The Faux Blue Line'The Thin Blue Line' is a phrase that refers to the idea that police officers, in there blue uniforms, are the only barrier between brutal anarchy and civilized society. This phrase became the title of a documentary film concerning the murder of a Texas police officer who had stopped a car for a routine traffic citation. The documentary presents testimony suggesting that the police altered, fabricated, and suppressed evidence to convict the man they wanted to be guilty, in spite of evidence to the contrary. In 1985, a filmmaker, Errol Morris became interested in Dr. James Grigson, a psychiatrist in Dallas. Under Texas law, the death penalty can only be issued if the jury is convinced that the defendant is not only guilty, but will commit further violent crimes in the future if he is not put to death. Grigson had spent fifteen years testifying for such cases, and he almost invariably gave the same damning testimony, often saying that it is "one hundred per cent certain" that the defendant would kill again.
For this reason Grigson was nicknamed "Dr. Death". In more than half of the trials in Texas each year the prosecution presented damaging testimony from a psychiatrist who, based upon a hypothetical question describing the defendant's past, predicted the defendant would commit future violence. In most of these cases, the psychiatrist offered this opinion without ever examining the defendant. Although this kind of testimony is sometimes used in other states, the American Psychiatric Association has condemned it as unethical and untrustworthy. Through Grigson, Morris would meet the subject of his next film, thirty-six year-old Randall Dale Adams. Adams was serving a life sentence that had been commuted from a death sentence on a legal technicality for the 1976 murder of Robert Wood,