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Double Jeopardy

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America carries the Double Jeopardy clause. The law says that no man, having been acquitted of a crime, shall be tried a second time for the same crime.

When retired Vermont Sheriff, Frank Winter, learns that his daughter's killer is being released on parole after only twenty years, he loses patience with the system and decides to take justice into his own hands.

Frank's career came to an abrupt end on the day in 1994 when Barry Krupke was convicted of killing one girl but acquitted for the murder of his daughter Evie. Frank swore that if they ever released Krupke from jail, he would kill him himself. Unfortunately, Frank uttered those words to the media outside the Boston Federal Courthouse, in his police uniform and brandishing his service revolver.

These days Frank is a night janitor in a downtown bank, living alone with nothing but bitter memories and a drinking problem. Using his old Sheriff's badge for what it's worth, Frank sets about re-investigating his daughter's murder to determine if he can kill a man in cold blood.

And Frank isn't the only one with an eye on Krupke's reintegration into the community.

Will Frank survive long enough to have his revenge? or at least his redemption?

The Squad

New Zealand's most useless police squad scams a second chance by taking up Morris dancing.

When Sgt. Baz Gray is caught live on the AMI/Lancaster Park Stadium Jumbotron cheering a try with the streaker he should be booking, it's just one more confirmation that he's the leader of Christchurch's most useless police unit. They're the ones given the most pointless tasks in the safe knowledge they'll perform them inadequately enough. If a week goes by without one of them receiving a "fat letter" or some other warning there'd be a celebration. But that never happens. It's so bad that Baz may just be responsible for training the first ever constable to be kicked off the New Zealand police force when his probation period is over. Perhaps it is all down to Baz. Is he setting the hopeless tone?: defeated by life, depressed by the failed marriage that has separated him from his beloved daughter, Clementine, and carrying the burden of his role in one of New Zealand's worst sporting disasters - an 11-point soccer loss - Baz needs to find a new life - but he's not even looking.

But when the Jumbotron incident becomes a You-Tube sensation the bollocking Baz receives from his superior just reinforces the disrespect in which his crew is held. After some more disastrous incidents Baz remembers that his best mate, Robsie had been entertaining the crew with stories of the odd sports their colleagues were taking up to get into the annual International Emergency games being held in England ahead of the Olympics. Baz decides that's what they need to do. As usual though, he's late to the party and it turns out there's only one option left for them: Morris Dancing. When he puts it to his team they are united in their derision. But when Baz beguiles them with a European trip they start to come around - especially as they expect that if they are true to useless form they'll be out on the first day.

But fate has different plans. When a quiet night-shift doing Morris practice in the station house is interrupted by a callout to a fracas in the Square the team has no time to remove their gear as they race to the scene. As the astonished hoodlums are overwhelmed by the bell-slinging lawmen every prancing moment is captured by a TV crew out on late night duty and placed in prime position on morning TV. Getting to work Baz fears the worst when the phone rings from National HQ. But instead, it's Superintendent Leadbetter an old time Morris enthusiast who offers to coach the team.

The team heads for England also taking Baz's daughter Clementine who has been paid for by the others when the custody agreement Baz has long wanted kicks in threatening his travel.

There they will face the ultimate test of their demons - to be ridiculous by doing badly or to be ridiculous by doing well at something they think is laughable. They'll face ultimate questions of life and death. They'll learn to live down the past and face the future newly confident men with ribbons in their hats and bells on their feet.

A Quiet Night

Moonlighting as a Security Guard, all Moriarty wanted was a quiet night. A quiet night to indulge in self pity over a life not very well lived. At forty he's divorced, a Chef without a restaurant and a father who never sees his beloved daughter. Without warning two hours before night-shift, his ex wife dumps Lucy, his nine year old on him. Moriarty bends the rules, hiding Lucy to sleep in the sick bay while he completes the shift. So long as she stays put, nothing can go wrong.

He couldn't have known that this is the night Vera, the security supervisor plans to rob her own bank. It's a simple plan - aren't they always? Vera's brothers will burst in on the stroke of midnight waving a fake gun. Just as the rehearsed it, they'll overpower the guards and snatch the cash. The whole thing will be caught on CCTV and no-one will suspect the guards of collusion. It's all down to split second timing so when Victor and Vernon miss their cue Vera pushes the button. Unfortunately she opens the rear alley service door to two real criminals with a real gun. Wazza and Dave have just stuffed up a dairy robbery around the corner. They can't believe their good fortune when they find the back door to ATM Bank mysteriously open.

Moriarty is not the sort of man to complain about poor service in a shop. Not the sort of man to stick up for himself in any situation. He's a man who has always gotten through life avoiding conflict. With seven hours remaining in the nightshift Moriarty has to escape his captors, find Lucy and get her out of the building.

A quiet night, indeed.