Of course the jury reached a wrong decision on the Anthony case. The combination of a media circus and the inherent flaws in the American jury system made the judgment inevitable. Ms. Anthony did not even need a team of shysters like the O.J. “dream team” to bamboozle the the boobs who prosecuted for the state. Even her own lame attorney could not lose it for her though he did his darnest to try by introducing lots of spurious and irrelevent gibberish about she was allegedly abused by her own father. The whole farce speaks volumes about system itself.
It was ever thus. Mark Twain wrote a scathing indictment of the jury system by citing his observations in Virginia City, Nevada in the early 1860s. A man had gunned down another man in cold blood with lots of witnesses. Of course no juror could be enpaneled who had ever heard of the incident or expressed a second-hand opinion about it. The jury thus enpaneled was a group of idiots including “two dull stupid human donkeys,” one of whom thought “incest and arson were the same thing.” The verdict they rendered, “not guilty.”
In an over-lawyered society which weeds out competitive weaklings for high-paying lawyering jobs, the government winds up with lots of graduates from “Shyster Technical Night Law School” and judges who come from a comfortable good-old-boy state University network can play with these simpletons on whim as they enjoy their own sinecure.
It was ever thus. William Jennings Bryan was a babbling old bible-thumping senile dribbling fool when he confronted Clarence Darrow in a courtroom in rural Tennessee and yet he won a conviction against John Scopes in the “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925. It was another media circus, though the media in those days was largely print journalism. The inevitable result was another judicial farce.
The answer would be to enpanel anonymous juries, randomly selected, and impervious to lawyer shenanigans. No system is perfect but this would be a way to take the money and baloney out of it. Or maybe not. As long as money talks, few bankers will go to jail. As long as the media sets the “reality” agenda, who knows. Ms. Anthony is as innocent as O.J.. Both are innocent. And as the “ole perfesser” Casey Stengel used to say, “You can look it up.