Hysteria is not justice
By: Dr. Mike Gora
Over the last several weeks the citizens of Florida have had their emotions intentionally manipulated, aroused, twisted and turned by Nancy Grace and the other clowns of the CNN and HLN networks for the purpose of increasing the number of their viewers. They were successful as their “numbers” doubled.
It’s not farfetched to think that if one or two viewers who bought into the hype wind up killing Casey Anthony upon her release, Nancy Grace might face charges herself for inciting a riot. Do not mistake the loud mouths for journalists.
By the time the jury of 12 in Orlando was sent behind the curtain to deliberate the fate of Casey Anthony the constant beat of the guilty drum orchestrated by the know nothing chorus of brainless, self serving charlatans led by Nancy had convinced the populous that “Tot Mom” deserved to die.
As was said by the Queen of Hearts in “Alice in Wonderland,” “off with her head. Sentence first, trial later.”
We who have been lucky or unlucky enough to try a number of big time capital cases at some earlier time know that the hardest thing that any trial lawyer ever had to do was prove guilt beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt. We also know that the lack of hard “real evidence” in the Casey Anthony case made acquittal likely.
Congratulations to former Broward judge Larry Seidlen who was fair and balanced and called the acquittal ahead of the verdict.
Then there was the end of the prosecution’s rebuttal argument, and the careless but truthful comment of an assistant state attorney, “that all the jury had left to do was to ‘find who committed the murder,’ wink, wink. I knew long before then there would not be a guilty verdict. (Ask my wife.)
The state had failed to prove the primary elements of the crime: the instrument of death, the time of death, and the person who had committed the acts which caused the death. Not one shred of real evidence tying the defendant to the crime had been presented. Not a fingerprint, a hair, fluid, a blood smear, a foot print, a thread of clothing, an admission, or an eye witness.
The state’s house of cards had been built with a combination of character assassination, innuendo, hope, and fear. They wanted to stampede the jury in their direction and hoped that the trial judge or an appellate court would not have the guts to overturn the jury. The state’s case had more holes than a great Swiss cheese. The state was selling smoke and mirrors. The state did Caylee no favors and no justice. The saying, “He who laughs last, laughs best,” was never truer.
One can wonder why the Judge did not dismiss the amorphous case when the state rested. One can also wonder whether or not the judge would have dismissed the case if the jury had found Casey guilty (a legal possibility) but the jury saved him that decision, and perhaps his next election.
Within an hour of the verdict’s announcement, intentionally stirred up by the fools at their microphones, people were marching in anger on the Orange County Courthouse, and Ms Anthony’s prior home.
The witch hunt was reaching high gear. If Orlando had been a town in the old west or that fishing village in Massachusetts Ms Anthony would have been dragged out of the jail and hanged, or burned at the stake as a witch, or drowned in a nearby lake.
Do not be further fooled. The talking heads are not really screaming for justice or blood. They are screaming for ratings, for bigger pay checks, more prominent networks. Those of these gypsy hate mongers who had been lawyers knew the truth, that their case would probably be lost. If lying were a capital offense they would all be standing in the same line as Ms Anthony.
Make yourself a promise. Never again be suckered in. Expect that in any similar horse race of a jury trial you choose to watch in the future may have more than one possible result. While as a lawyer I believe in free speech, but that right cannot be used to falsely scream fire in a dark theater.
What I saw in the trial was legal combat between two reasonably good teams of attorneys, before an experienced judge, and a typical Florida jury. Our system of justice worked.
Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to cruelly and intentionally foment a riot for TV ratings. Nancy and the others should be ashamed of themselves.