A true headline among the flurry of stories posted on Yahoo following the Casey Anthony verdict: “Kim Kardashian weighs in.”
It’s fairly horrifying that anyone gives a rat’s a– about Kim Kardashian’s take on the Anthony case. On the other hand, she couldn’t be more clueless than some of the motor mouths who landed TV gigs as “legal experts” during the trial coverage.
Never have the airwaves and bandwidths of this country been so clogged with gasbags posing as seasoned courtroom veterans, or lightweight has-beens seeking to jump-start their careers.
High on Casey Mania, cable networks such as HLN were frantic to fill airtime with talking heads, and by the end of the trial you wondered if they were just yanking random lawyers out of the hallways and shoving them in front of the camera.
The prevailing tenor of the coverage, embodied by Nancy Grace and others, was that Anthony was guilty as sin of killing her daughter, Caylee. This wasn’t an unreasonable view, considering Anthony’s many lies, her busy social life after Caylee’s disappearance and the circumstantial evidence compiled by prosecutors.
Despite the acquittal, there remains no plausible set of circumstances to explain Caylee’s death that would not directly and criminally involve her mother.
So what went wrong with the jury? Nothing.
The public’s expectations were jacked up by all the TV yakking about this dreadful crime and the train-wreck of a mom accused of committing it. With some sharp exceptions, like Jeffrey Toobin of CNN, most of the “legal experts” continued shooting from the lip, feeding the hype.
But here’s what smart trial lawyers knew from the beginning: Proving Anthony guilty of first-degree murder would be very difficult.
In the shell-shocked outcry last week after the verdict was announced, many were comparing the surprise outcome to that of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The truth is, the Simpson prosecutors had much more evidence to work with, a veritable gold mine. They had a cause of death. They had a time of death. They had blood evidence, DNA, gloves and footprints. They had two intact bodies and an actual crime scene.
And still they lost the case.
Copyright 2011 The National Memo