Casey Anthony, Penn State, and why crime always pays

WELL, THAT didn’t take long.

Just four months after a Florida jury acquitted Casey Anthony of murdering her daughter, one of the prosecutors has released a ghostwritten book called “Imperfect Justice.’’ Jeff Ashton has retired from the state attorney’s office, so he doesn’t have to worry about prejudicing judges or insulting the police. Now, he writes, he can speak out – for the sake of deceased toddler Caylee Anthony. And for Caylee’s sake, I’m sure, his book has already been optioned for a movie on . . . can you guess the TV network? Lifetime, you say? Correct! Hollywood is nothing if not predictable.

This is the way the justice system works in the most spectacular cases: There is the legal phase, and there is the cash-in phase, and sometimes the two are concurrent.

Read the rest of the column from the Boston Globe here.

Casey Anthony vs. Nancy Grace

THE MOST striking thing about Casey Anthony’s acquittal on Tuesday was watching the crowd outside the courthouse in Orlando, howling at the verdict like a medieval mob that had been hoping to see someone drawn and quartered.

On one hand, it’s shocking to see such venom in people who knew neither Anthony nor the young daughter she’d been accused of killing. On the other hand, this is human nature: Faced with a wrong, we want somebody punished. Especially someone we’ve been conditioned to hate on TV.

And drumming up hatred was the purpose of much of the TV coverage of the trial – coverage that could be highly entertaining in a “Law and Order’’ way, but hardly qualifies as news.

Read the rest of the column from the Boston Globe here.