Wheel of the Law (1916)

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Inspired by a popular vaudeville sketch of the period, The Wheel of the Law traces the rise of dynamic young prosecutor Frank Mills. Building his reputation upon obtaining convictions with the slimmest circumstantial evidence, Mills is appointed District Attorney of the state then caps this victory by marrying famous actress Emily Stevens. A staunch opponent of capital punishment, Stevens finds herself constantly at odds with her husband. When her own brother is falsely convicted of murder, Stevens is unable to persuade Mills to re-open the case. Desperate to save her brother's life, the heroine stages a fake murder, with the carefully calculated circumstantial evidence pointing to her own husband's guilt. Thoroughly chastened by this experience, Mills agrees to give his brother-in-law's case a second look -- and, sure enough, unearths new evidence that results in the young man's acquittal.