Casey Anthony: More Subtle, Sober Media Spin And Snobbery

I mean, you would expect that from the Washington Post, right?  They’re not a tabloid, after all.

First the headline:  the prosecution is “meticulous”.  The defense is “wild”.

No bias there, right?

Throw in “methodical” for the prosecution; but “sensational” for the defense.

I think I’m gonna puke.

Trot out the carefully selected “expert”:

“I believe they have almost relieved the state of their burden of proof by making such strong assertions in opening statements,” said Karin Moore, a professor at Florida A&M University’s College of Law. “They are going to have to prove it now. It is going to be a difficult task for them.”

Karin Moore?  She’s a very good pick, a rarity:  a law professor that has actually tried cases, mainly as a public defender it seems.  More than 100 jury trials, it is claimed.  She must be very strong in establishmentarian fealty to be able to say with a straight face, after 100 jury trials representing criminal defendants, that the prosecution has any significant “burden of proof” to be relieved of.

See, something more has to be known about Professor Moore.  Of the 100 trials, how many did she win?  It’s not that difficult to try a case where you’re just doing the standard thing, which for criminal defense counsel is….losing.  Trying to out and out win is really different.  It’s much more difficult.  It pisses everyone off.  Just ask Jose Baez.

She’s on the bar association this, and the bar association that.  Good, conventional establishment credentials.  She’s “acceptable” as an “expert” in a way that, say, Gerry Spence is not.  At least to the Washington Post.

There’s a lot of snobbery in the legal profession and in the media (especially the Washington Post), and I suspect that is part of the problem they have with the defense.  Baez didn’t go to a good law school like Harvard, or even Florida.  He went to some frowned upon Catholic law school in Florida.  Not a “good” Catholic law school like Georgetown or Notre Dame or Fordham or even Villanova.  Some no name place in Miami, founded in 1984.  Humph.  Pshaw.  How crass.  Not the kind of lawyer who should be lead counsel in an Important Case.

Plus, he’s trying to actually win.  That’s not allowed.  And it’s also very low class.  A high class person is sensitive to the career concerns of their prosecutor colleagues.  And it’s difficult for them:  prosecutors are expected not to lose.

But it’s permissible, even expected, for criminal defense lawyers to lose.  They are often praised even in their losses – by the People Who Matter.  Their clients might have a slightly different take on things, but nobody cares what the convicted criminal thinks.  Talk about low status.

There is, in other words, yet another reason the talking heads are so uniformly hostile to the defense:  smugness and snobbery.


1 Comment

Filed under wrongful convictions

One response to “Casey Anthony: More Subtle, Sober Media Spin And Snobbery

  1. bluebird

    Great piece. I vowed never to be the kind of lawyer you describe Karin Moore to be. Actually, I went to law school (finally) because of the Michael Jackson trial and his lawyer, Thomas Mesereau. I thought WOW, that’s the kind of lawyer I want to be. I feel the same with Jose Beaz.


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