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A Question or your opinion about Seven? (1 Viewer)

Tyler Gagnon

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My wife and i just watched this movie agian for the first time in a few years, And we started really argueing about the ending.
She said he would do time in prison for murder, But i say he would not do time because he acted in the heat of the moment. Or something like that. Anyway, If anyone is knowledgeable in these kinds of things, What do you think would happen to Mills?
 

Waylander

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Good answer, but if I found what he found, I'm not sure the 'insanity' would be temporary. I get the feeling from the film, that his life has pretty much been ruined and that Kevin Spacey's character has 'won' (from his point of view anyway).
 

Darcy Hunter

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That's pretty much the whole point of John Doe's plan. He wants Mills to kill him...

"Become... wrath".

I also get the feeling that nothing legal would happen to him. Freeman's character seems really sympathetic to him at the end with his "...whatever he needs." line. Psychologically, John Doe's destroyed him.
 

TravisR

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Yeah, he just found that his wife was murdered by a serial killer that had set up a fiendish plan to surprise him with that revelation. No D.A. is going to prosecute that one. Although like others said, John Doe still 'won'.
 

Michael Elliott

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He should be charged for murder as well as countless other charges. Police can't just shoot a man in the head for no reason especially when that person isn't coming at them, isn't trying to get away and is handcuffed.

However, I'm sure the police would try to "fix" things to get him off but this too would be rather hard since John Doe's lawyer knew what the plan was.
 

Chuck Mayer

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And tons of evidence would illustrate Doe's intentions and previous crimes. He's admitted to guilt, and the blood on him would match that of Mills' wife.

So legally, there would be a reason to shoot him (temporary insanity). Somerset could explain Doe's actions at the scene. Police wouldn't have to "fix" anything. No DA would even consider a case against Mills, even assuming complete police cooperation.

And I'm no lawyer, but murder requires premeditation. If they did charge Mills, it would be manslaughter at best.

But they wouldn't. Because no jury would convict. *I* could get Mills found not guilty, much less a decent attorney.
 

Michael Elliott

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I'm not sure Chuck. Everytime a cop kills someone the media and various groups go ape shit. If a lawyer is willing to defend someone like Doe then I'm sure he'd fight to get Pitt charged. If you were to kill my girlfriend right now that doesn't give me the right to go after you no matter what's going on in my head.

I think a jury wouldn't convict him but that doesn't mean they shouldn't. People are convicted for right or wrong reasons all the time just as they are let go for the right or wrong reasons. Just because a jury would be happy that he killed Doe doesn't mean there wouldn't be someone out there to go after him.

Not to mention you'd have to prove that Pitt was crazy, which wouldn't work since he knew what he was doing. Debating with himself over shooting Doe means he wasn't insane as he was smart enough to at least think about it a few times.

I'm just trying to see things from both sides but I was personally happy to see Pitt shoot him.
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TravisR

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Given the circumstances, I think he'd actually be heralded as a kind of a hero by the media but only because of those specific circumstances. Almost any other situation and he shot Doe then he'd be depicted as a bloodthirsty thug with a badge.

Do you ever really hear much sympathy from the media or ACLU when someone beats up a pedophile or burns their house down? I think a situation like that is similar to what would with this movie.
 

Michael Elliott

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But the point is Travis that cops don't kill someone because they're a rapist, murderer, serial killer or a drug dealer. I'm sure if cops could push the button and get rid of all these "evil" people then they would but I've always felt they didn't because of the rights these people have. I'm sure Pitt and Freeman could have beaten whatever they wanted out of Doe but they couldn't or perhaps just wouldn't.

Heck, the police even protect people in prison who have a price on their head and it's doubtful Doe would have been put into a cell with another person.

I personally don't blame Pitt's character but the "wiser" Freeman is talking him out of it for a reason. It's certainly an interesting debate by the original poster and something to think about. Morally I think it's right but I'm not sure the law would agree. I'd personally shake his hand but I'm not sure how many others would. There are always going to be people that follow the book line by line and won't go outside that line no matter what happens.

Not to mention this is a movie we're talking about. In the real world I'm not sure how people would react but after spending two hours with Pitt's character of course we want to see him get revenge and walk away. I'm just not sure how this would go in real life.

I've also always thought that Pitt had "lost it" at the end of the movie when he's being driven away. I never took it as him being under arrest and with Freeman's last comment it seemed like Pitt needed "help" inside a mental hospital. Of course, people could say this was proof that he was insane at the time of the shooting.


Another interesting debate I've had is with SAW, which to me is nothing more than a rip off of SEVEN with the "bad guy" killing "bad people" to "teach them a lesson". I know many people who think Jigsaw was doing right. As I type this, I've read posts from people who thought Doe had a point in his killings. I'd personally like to hear more from the people who side for the types of Jigsaw or Doe.

I personally never understood how anyone could be on the side of Jigsaw or Doe because who the heck are they to decide what "sins" should cost someone their lives? Both of these killers are using religious as their excuse but both of them always overlook that word forgiveness.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Not fully - the whole experience with Mills brought Somerset back into the land of the emotionally engaged. He had given up on humanity at the start of the film, but the end finds him renewed and willing to fight the fight.

So in John Doe's head, yes, he won - he got Mills to kill him. But he didn't really because of the change in Somerset...
 

