Anthony trial may signal need for new system

As the outrage continues to pour in over yesterday’s verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial, many Americans are wondering if our legal system is completely broken.

One possible fix made itself apparent in the moments after Anthony was found not guilty of killing her young daughter: let the celebrity Twitterverse decide guilt or innocence.

As soon as the verdict was announced yesterday afternoon, the public took to Twitter, Facebook and other social media to express their disagreement with the findings of the jury. Many who commented had spent long minutes watching the 42-day Florida trial, had seen the pictures of Anthony in a nightclub, and could tell immediately this was a guilty woman.

But can just anyone with access to a smartphone truly be qualified to render a fair judgment in a case with so much evidence? Most analysts believe the answer is “no,” but concede that famous people with a smartphone could speak with authority in a variety of legal cases.

As if to demonstrate the point, one of the first comments to appear online came from a student of jurisprudence with a long history of forming opinions and typing them into a small electronic device.

“WHAT!!!!???!!!! CASEY ANTHONY FOUND NOT GUILTY!!!!” tweeted Kim Kardashian, using several words found in case law as far back as rulings from early-20th-century jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes. “I am speechless!!!”

Kardashian clarified her position only moments later, adding “Is this now an open case? I am so confused! How do these jurors not believe she’s guilty????”

“There is precedence for letting society’s elite be the arbiter of justice,” said professor Adam Wesley of the Harvard Law School. “What’s critical here is the credibility of the person making the judgment. Kardashian just recently demonstrated her integrity by having her butt x-rayed to prove it wasn’t fake. That’s something the public can have faith in.”

Other celebrities joined in the rush to judgment shortly after Judge Belvin Perry made public the jury’s blatantly bone-headed findings that there was insufficient evidence to declare the “Tot Mom” guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt.

“Wow. Ok, now this case has my attn.,” announced D-list celeb Kathy Griffin. “Not guilty? Really? I just assumed…”

Real housewife of New York Jill Zarin, deliberating a full couple of moments before issuing her findings, said “I can NOT believe Casey Anthony was found NOT GUILTY! The [sic] is terrible. I am SHOCKED,” adding a supplementary opinion through her publicist later in the day encouraging viewers to watch her acting debut on USA Network’s new drama “White Collar.”

"I am SHOCKED," said Real Housewife Zarin. "This is my shocked look."

“Woah! [sic]” was the opinion of singer Mandy Moore. “Thought she was guilty for sure! Either way, tragic story …”

“Eww,” tweeted TV personality Lo Bosworth.

“Nice justice system,” sarcastically offered Kaley Cuoco of TV’s geektastic “The Big Bang Theory”. “I can’t breathe. I can’t think. I’m sick.”

Law professor Wesley said that revamping a judicial system over 200 years in the making could be a challenging task, but that “there has to be software out there somewhere that could aggregate the tweets, add up the ‘guilty’ versus ‘innocent’ findings, and come to relatively speedy justice.”

“Or, we could just take volunteers who are in between projects or waiting for their development deals to flesh out, put them in a room with a bunch of video monitors, and have them watch trials all around the country and make their judgments,” Wesley said. “Some might call that old-fashioned in this digital age, but I think we do need to retain some sense of decorum. We could even make them wear robes, or designer mini-robes for the young starlets.”

No less an authority on modern-day American justice than Nancy Grace, who’s been following the proceedings on her HLN cable channel show, said there was merit in going to a new system.

“Celebrities — especially those who recognize me in airports — are one of this nation’s greatest intellectual resources,” Grace said. “I think they can make as good or better judgments than the unemployed dropouts who make up our jury pool.”

“The only better system I can imagine,” Grace continued, “is using biometrics to measure how much my nostrils flare when suspects names are mentioned, and assuming the bigger the noseholes, the guiltier they are.”

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3 Responses to “Anthony trial may signal need for new system”

  1. Stephanie Bennis Says:

    I really like this post–while the case itself is a tragedy, the overall situation is an intuitive snapshot of our society right now. Technology let’s us voice our opinions loud and clear around the world. Maybe it WILL come to us taking a poll of guilty vs. non guilty tweets to decide a trial! Interesting thought…

    And the Nancy Grace quote was a perfect closer!

  2. Stacy Says:

    The whole thing is a tragidy, anyway you look at it. What a horrible situation and I am with Jill Zarin on this one, I am shocked too. P.S. since you mentioned it… she was fab on White Collar eh?

  3. fakename2 Says:

    Excellent commentary. But why confine the decision to celeb tweets? Let’s just all jump in.
    On the day of the verdict, Andy Borowitz said that CNN was thrilled that it would have another blockbuster murder trial to cover, when Nancy Grace kills Casey Anthony.

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