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Jim Mitchell Trial: 1992

The Falling Out And The Killing, The Trial, Video At The Trial, Admission And Verdict

Defendant: Jim Mitchell
Crimes Charged: Murder, burglary, weapons charges
Chief Defense Lawyers: Michael Kennedy, Nanci Clarence
Chief Prosecutor: John Posey
Judge: Richard Briener
Place: San Rafael, California
Date of Trial: January 13-February 19, 1992
Verdict: Guilty of voluntary manslaughter and weapons charges
Sentence: Six years, three on voluntary manslaughter and three on weapons charges; paroled in 1997

SIGNIFICANCE: Jim and Artie Mitchell were "pioneers" in the pornographic film industry, bringing the once underground industry into the mainstream. But the success led to drug abuse, money problems and eventually murder.

Brothers Jim and Artie Mitchell had achieved a degree of local and even national fame as the owners of the O'Farrell Theater in San Francisco and as the producers of pornography films. Among the more well-known of their productions were Behind the Green Door, The Autobiography of a Flea, and The Graf enberg Spot. In a number of legal cases, they had fought for the right to make, distribute, and show explicit hard-core pornographic films. They had successfully fought to preserve copyright to their films, and by the 1980s, their reputation as counterculture folk heroes spread beyond California. However, their personal lives became troubled with abusive relationships with numerous women, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994