The Right To a Fair Trial
The right to a fair trial by an impartial jury is seen as an essential right in all criminal proceedings. But, with the mass media coverage available today to the general public, is any criminal defendant actually afforded a “fair trial?” Anyone watching the Casey Anthony trial likely developed an opinion regarding her guilt or innocence long before the prosecution made their opening statement.
The media coverage of Casey Anthony’s actions following Caylee’s death had been massive, making it near impossible to find a jury that was not already familiar with the intimate details of her case. The photos of Casey partying shortly after her daughter’s disappearance and the numerous lies she told law officers were well known long before her trial began. Even while the trial was ongoing, legal commentaries from all over the country were all too willing to offer up their opinion about the trial and what the jury would decide. Because of this, some believed that Casey Anthony’s right to a fair trial had been severely compromised.
But, based upon the verdict that many were shocked by, it seems Casey Anthony did get a fair trial. It would appear that despite all the media coverage, the jury carefully considered the evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defense and made a decision they felt was right under the circumstances. This is how the judicial system is supposed to work. A jury of one’s peers, listening and weighing the evidence presented and determining guilt or innocence based upon that evidence and not on personal beliefs.