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.
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?
The fact that the media convicted Anthony before the trial even started is disgusting. Listening to people and believing that their opinions are based on what they have heard on TV is outrageous. There were 12 jurors. That is how our justice system works. It doesn't matter what the talking heads think or say. I don't want the media to make up my mind for me. I want them to present the facts. I am capable of making up my own mind.
Rudy in Austin, Texas:
Hey Jack, looks like the media didn't matter in the outcome. While your colleagues, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Nancy Grace, et al were leading Casey to the gallows, the jury found her not guilty of Murder 1. Fair and Balanced, much?
Wasn't the jury sequestered? If so, the media shouldn't have influenced the outcome. The media only influenced us, the public.
J.K. in Minnesota:
I think the media, primarily coming from your sister network, obsessed on this case so much that the prosecutor's office felt compelled to seek a a capital murder conviction, when a lesser charge would have probably been the better choice. I know if I personally were seated on a capital murder trial jury, the evidence had better be undisputable, or I couldn't in good conscience vote to convict a defendant.
Susan in Idaho:
The news media was not a factor. Remember the jury could not watch or listen to the news. The blow for the prosecution was Jeff Ashton himself. Sitting there and laughing while Jose Baez was giving his closing arguments was the kiss of death for his case. Had Casey done that she would have been convicted.
Larry in Denver, Colorado:
If the media would just treat the economy with the same zeal as it did this case and the case of the IMF president perhaps our politicians would rise to urgency of our state of the union. Instead our headlines are full of two criminal cases and little else. Two plus wars, unemployment, deficits through the roof and your question of the hour is the media in a murder verdict? When does the insanity end? Ratings, selling papers that important?