Media Trials – A Covert Attack on Jury System?

James Perloff — via July 2, 2013

In what was called “the trial of the century,” a jury declared O. J. Simpson innocent of a double murder in 1995, despite powerful evidence of his guilt.  It was hard to believe Simpson’s famous escape attempt in his blood-stained Ford Bronco was the act of an innocent man.  I recall feeling anger toward the jurors who freed him.

More recently, many trials have received disproportionate attention.  In 2011, the Casey Anthony case became the subject of furious media coverage.  Initially, I wondered if Anthony was a celebrity.  But no, she was just a party girl accused of duct-taping her two-year-old daughter’s mouth and suffocating her, so she could enjoy her lifestyle unhampered by child care.  While the crime was heinous; it did not seem to merit the extravagant media blitz.

During the trial, the media painted an increasingly unsavory portrait of Anthony.  But as the verdict approached, I began getting an uneasy feeling: namely, that an “innocent” verdict had been prearranged and would be used to provoke anger toward the jury system, especially among conservatives sympathetic to family values.  After the “innocent” verdict was rendered, AOL ran this headline: “Casey Gets Ready to Party.”

Continues …

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.