A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Next Trial of the Century

Just when we thought that JonBenet Ramsey’s case would go the way of Judge Crater and other unsolved mysteries, it appears there is finally a break in the case. An American living in Thailand confessed to the crime last week and is now back on American soil waiting for the wheels of justice to grind slowly on. There are several outrageous elements to this latest turn in the case.

First the accused, John Mark Karr, got to fly in business class back from Thailand. This entitled him to champagne and a nice hot meal! Champagne for a self-confessed child molester! The news footage accompanying this report had the accused surrounded by authorities as he left the plane without any signs of physical restraint! I had an acquaintance years ago that, while serving a life term, had to be manacled at the hands and ankles, and a deputy’s shotgun in his back every time he so much as had a date in court. Now it’s champagne and no restraints! My, how times have changed!

Another outrageous element is the horrifying prospect awaiting all of us if this man is tried for the murder. (At the moment there are a lot of holes in Karr’s confession, and each new day brings new doubts to his story.) That prospect is the media tsunami that will engulf many of us if this case proceeds to be the next trial of the century.

If you doubt this, then let me throw this name at you: O.J. Simpson.

Remember that trial of the century? It certainly had sensational elements to it to qualify for the title “trial of the century”, although I wouldn’t group it with the Scopes Monkey Trial, or the Manson Family Trial. I believe the Simpson trial earned this title because it lasted a full century. Many of you will argue that it didn’t last that long, but only seemed to due to intensive media coverage. I would disagree: the Simpson Trial lasted 100 years. I know, because I timed it!

The media frenzy will be impossible to escape. I suspect every news outlet from Fox News all the way down to the tiniest journal will send their reporters to cover the story. There won’t be a hotel or motel room to be had in the entire state of Colorado! Then everyone involved from the judge, the attorneys, the jury members and court clerks to the people who open and close the doors for the accused will all get their own book deals!

Of course, Hollywood will step in too. The accused will naturally sell his life story to a film producer, but you can bet there’ll be at least three film versions of Karr’s story released. At least one of these versions will be produced and premiere on Lifetime. This is a given, even though it’s not required by the Constitution...not yet, anyway.

I can only see two winners out of all this. First, there will be the Bush administration. While everyone is keeping their eye on the trial, Bush and his pals will be free to upset the checks and balances even more without interference from anyone. Karl Rove is probably praising the heavens now for this amazing stroke of luck. He couldn’t have planned this any better, if it hadn’t just fallen into his lap.

The second winner could conceivably be John Mark Karr. He will either (A) get tried and convicted, getting free room and board for decades while his death sentence is appealed; (B) get tried, but found insane, getting free room and board in a mental institution for the rest of his life; or (C) exonerated by DNA evidence, released, and sign a book deal that will give him the money for the sex change operation for which he was starting treatment at the time of his arrest. The money for the operation is probably all that he is really after in the first place, but we’ll be the ones bearing the brunt of the media abuse.

Oh, I just remembered the Michael Jackson trial. That was another trial of the century, but it only lasted fifty years. All these lengthy trials make me feel 200 years old!

(More Chardonnay, Mr. Karr?)


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