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Appeals court says 'Alpha Dog' movie can open on schedule

Appeals court says 'Alpha Dog' movie can open on schedule

A court ruled the film "Alpha Dog," based on the Jesse James Hollywood murder case, can open Friday in the U.S. as scheduled, even though a defense lawyer contended it could taint the jury pool for the upcoming trial.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an emergency request by Hollywood's attorney to delay release of the film.
Universal Studios had argued that barring the release would be unconstitutional prior restraint of free speech.
Attorney James Blatt, who represents Hollywood, appealed after a federal judge refused last month to stop the release.
Blatt said he was not surprised by the appellate panel's ruling on Monday.
"It's difficult to take on the First Amendment. The standard for prior restraint is so tremendously high," he said. "How do you prove you can't find 12 impartial jurors?"
Although the main character has a different name, the film is based on the suspected role of Hollywood in the kidnapping and slaying of 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz seven years ago.
The teen's body was found in a remote Santa Barbara County camping area.
Prosecutors believe Hollywood, portrayed in the movie by actor Emile Hirsch, was the mastermind behind the murder plot. He was captured in Brazil in 2005 and has pleaded not guilty to charges that could carry the death penalty if he is convicted.
Markowitz was killed as part of a feud between Hollywood and the victim's older half-brother over a $1,200 (euro924) drug debt, prosecutors contend. Four other people have been convicted.


Updated : 2021-10-26 07:22 GMT+08:00