While many were surprised by the verdict in the Casey Anthony case yesterday, some things remained both predictable and consistent like Nancy Grace’s reaction to any defendant prevailing in a criminal case. Grace’s choleric persona was in full rage that the jury would deign to find the evidence insufficient to convict the woman who Grace had already convicted many times on her show. “Now, I know it is our duty as American citizens to respect the jury system and I do, believe me I do. I’ve struck over one-hundred juries. But I know one thing: As the defense sits by and has their champagne toast after that not guilty verdict. Somewhere out there, the devil is dancing tonight.”
I have been a long critic (here and here) of Grace’s snarling, sensational approach to law and journalism — an embarrassment to both professions. Whether it is attacking the weather or pushing grieving mothers to suicide, Grace has been denounced as an unhinged bully who brought the same abusive tendencies from court to the camera. She is CNN’s Glenn Beck.
It was particularly interesting to hear her again cite her career as a prosecutor because she left that occupation while facing serious ethical charges for prosecutorial misconduct.
Grace last night however was almost speechless. Unfortunately, it did not last:
“The defense team is inside a bar having a champagne toast, right now. . . Now, you know what? I’m not a preacher and I’m not a rabbi, but there is something wrong with that ’cause Caylee is dead. And her body decomposed just fifteen houses away from where the Anthonys put their head on the pillow overnight. Everyday searching, searching for this little girl . . . “Now, I know it is our duty as American citizens to respect the jury system and I do, believe me I do. I’ve struck over one-hundred juries. But I know one thing: As the defense sits by and has their champagne toast after that not guilty verdict. Somewhere out there, the devil is dancing tonight.”
She insists that “Tot mom’s lies seems to have worked.” That is what CNN now offers for legal analysis.
What is strange is the reaction of the media. Over at CBS, Jodie Chen actually broke down in reading the verdict. The fact is that many of us said that the evidence was pretty weak and circumstantial in the case, though most expected a conviction. That a jury was able to overcome the high emotive aspects of the case (fanned by the prosecution and people like Grace) is a testament to their independence.