Casey Anthony verdict echoed TV show - Hal (OS)

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Casey Anthony verdict echoed TV show - Hal (OS)

Post by mom_in_il on Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:58 pm

Casey Anthony verdict echoed TV show

By Hal Boedeker, Staff writer
1:47 p.m. EDT, June 2, 2014

Casey Anthony is back, and she is being lumped with O.J. Simpson and Phil Spector in a new memoir.

Trial consultant Richard Gabriel writes about all three high-profile clients in the book "Acquittal" and explains how juries were selected that acquitted all three. (Spector was later found guilty, and the New York Post has explored the book at length.)

"I have never run across a stronger or more palpable anger than I encountered in this case," Gabriel writes of Anthony. "There is frustration anger and there is betrayal anger. This was an anger born of deep hurt. It was personal."

But Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee.

Gabriel helps explain that outcome. He writes that he learned a lot from a mock jury, paid for by CBS and featured on "48 Hours," that identified weaknesses in the prosecution case.

All 12 in the Orlando focus group initially thought Anthony was guilty, but at the end of the exercise, only three were willing to convict her of first-degree murder, Gabriel notes.

The program aired in April 2011.

At the time, WFTV-Channel 9 legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the verdict had no consequence. "This was theater, nothing more, nothing less," Sheaffer said.

But in July 2011, Anthony was acquitted in a real court of law.

Gabriel writes that the real story echoed what happened with the focus group.

The verdict stunned the country, but Gabriel explains how the defense worked toward that outcome. He says the Anthony defense wanted jurors who were "smart, skeptical and independent."

But CBS' focus group raised complaints about journalism ethics. The program's approach was "shameful," said Al Tompkins, an instructor at the Poynter Institute, told me then. "We have a system in the United States that works pretty well. It's a system of discovery, of hearings, of cross examinations, and it's worked pretty darn well for a long time. We have no business trying this case."
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