Casey Anthony Trial
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In some ways, the Casey Anthony trial reveals the way that media influence, including the way it is presented online, affects public perception. When one looks at the pages and information that pop up when one searched for information on the trial, a great deal of attention has been given to the way that certain commentators in the media, like Nancy Grace, tried to focus on the inconsistent and, most would say, deplorable behavior of Anthony and the tragedy of the death itself to draw ratings, but far fewer actually focused on the objective legal facts of the case. Thus, when someone sought to find out about the trial, whether through television outlets or online, quite often they were presented with a sensationalistic view of the case, rather than commentary that revealed the problems that the prosecution had with its case, like the lack of an established motive or cause of death, the very issues that prompted the jury to acquit. However, because these issues, or other very basic legal concepts like reasonable doubt, were not given their proper coverage during the trial, most people were outraged with the verdict and believed that the jury had been made of ignorant people, when in reality, their acquittal seems reasonable in a legal context.
Ultimately, this shows the way that news coverage can actually mislead the public, even online. Because much of the content that populated searches was either as sensationalistic as that on television or focused on the coverage itself, rather than the facts and legal issues within the case, people believe that some terrific miscarriage of justice occurred. While that may be the case, if the access to the right information had been more refined, then perhaps people would understand how the verdict rendered by the jury is reasonable based on the actual evidence with which they were presented, and thus they had to acquit even if they thought Anthony was guilty of something. Through improved seos, those looking for information online may have been able to find it, and perhaps the public furor would not have been so great.