In the fall of 2011, Florida prosecutor Jeff Ashton released Imperfect Justice, a book detailing the lengthy and controversial murder trial of Casey Anthony, a woman charged with and acquitted of killing her two-year old daughter, Caylee. Ashton wrote about his efforts to convict Anthony; how he prepared for trial; the reaction in the courtroom when the verdict was read; and his thoughts about particular elements of the trial, including his opposing counsel, the evidence, and the twelve jurors.
More recently, Anthony’s now famous (or infamous) defense attorney Jose Baez wrote about his experience during and after the trial in the tell-all book titled, Presumed Guilty: Casey Anthony: The Inside Story. Earlier this month during interviews to promote the book, Baez promised the book delivers behind-the-scenes insights; his defense strategy; and his unfiltered opinions of Ashton, Anthony’s parents, and what really happened on the day Caylee died.
A common thread – and perhaps the only common thread – between these adversaries’ books is the condemnation of the media’s role in this case – a case that required tickets for admission into the courtroom. Interestingly, some media outlets have published stories about this topic.
Certainly, there are many perspectives with valid arguments and no easy answers. Nonetheless, the topic of the media’s role in high-profile criminal cases warrants some attention and consideration by the legal community.