“Crime and Punishment" is a documentary series that goes inside the criminal justice system, produced by "Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf. All of the cases, attorneys and defendants are real. Every episode features cases that the San Diego District Attorney’s Office prosecuted over the course of a year.
Cameras capture the raw emotional interactions between defendants, judges, attorneys, and victims’ families.
Doc Block caught up with some of the San Diego prosecutors and defenders involved in the cases featured in "Crime and Punishment" since the series first aired three years ago.
Chandra Carle, is a prosecutor featured in People v. Nourn/Barker. She currently teaches arson prosecution and general trial practice while raising two children. Read on for more about her involvement in "Crime & Punishment."
Doc Block: How did you feel about having cameras follow you around?
Chandra Carle, prosecutor, People v. Nourn/Barker: The cameras were a bit disconcerting at first. I felt self-conscious and found it difficult to relax. Eventually, though, I was able to ignore them and just carry on.
Doc Block: Do cameras alter the way you argue a case in court?
Doc Block: What aspects of the cameras did you like? Dislike?
Carle: I can't say there was anything I particularly liked or disliked. They were just a part of the process to some greater or lesser extent.
Doc Block: What did the experience teach you, if anything?
Carle: I became more aware of the nuances of presenting a case to a jury. Each word, motion, facial expression, etc. was captured and observed, and is powerful. The experience underscored that it is up to me to make sure that each accurately conveys what I want it to convey to the jury.
Doc Block: What was the public's response to the program? Did you get recognized on the street?
Carle: The response was overwhelmingly positive, both to the case in particular and the criminal justice system in general. I was recognized during the week following the show's airing at unexpected places: church, the zoo, grocery shopping. Fortunately, that went away within a short time and I was able to regain the privacy I enjoy.
Doc Block: Were you happy with the editing? Did the show accurately portray the prosecution?
Carle: Yes to both.
Doc Block: What was the most interesting thing that happened during the taping of the case you prosecuted?
Carle: I was swatted in the face by "the Orange Camouflage Man" while walking to lunch. This was captured by the camera, much to everyone's amusement.
Doc Block: What have you been doing since the program aired?
Carle: I served as the Assistant Chief of our South Bay Branch office before returning to trial work earlier this year. I have continued to teach arson prosecution and general trial practice both locally and nationally, and I am very busy raising two children. The case was the basis of the book "No Good Deed," written by Tom Basinski, so it has continued to receive attention.
Doc Block: Would you do it again?
Carle: I would if I felt I had a case which would assist the public in its understanding of what we really do as prosecutors in ensuring the public safety and protecting the rights of all involved to edit weeks and weeks of filming down to a 44-minute show.