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July 5th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

What role did the news media play in the outcome of the Casey Anthony murder trial?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Casey Anthony's defense team is slamming the media over its intense coverage of the case leading up to and during the high-profile trial.

Caylee Anthony

Caylee Anthony

Anthony's attorney Jose Baez applauded the jury shortly after leaving the courtroom today for doing what he said they are supposed to – finding their verdict based on evidence and not emotion. Baez said, "You cannot convict someone until they have their day in court."

The defense team believed the public and the media had already decided Anthony was guilty of killing her two year old daughter before the jury even heard arguments in the case. Baez and his colleagues pointed to the seemingly non-stop coverage of the case on cable television outlets, commentary by so-called "legal experts" on various pieces of evidence and testimony on television and in print, as well as the crowds that gathered outside the courthouse daily possibly as a result.

But despite what these and other defense attorneys perceive as a media bias in high profile cases– guilty until proven innocent– many juries simply don't buy in. Many very famous defendants in very high profile cases with the most media coverage have all gotten off. O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, and William Kennedy Smith were all acquitted in trials that featured intense media coverage.

And while the defense slams the media, it might be worth taking a moment to think about why so many of these big cases have the same outcome.

Here’s my question to you: What role did the news media play in the outcome of the Casey Anthony murder trial?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Law Enforcement • News Media
July 5th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Why did the Casey Anthony murder trial captivate the nation?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Like millions of Americans, I got sucked into watching the Casey Anthony murder trial. Over the July Fourth weekend, I spent several hours engrossed in watching the closing arguments, fascinated by the skill of the lawyers, particularly of the prosecutors, as they practiced their craft at the highest level in pursuit of justice for a 2-year-old girl who couldn't speak for herself.

It was the stuff of high drama. And for six weeks, the country has been riveted by the goings-on inside the courtroom in Orlando, Florida.

Our sister networks, HLN along with Tru TV, have mined ratings gold from trial coverage, garnering some of the highest numbers in their history.

But why?

This isn't the first time a mother has been put on trial for the death of her child. This isn't the first time television cameras have been allowed in a courtroom. Or the first time a defendant has been caught in countless lies and cover-ups or been depicted as a less than stand-up person during testimony. Nor was it the first time a defendant showed little emotion throughout it all. But for some reason, the country couldn't get enough. It was almost like O.J. all over again. Right down to the outcome.

The verdict left a lot of people scratching their heads. After my weekend on the couch watching the proceedings, I would have bet on a guilty verdict. And I would have been dead wrong.

Here’s my question to you: Why did the Casey Anthony murder trial captivate the nation?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Law Enforcement