Monday, November 7, 2011

CONFESSIONS OF A COURT TV ADDICT

On a normal weekday at three o'clock in the afternoon, I'd be waiting for Foghorn to arrive home from school and probably reviewing The Professor's homework load for the evening.  Hopefully I would have something in mind for dinner and if I'm really on my game, might even have gotten a start on any chopping or thawing.  Today, however, is a little different.  Why?  Because I am a CourtTV addict and an hour ago they announced that a verdict has been reached in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray.  (Okay, okay, I know it's not called CourtTV anymore, but I refuse to call the station TruTV and it will forever be CourtTV in my heart.)

If you're like my husband...or the rest of my family...or pretty much anybody I know, you don't give a flying flip.  That's okay.  I'm used to it.  For someone like me, though, verdict watch has all the anticipation of Christmas morning, albeit without any of the joy.  I don't take macabre delight in the misfortunes of the victims.  I occasionally get a certain thrill out of watching someone I feel is guilty get his ass handed to him on a platter.   Mainly I'm just giddy at the thought of finding out the result, kind of like reading the ending of a mystery novel.  I like having closure.  (And having sat through the entire first Phil Spector trial, you can imagine my disappointment when they came back with a hung jury.)

My mania for CourtTV started in 1994, on a trip to Hilton Head.  Yes, I spent time at the beach and eating seafood, but I also discovered, on that television in that cute little condo, CourtTV.  It was new to me.  And it was love at first sight.  I spent many hours munching Double Stuf Oreos and watching a trial of an at-home daycare provider accused of killing a toddler in her charge.  (I must say I normally avoid trials involving violence against children; some things are just unbearable.)  Not long after we arrived home, a certain guy named O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering his wife and, well, my CourtTV obsession began.

Over the summer I was glued to the Casey Anthony trial.  As with the current trial, I would record everything on the dvr and then try to catch up during free moments or after the kids went to bed.  Usually I would find myself way behind by the weekend and would stay up far too late catching up.  We actually went to Chicago during the Casey Anthony trial and it was all being recorded for me at home.  I tried to avoid seeing newspaper headlines and if anyone on t.v. started talking about the case, I'd stick my fingers in my ears and chant "la la la la" until my sister could change the channel.

I'm unlikely to ever be on a jury myself.  I have certain beliefs that would make a defense lawyer have an apoplectic fit (such as chemical castration or slow painful death for convicted child molesters).  In truth, if I did make it on a jury I would put my feelings aside and follow the letter of the law.  I would be fair.  I would also, however, most likely be pro-prosecution and the defense would hate me just the same.  I might also say that while I completely disagreed about the outcome of the Anthony trial (based on the evidence I viewed, not on my own feelings), I found it appalling that the jurors were left to fear for their lives.  It's hard enough to get decent folks to be jurors.  If people then have to fear recrimination if they vote to acquit, what type of people will be left sitting in judgment?

In the case of Conrad Murray, for what it's worth, I think he's guilty and his behavior was beyond belief.  I could also see, however, why the jury might acquit.  I won't think it's the right verdict, but I could see how they could come to that conclusion.  And I'll give you a little tea leaf reading.  Based on the fact that they only deliberated a little over 10 hours and based on the fact that they arrived at an agreement before lunch after a weekend off, I think they're finding him guilty.  I've been saying for weeks I can't believe you'll find 12 people who think he's innocent.  A hung jury would not have shocked me, but that's not the case here.  I think for them to have unanimously come to a verdict of not guilty they would have done far more deliberating.  That's just my opinion.  We'll see in less than an hour (she says bouncing up and down in her chair as she watches Michael Jackson's mother and father arrive at the courthouse).

I could be wrong.  I said very similar things about the Casey Anthony verdict, which left me with my mouth hanging open and stomping around the house for days complaining about a miscarriage of justice.  Whether I'm wrong or not in this case won't bring the victim back.  Unfortunately poor Michael was to some extent already gone when he died.  Someone who is completely stable wouldn't have done what he did to his cute little face.  I do hope for justice for him, but I also like to think he's in some other dimension, looking as he did in 1972.










2 comments:

garden2day said...

I swore off trials after the Anthony trial and was so overwhelmed with the Simpson trial. I followed the Anthony one almost from day one when the child was reported missing because of another FL case. I invested too much time and feel like I was robbed. I think most of us want to see good triumph over evil, but I'm not sure it does anymore. --- I feel your pain.

Mommy With Selective Memory said...

Haha my mom was ADDICTED to the Casey Anthony story...she stayed up all night reading transcripts of the trial!!