Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the sentencing scene in The Trial Of The Chicago 7. Basically, after months of real time trial and two hours or so of runtime for viewers, five of our title seven (not including Bobby Seale since he wasn’t a defendant at that point) are convicted and ready for sentencing. The truly outrageous Judge Julius Hoffman (who was apparently like that in real life) tells Tom Hayden he can offer a brief statement in the defense of all five. Instead, in a moment that sort of happened in real life but much earlier in the trial, he has the names of deceased Vietnam War soldiers read into the record.

The judge apparently stopped the display after only a few names were read in the real trial when it happened prior to the sentencing phase. He tries to do the same in the movie, but Hayden keeps talking while everyone stands up and cheers. The other defendants get excited. Jerry Rubin raises his fist. Eventually others join him. The audience in the courtroom stands up and applauds. The buttoned up squares angrily storm out. David Dellinger’s kid climbs on his chair. Even the US Attorney Richard Schultz (the lead prosecutor), who is portrayed as a somewhat sympathetic figure, rises to honor the fallen soldiers in a moment that is clearly meant to be the film’s emotional crescendo.


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