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Hanlon - In Defence of Minnie Dean Television – 1985 Crime Drama

Hanlon - In Defence of Minnie Dean

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Dunedin barrister Alf Hanlon’s first — and most famous — defence case was the first episode in this award-winning drama series about his career. In 1895, alleged baby farmer Minnie Dean was charged with murdering two infants in her care. Hanlon’s inspired manslaughter defence was undermined by the judge’s direction to the jury; and Dean became the only woman to be hanged in NZ. Hanlon vowed none of his future clients would ever suffer this fate. Emmy-nominated and a major critical success, the episode contributed to a re-evaluation of Dean’s conviction.

In the series, we show Hanlon’s human side. He’s not only a great orator in court, he’s also a bit of a bastard.
– Lex Van Os (Producer), NZ Listener, 20 July 1985

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