Marcia Clark, Exploiting the Anthony Verdict for Her Own Sake

Marcia Clark. OK, this really isn't Marcia, but the real picture of her doesn't look like her either.

Marcia Clark’s article on the Casey Anthony verdict is so tainted with obvious conflicts of interest that it should have been rejected by The Daily Beast…or rather would be rejected by any website more selective and less shameless than the Daily Beast. This would be any fair site that does not deal in over-the-top opinion as a matter of course.

Marcia, like her colleague Chris Darden, is a rather tragic figure these days. The former lead prosecutor in the O.J. case is struggling to make it as a pundit, freshly botoxed and rendered almost unrecognizable so as to be fetching in those close-ups. After she sold the inevitable cash-in book about the Trial of the Century, she has wandered in the C-List celebrity wilderness, and will soon join Newt Gingrich and William Shatner as a celebrity novelist. She will be remembered, quite correctly, as the prosecutor who botched the O.J. murder trial, even if we give Darden an assist for the gloves debacle. (Why cable news shows insist on recycling failures as experts is an enduring mystery, the mystery being “how can the producers look themselves in the mirror after choosing recognizable flops over less well-known but more accomplished authorities?”)

But Clark apparently saw an opportunity in the Casey Anthony verdict to rehabilitate her tarnished reputation, and grabbed it. The result is “Worse Than O.J.!”, a new low in self-serving analysis.

You could write her piece right now—I’ll give you twenty minutes—and you’ll be 90% accurate. Clark uses the Anthony verdict to bring up all the factors that were lined up against an O.J. conviction and to point out that none of these confounding factors were impeding the Anthony prosecution. Her real motive, of course, is to make the case that lousy prosecution—her prosecution—wasn’t the reason O.J. got away with a double murder. If she has to misrepresent the legal system and impugn the Anthony jury to do it, well, that’s what she’s going to do.

This is a blatant attempt to avoid accountability for the Simpson trial fiasco, disguised as Anthony trial “analysis.” Clark has never accepted  responsibility for losing the trial that effectively ended her career, and “Worse Than O.J.!” is a particularly offensive attempt to continue the pattern. Sure, Marcia; even though the O.J. prosecution had evidence of threats, motive, prior abuse, a bloody footprint, DNA and more, the Casey Anthony case, which depended entirely on using suspicious post-death conduct to prove a murder without motive, weapon, physical evidence or cause of death, the jury’s verdict in the Anthony trial was worse than the O.J. verdict. How convenient. And how untrue.

Clark is quite literally the last prosecutor on earth who should be entrusted with a fair, dispassionate analysis of the Anthony trial, because she has so much to gain by making the verdict currently being (wrongly) compared to the O.J. verdict seem similarly unjust. The Daily Beast caps Clark’s article with this biographical blurb:

“Marcia Clark, the former L.A. district attorney who prosecuted the O.J. Simpson murder case, has since served a regular legal television commentator. She has written a bestselling book, Without a Doubt, and served as a columnist for Justice Magazine. Her debut crime novel will be published by Little, Brown in April of 2011.”

If it was interested in giving its readers the information they needed in order to give Clark’s analysis its proper weight and credibility, what The Daily Beast should have added was something more like this:

“Marcia Clark is the former L.A. district attorney who prosecuted the O.J. Simpson murder case, and is widely regarded by legal analysts to have lost the trial due to poor jury selection, mistaken choice of venue, a flawed strategy and inadequate screening of witnesses. Thoroughly out-lawyered by Simpson’s high-priced team of defense whizzes, Clark has been on a decades-long mission to cast the blame for the Simpson trial debacle on anyone and anything other than her own inadequacies. This article continues that mission.”

10 thoughts on “Marcia Clark, Exploiting the Anthony Verdict for Her Own Sake

  1. Harsh, Jack. Harsh, but true, nonetheless. (Maybe harsh is too harsh: How about ‘brutally honest?” “Unflinchingly truthful?”) Sorry about the parentheticals, as I truly do agree with you. But this is one of those “if I don’t laugh, I’m gonna cry” moments.

