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Chicago Justice - Comma - Review

“The Second Amendment ensures that every American has the right to protect himself.”

Escape rooms are all the rage—I’ve been dying to go myself. Poor choice of words, perhaps, as this episode kicks off with a girl, Kennedy Malloy, dying during a makeshift escape room event. Things are made a bit more complicated when it’s discovered that one of the “players” was Abigail Chapman. We all know the story (in case you missed the “ripped from the headlines” teaser attached to this episode)—Abigail was held in a Spanish prison for several years until her trial for killing her boyfriend while studying abroad. She was found innocent, but an accusation like murder along with constant publicity tends to stay with you. Naturally, she’s the prime suspect in Kennedy’s murder.

It doesn’t take long for the State’s Attorney’s office to figure out that Abigail didn’t kill Kennedy. In fact, Abigail goes from being the prime suspect to the star witness. Meanwhile, Spain decides they don’t like the result of Abigail’s trial and per extradition laws, demand she be returned for a retrial. That double jeopardy amendment in our Constitution? No such thing in Spain. Peter argues against her extradition, and though his motive for doing so changes when she’s proved innocent, he wins all the same. So, how does Abigail become the star witness? Well…

The murder weapon, a gun, turns out to be Kennedy’s, which naturally launches the never-ending firearm debate. After Kennedy’s mom was killed, her father insisted Kennedy learn how to protect herself, hence the gun. Some nifty detective work exposes a rocky relationship between Kennedy and a Professor Hall, who is vehemently against conceal carry. Bethany, another student/escape room participant, is not only in Professor Hall’s class, but her prints are found on the gun.

Bethany’s lawyer is smart—he changes the conversation to self-defense and even paints Kennedy as the one at fault for carrying the gun in the first place. It’s a ballsy move—blame the victim? Yikes. What’s irritating is that it’s clearly working. That is, until Abigail comes back into the picture. Thanks to Abigail’s testimony, Bethany’s self-defense testimony is unraveled. Bethany viewed Professor Hall as a father figure, and Kennedy threatened his place at the university and therefore, his place in Bethany’s life. Bethany is found guilty, and Peter is amassing quite the winning record so far on this series.

What’s interesting is that Peter and Anna clearly fall on the two sides of the firearm debate. Anna is against, Peter is for. The debate is a fascinating one, but so is the law itself. People don’t seem to argue the law itself much, just the morals surrounding it. But Peter and Bethany’s defense attorney discuss the law itself and how grammar, of all things, plays into it. “Only he (the late Justice Scalia) could find an individual’s right to bear arms in a punctuation mark.”

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