I read an article recently on the Orlando Sentinel web site that stated that the Casey Anthony case and the George Zimmerman case don’t have much in common.  They point out that the Zimmerman case already has empty seats, no sex appeal, no dysfunctional family, and no party/tabloid culture.  No Lifetime movie either.  The article also points out the sad truth that we are a tabloid culture, which essentially means we like to live our lives through lies filled with entertainment.  The Anthony and Zimmerman case have more in common than meets the eye.  The article falsely says that the Anthony case was a whodunit and the Zimmerman case is not, but the Anthony case was not a whodunit either.  The Anthony case was a “not a homicide” argument, completely different than a whodunit.

The Zimmerman and Anthony cases both involve “trial groupies”.  They both involve a question of flawed forensics.  They both involve questions about the investigation being fair.  They both involve protests.  They both involve cases that are not slam-dunks, but are being made out like they are.  They both involve the media and people on social media being irresponsible with their words.  They both involve victims that tug at our hearts.  Of course, every trial these days involves “armchair” and “keyboard” detectives.

One of the major differences, which the article doesn’t point out, is that Zimmerman doesn’t have any mental competency issues, but there were major issues with Casey Anthony’s mental state and still lingering questions about it.  The OS article points out that people cared so little for what the Anthony trial was really about that they turned it into a tourist attraction, pulling them from Disney to see it.  I find it sad that for a case the magnitude of Zimmerman’s, which includes the definition of self-defense and also has been used to attach political significance (like gun control debates and racial debates) doesn’t draw more people from “Disney”.  Trials seem to be a new fad to keep people diverted from their lives.  Something for people to attach all of their frustrations to and attack with fervor and hatred in order to make themselves feel more relieved.

Court trials aren’t supposed to be some kind of “tourist” attraction.  Our rights are not amusement. 

The article goes on to say that the lull in “Zimmerman gawkers” is because of jury selection being boring.  Yes, jury selection is “dry”, but we all should be relieved that there wasn’t some mentally ill woman yelling, “She killed someone anyway!” during jury selection.  That’s a lot of money and time wasted on those jurors who were exposed to that prejudice.  George Zimmerman’s case did have two stealth jurors though.

The article also points out exactly what the media goes for in every case, who is the villain?

The article states “Casey was easy to cast as a villain.  Remember the party pictures taken while her 2-year-old was missing?”

I won’t get into the particulars of that discussion, but the point is that even though 98% of the media has tried to cast Zimmerman as a villain, due to the influx of personal pursuits, such as guns, people have a more vested interest, so they are divided more equally.  My issue is that every case is important and every case has a vested interest for you, you just don’t realize it.  And most cases lack a true “Hollywood” villain because people are complicated and complex sentient beings; this actually includes the Anthony case.  Speaking of television villains, we should all be happy that Nancy Grace won’t be taking her deceitful coverage to the next level in George Zimmerman’s case.  It’s not her kind of case after all.  She couldn’t think of a bullying nickname for him, so she couldn’t cover it.

It is true that Casey Anthony was an easier target for people to believe she was some kind of villain because the case involved a child’s death and Jodi Arias was an easier target yet because of her narcissism and the ferocious attack that she admitted to.  Zimmerman just isn’t as easy for people to detach from, so it doesn’t excite people as much.

People go for the easy answer in everything including criminal cases, just like the media does.  Whatever opinion can be summarized faster into sound bytes and phrases and headlines is what is said because it is concise and fast to understand (not necessarily accurate).  This is due to the instant gratification phenomenon.  People’s lives shouldn’t be decided as fast as you order some fries.

The Zimmerman case has no easy answer.  We all need to face it, as a society, we are neither that compassionate nor open-minded.  We let our emotions get away with us too fast and we make split decisions.  Emotional decisions usually don’t end that well.  That’s why we have a bullying epidemic, that’s why we have wrongful convictions, that’s why we have politicians who only look out for their own interests, that’s why we have laws that allow the government to snoop on non-suspects, and that’s why we have social media trials.

Trials are not meant to be entertainment, so the media has to make it so in order to attract viewers in the competitive race for advertisement money.  That’s another similarity; the media has done a lot of speculation analysis on the evidence.  In the Zimmerman case, for example, NBC edited the 911-call making Zimmerman appear racist, which of course, lit a firestorm around the case, exactly what the media wanted.  Just like in the Anthony case with the over usage and speculation about the party pictures and the complete false mantra of “31 days of partying.”

Money makes the world go round, but what kind of world is it?


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