When a hooker is killed cops are sure the perp is a ghetto kid named Donald. But Donald cannot speak, hear, read, write or understand sign language. Not even his lawyer can communicate with him. Can you try a man incapable of defending himself?
Someone killed a hooker, and the cops are sure they've got the perp: a ghetto kid named Donald Lang. But Donald cannot speak. Or hear. Or read or write or understand sign language. Not even Donald's deaf lawyer can communicate with him. Can the state try a man incapable of defending himself?
LeVar Burton and Paul Sorvino play accused and attorney in this gripping true story of a case that challenged our legal system and challenges our concept of justice. Winner of a 1979 Peabody Award and nominated for an Emmy as 1979's Outstanding Drama or Comedy Special, Dummy speaks volumes about the value of a human life, whether it belongs to a prostitute or the man who may be unjustly accused of her murder.
Based on a true story, DUMMY stars LeVar Burton as Donald Lang, a deaf-mute teenager accused of killing a prostitute. Paul Sorvino co-stars as Lowell Myers, the hearing-impaired public defender who takes Burton's case. The court, deciding that Lang is incompetent to stand trial, orders the boy to be shunted away to a mental institution. Doggedly following the evidence trail, Myers argues for "due process" in the treatment of his client. While the film's ending is upbeat, real life does not always turn out so well, as the ironic closing title (which details what has happened to Burton's character since this case was resolved) demonstrates. Initially telecast May 27, 1979, DUMMY was adapted by Ernest Tidyman from his own book.
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