Today's New York Times features a grotesque hagiography of Nancy Grace—self professed undefeated prosecutor and Court TV star anchor. Nancy, flacking for her new book explains that she, unlike everyone else "speaks for the victims."
First, a note of confession: Nancy Grace is indeed, as the article suggests, personable. I've been a guest on her show several times and she's utterly pleasant.
But arguing (with a straight face no less) that "no one speaks for the victims" is absurd, and even offensive. Everyone speaks for the victims--there's not a soul out there who doesn't. Sorry Nancy, when was the last time you saw a crowd outside a courtroom rooting for an acquittal. Just doesn't happen.
On a related note: My last murder case was dismissed yesterday--not on any technicality, but because my client, who was in jail for months until a righteous judge let him out, was utterly and completely innocent. The case is a nice object lesson in why Nancy and her ill-considered if popular prosecutorial zeal is so dangerous. The first ADA (who himself wasn't as much of a zealot as Nancy) hardly bothered to review the mass of material that supported my client's innocence: Let the jury figure it out seemed to be his position. The problem is, as even Nancy might admit, juries make mistakes sometimes--especially when zealous prosecutors go after them mistakenly thinking that they are just there to prosecute rather than do justice.
Mercifully, a year later a new ADA took over. This one, a thoughtful sober ex-military guy, spent an extraordinary amount of time looking over the case and concluded, rightly that my client was innocent. He then had the courage to go all the way up the chain of command and get authority to dismiss the case. Justice was done.
Nancy's preferred version: Innocent guy goes to prison for life.
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