It’s All Over-Or Is It?
The trial of Casey Anthony, just found not guilty of murdering her young daughter, has been the hottest topic online since ity began last month. Even before the trial the topic was hot, with news stories being shared via social media networks, and comments Tweeted and ReTweeted on Twitter. Now that the verdict is in and Anthony has been found not guilty the furor has erupted to epic proportions as people express their incredulity at the verdict.
The American judicial system has gone to great pains to create a system whereby the accused can receive a trial and face an unbiased jury of their peers. Now that nearly everyone is online in some fashion or the other, is such a thing even possible? It seems highly unlikely these jurors will be able to go back to their normal lives without receiving at least some fallout for their actions.
The power of social media to inform, enlighten and engage is powerful–in fact, it might be the most powerful form of mass communication yet invented. Whether this proves to be a good thing for the judicial system or not remains to be seen. But it is already a force to reckoned with for those involved.
The verdict is in, and Casey Anthony was found not guilty of killing two-year-old Caylee Anthony by a jury of her peers at approximately 2:15 P.M. EST.
The most-talked-about trial hit the tabloids, the newspapers, the broadcast news stations and the Internet. The infamy of Anthony’s trial — the winding saga of lies and deceit — has led to no real answers.
No one knows who Caylee’s father is, whether or not Casey was molested by her father, how Caylee died and why it took so long for Casey to come forward about her daughter’s death — and there is a strong possibility we will never know. In a trial with as much media attention as the Anthony trial and in the age of social media, the Casey Anthony case has consumed conversation on on Twitter and Facebook throughout its duration. As the jury reached their verdict today, she became the dominant topic of conversation as the prelude to her sentence trended worldwide.
Social media has played a huge part in how big the trial became in terms of public attention. Nancy Grace has received career-high ratings off of her coverage of the trial, quickly becoming the second highest rated hour in all of cable news (following “The O’Reilly Factor”) in early June. A recent “48 Hours” segment asked if Anthony could even get a fair trial due to her wide accepted renown. The show questioned whether any jury could hear evidence without the inclusion of the negative media bias.
Much negative light as been shown on Casey Anthony in social media ever since her mother Cindy Anthony first publicly mentioned problems on July 3, 2008 on MySpace alleging that Casey had stolen “lots of money” and that she wasn’t allowed to see her granddaughter. Over three years since the trial has started, social media users are still issuing tweetsabout the crazy antics of Casey Anthony, her tears, her seemingly involuntary tendency to spew lies and the circus that is her family.
It seems that with the not guilty verdict, social media’s reach isn’t so extensive that it can malign a jury against a defendant. The burden of providing evidence is still on the prosecution.
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