September 8, 2004


Secrecy proves costly (TIM RUTTEN, September 3, 2004, LA Times)

When the case against Laker superstar Kobe Bryant finally ground to its wasteful and melodramatic conclusion Wednesday, the prosecution's explanation boiled down to this:

Excessive media scrutiny and fear of more to come had intimidated a long-suffering young victim into forgoing her day in court. Over time, that conveniently pat conclusion will harden into conventional wisdom in the minds of many judges and media commentators. It will become, in other words, "the lesson of the Bryant case."

There is something to learn from this debacle, but it has nothing to do with media excess. The real problem in the Bryant case was not too much press attention or disclosure — inadvertent or otherwise — but too much legal secrecy. [...]

[Linda Deutsch, the Associated Press' special correspondent and America's premier courtroom reporter], who covered the William Kennedy Smith rape case in Florida and O.J. Simpson's murder trial, pointed out that, by contrast with the Bryant and Jackson prosecutions, both were carried out in full public view and ended in acquittals.

We've really entered cloud-cuckoo land when the acquittal of double-murderer OJ Simpson is an argument in favor of anything.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 8, 2004 1:48 PM

Aw, they're just disappointed the indictment was dropped and the trial of the century won't happen. Just think of the ratings and the excitement - young blond to testify against Kobe!

And all the crowds outside: "FREE KOBE!"

For this crowd, O.J.'s trial was high theatre; the crime meant nothing (except the bloody pictures were good props).

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 8, 2004 4:29 PM

The Romans had a better idea.

The successful gladiator got all the women he wanted, all the food and booze he wanted, he just couldn't ever leave the compound on pain of death. If he engaged in substance abuse to the detriment of his professional skill, he ended up as lion food.

Posted by: Bart at September 9, 2004 2:14 PM