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Publication Date

January 2014


Fans of The Wire know Bunk. Those fans who are legal minded may even remember, in the first scene of the first episode of Season 5, when Bunk masterfully interrogates a helpless suspect. I cannot imagine a better introduction to the Fifth Amendment materials in the Criminal Procedure course.But The Wire’s five seasons offer more than just helpful scenes. Rather, the show raises a diverse array of Fourth and Fifth Amendment issues that, I believe, can assist in teaching the Criminal Procedure course throughout the semester by keying all the course’s topics to The Wire. I proceed in this piece by offering (1) why The Wire makes for such a compelling pedagogical tool, (2) why a “one show” approach is superior to using sporadic clips from a variety of sources, and (3) then offering some concrete examples of how the clips are helpful on a class-by-class basis.

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