  2. I really didn’t understand her pedantic rant on “reasonable doubt” versus “reason to doubt.” I understand that the defense can throw in an alternate theory, but I’m having trouble removing myself from the perspective of the jury. To a juror, it seems like the same thing to me.

  3. So you would like us to use your opinions of Marcia Clark to lend merit to your own article? I believe your opinionated rant is the very such matter you are arguing against.

    • Claire, I have no idea what you are trying to say, and I doubt that you have either. Clark is using another case to deflect accountability from her bad performance in the case of her life, allowing a killer to go free. Of course the opinions I use in my own article lend (or don’t lend) credibility to the article. Obviously an article containing my opinions is opinionated. (It is not a rant. You will know it when I rant.) If you see any connection between the what my article is attempting to do: pointing out that Clark is exploiting another jury verdit as a back door way to make excuses for her own failings, and the intent of my article, you a) didn’t articulate it comprehensibly and 2) are out of your cotton-picking gourd.

  4. What about the Peterson jury. They had much less to go on and they at least deliberated and came to the right conclusion. He was a liar too but also they had the detective who got up and gave 41 reasons why it was Scott Peterson because there was no weapon, no motive, no DNA, no crime scene, no fingerprints, no eyewitness etc,. YET they had a brain in their heads!!!!! The looked at all the evidence…. not 11 hours and then you hear the stupid statement by juror number three who says “don’t you need a motive to know?” Did she not listen to ANYTHING….to any of the instructions? They put it ALL together…it’s beyond REASONABLE doubt not ANY doubt. You need to quit!

    • You need to read. I’ve explained this elsewhere on the blog. There was motive, the classic motive of a cheating husband trying to get rid of a wife, in this case pregnant, so he could have an affair. The Petersen case was superficially like Casey’s, but there was more of everything…and a different defendant. You can’t make cross case comparisons.

    • Addendum to the previous reply: the fact that another jury found another defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt says exactly nothing about whether the Anthony jury should have or shouldn’t have. What’s your point? Are you saying that there was reasonable doubt in the Petersen trial and the jury ignored it? I don’t think so. They didn’t have doubts. Would that jury have had the same certainty if they had been deliberating in the Anthony trial? Dumb question: 1) They wouldn’t get the chance 2) Nobody knows, including them, and 3) So what? In fact, there were a lot of factors in the Petersen case not present in the Anthony case—his attempt to disguise himself and the strong suspicion that he was preparing to flee, the discovery of the body in a body of water on which he used his boat, and the various suspicious items found in his possession when he was arrested, many of which were conceivably weapons. And there were the conversations with his mistress. I might have found him not guilty—I don’t know, But what that jury did or didn’t do is not any kind of argument regarding the Anthony jurors. I don’t know how you or anyone can leap to such a conclusion.

  5. I think the connection muffin is trying to make is that both the Anthony trial and the Peterson trial were both circumstantial cases. The conditions of Lacey’s torso when found was a clear case of homicide, as sadly her head and limbs were severed from her body and were never found. There was no way the defense could say it was an accident. Not too long before she died they had taken out life insurance policies or increased the coverage, I’m not sure. And, the recorded conversations with the mistress were condemning and used as evidence. I don’t think he had a snowball’s chance in hell going into court. What worked in Anthony’s defense, is that Caylee’s body had decomposed to skeletal remains so a cause of death could not be determined.

    • All true, but that wasn’t Muffin’s point, if she/he had one. Many cases are decided on circumstantial evidence–whether it convicts or not—DUH—depends on the circumstances. the fact that circumstantial evidence convicts in one case doesn’t mean different circumstantial evidence in a different case should convict too. Which is why his/her comment is not illuminating in the least.

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