TravisR

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But he's not killing a 'regular' criminal. He just found out that his wife is dead and that the man who did it is right in front of him. It's a different situation than being the cop who is arresting Jeffrey Dahmer and shooting him because you're sickened by his crimes. And for the record, I also think Mills is wrong to kill Doe (because it's exactly the grand finale that Doe wanted and because no man should take the law into his own hands) but if I was on a jury, I'd sure understand it.
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Pete York

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Mills doesn't even necessarily have to show 'insanity'. There are lesser standards accepted as affirmative defenses, such as (in New York at least) 'extreme emotional disturbance', that would reduce the charge to manslaughter. A violent class B felony like manslaughter has, I think, a minimum sentence of 5 years, of which he would presumably serve less. Anyway, I would say no to a murder charge, but prison time is in his future.

This is all sort of a real world guess, of course, but the provocation in this case is so extreme you'd probably need a DA to tell you what they would really do.
 

Brett_M

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Just to stir things up a bit...

Would the original ending be better (Somerset kills Doe)?

Either way, I think a plea bargain would keep him out of prison. He's finished as a cop and as a man. Doe wins. But that's the point. We are all human and therefore unable to escape our human failings.
 

Steve_Tk

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Murder is acting with Malice
Voluntary Manslaughter-Killing someone when overcome by an extreme act of passion, but not something you planned before hand. This is catching your wife in bed with someone, or like Mills in Seven.
Involuntary manslaughter-doing something to someone that results in death, but would not normally kill someone. Like you get into a bar fight, punch the guy in the face, and he falls over dead. You didn't mean to kill him, but it happened.

That's how Georgia law reads. The answer is that is all depends on the department and the DA for that county. If the department arrests him and takes warrants on murder, then he is charged, until the DA chooses to drop the charges. Or even if the department doesn't arrest him, the DA can take charges against him. Regardless, he is on the hook for killing the man until the statute of limitations expires, never know when some newly elected DA comes in and prosecutes him.
 

Chuck Mayer

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You wouldn't even just get "extreme emotional disturbance". You think Somerset is going to agree to testify if it means Mills goes to jail? Then what do you have left? A pregnant woman's head in a box, and the husband who found out MOMENTS before firing a lot of bullets into a corpse, even though he rationally knows the guy is dead. No one will know he "debated" with himself. I'd argue that is just him going temporarily insane. So would Somerset. Mills would certainly go to a psychiatric facility and never be a cop again. But jail? People get off for way less all the time, and these circumstances are more extraordinary than those (because it's a movie).

Again, based on the circumstances, no capable lawyer would think that any jury member (much less twelve of them) would convict on the evidence, and a judge would never even let that circus start. Furthermore, I think he was clearly temporarily insane, so the law is actually working in this case. Not because he is a cop and Doe is a crook. But because of the circumstances. If Mills were a crook and Doe a cop, I think the situation would be the same. With all of the evidence available, at least.

Now there is a sequel idea.
 

Michael Reuben

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OK, if we're going to play this out "real world"-style, let's apply "real world" rules.
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But it's the jury that would have to decide the insanity defense, and it's the defendant who would have to prove it. How that goes would depend on what state they're in (which Seven is careful not to identify). A few states still don't allow an insanity defense. Many still follow the McNaughten rule, in which a defendant has to show he didn't know the difference between right and wrong -- not the easiest case for Mills to make. He'd have a better chance in a state that uses the Model Penal Code where the standard is looser: that the defendant couldn't appreciate the criminality of his acts or couldn't conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.

Now, a cagey D.A. might just try to spare his office all this nonsense by presenting the case to a grand jury in such a way that they refuse to indict Mills. But there are risks to that approach. Everyone, including the press, knows that that grand juries generally do whatever prosecutors want them to. So the lack of an indictment might look like the prosecutor putting a thumb on the scales of justice, even if he didn't.

Ultimately, though, I think this is all beside the point, because I agree with those who've said that what matters is that Mills has been destroyed. Whether what follows is prison, a mental institution or suicide, it probably all looks equal from his point of view (and Somerset's).
 

Chuck Mayer

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As I said, I'm no lawyer. But would prosecution really push murder when you have to PROVE premeditation (beyond reasonable doubt) within the span of 15 seconds? Wouldn't that make the case significantly harder?

And I'm speculating here, but even presuming Somerset's complete honesty, the prosecution has to have Somerset validate the events, but then they also have to challenge him on Mills' state of mind. I did not recognize the insanity determinant was the purview of the jury (and I still claim this would never see a jury), but feel that would be monumentally easy to convince, if necessary. I recognize the rule of law, but both prosecution and defense will have qualified experts to make their claim. Even assuming the prosecution witness is more convincing, it's human nature to put yourself in that situation. All they would need is an out, and they would be provided one.

Furthermore, I think the timing is key. He is closer to NOT pulling the trigger until Doe tells him Mills' wife was pregnant. That sets him off, and seconds later, done. A prosecution would have to disprove the insanity defense in those seconds and that Mills' premeditation occurs in those moments.

I think there is plenty of evidence. I just think it helps a "defense" as much as it would help the "prosecution".

I recognize it's not relevant to Mills either way. I entertained it as an interesting legal hypothetical. I am not discussing the "could" (which is the legalities) as much as the "would" (which is human nature and likelihoods). Which is why I am "arguing" with a lawyer about it
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