage" Boyd and Ross Alexander. Made by Paramount Pictures, its working title was The Weaker Sex.
Candace Mossler was a socialite at the center of a sensational, highly publicized murder trial in the 1960s.
Diamond Jim is a 1935 biographical film based on the published biography Diamond Jim Brady by Parker Morell. It follows the life of legendary entrepreneur James Buchanan Brady, including his romance with entertainer Lillian Russell, and stars Edward Arnold, Jean Arthur, Cesar Romero and Binnie Barnes.
The Unguarded Hour is a 1936 American drama film directed by Sam Wood and starring Loretta Young and Franchot Tone. In England, a prominent young prosecutor in a murder trial is unaware that his wife is involved.
Lucious Boyd is an American convicted murderer, rapist, and suspected serial killer. While convicted and sentenced to death for the 1998 murder of 21-year-old Dawnia Dacosta, he is a suspect in at least ten other homicides or disappearances. He was acquitted for the 1993 murder of a man whom he claimed he stabbed in self-defense. He was profiled on Forensic Files.
Travis Victor Alexander was an American salesman who was murdered by his ex-girlfriend, Jodi Ann Arias, in his house in Mesa, Arizona. Arias was convicted of first-degree murder on May 8, 2013, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on April 13, 2015.
State of Florida v. George Zimmerman was a criminal prosecution of George Zimmerman on the charge of second-degree murder stemming from the killing of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012.
Ryan W. Ferguson is an American man who spent nearly 10 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of a 2001 murder in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri. At the time of the murder, Ferguson was a 17-year-old high-school student.
James Matthew Boyd was an American man who was fatally shot by Albuquerque Police Department officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico on the evening of March 16, 2014. A resident of a nearby subdivision called police at 3:28 p.m. to report that a man had been camping on the mountain behind his house for the previous month, a violation of local regulations. Two Open Space officers were the first to respond. They approached Boyd as he lay under a sheet of plastic; Boyd, mentally ill with a diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder, became irate, wanting to know why the "raid". When an officer tried to pat him down, he produced two pocket knives, threatening the officers with them. The caller watched the confrontation from his second-story window and later testified that Boyd threatened the officers.
Criminal Lawyer is a 1937 American drama film directed by Christy Cabanne from a screenplay by G. V. Atwater and Thomas Lennon, based on a story by Louis Stevens. The film stars Lee Tracy, Margot Grahame and Eduardo Ciannelli. RKO produced the film and premiered it on January 26, 1937 in New York City, with a national release a few days later on January 29. It was the second time Stevens' story had been used for a film, the first being 1932's State's Attorney, starring John Barrymore and Helen Twelvetrees, directed by George Archainbaud, and also produced and released by RKO.
On the night of September 6, 2018, off-duty Dallas Police Department patrol officer Amber Guyger entered the Dallas, Texas, apartment of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean and fatally shot him. Guyger, who said that she had entered the apartment believing it was her own and believed Jean to be a burglar, was initially charged with manslaughter. The absence of a murder charge led to protests and accusations of racial bias, since Jean was black and unarmed and was killed in his home by a white off-duty officer who had apparently disregarded police protocols. On November 30, 2018, Guyger was indicted on a charge of murder. On October 1, 2019, she was found guilty of murder, and was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment the following day. The ruling was upheld on appeal in 2021.