Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Casey Anthony Acquitted... Oakland Doesn't Riot

As most of you (if not all of you) have heard by now, Casey Anthony was acquitted of, well, anything anyone cared about. In a shocking post-trial twist, the citizens of Oakland, who have historically cared so much about ensuring justice is done, were quiet.

But then again, who cares about the death of a two year old girl? She probably deserved it. Moreover, Casey Anthony's conviction on four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer is much more satisfying than Johannes Mehserle's conviction of involuntary manslaughter!

In the end, I think we can all agree on one thing: Casey Anthony definitely didn't do it.



Blogger Laura said...

One would think law school would give you the ability to make an argument other than drooling sarcasm all over the place.

I'll bite. First (and obviously), riots over a death that occurred locally and as a result (many believe) of a community-wide problem (racism and/or police brutality) is obviously different than a one-off murder, however gruesome, across the country.

Two, and more to the point, while the public at large may understandably fail to grasp the beyond a reasonable doubt concept, lawyers have no excuse. Whether she "definitely" didn't do it isn't the issue. Whether she very probably did it isn't even the issue. In a case built entirely on circumstantial evidence, it really shouldn't be hard for lawyers to believe the jury didn't find her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

7/07/2011 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope we can also agree that Nancy Grace is a shithead.

7/07/2011 7:30 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

7:30, this blog has a long tradition of agreement on that point. Click here for a list of posts referencing her shittiness.

7/07/2011 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura, point number two, in fact, supports the post: Oakland is "the public at large," not a city full of lawyers.

I'm pretty sure the post isn't titled "Casey Anthony Acquitted... Lawyers Don't Riot."

7/07/2011 7:58 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I went to pub trivia last night, and one team was named "If I Did it 2: Casey Anthony Boogaloo." I laughed for about five minutes.

7/07/2011 8:02 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

7:58 -- my second point would support the post if the post was about Oakland rioting. That's not at all what the post is about.

7/07/2011 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, just when Nuts & Boalts had stopped publishing the ridiculous, racist shit that makes actual, current students ashamed of it... "Slam Master A," please take your Matthew-McConaughey-from-Dazed-and-Confused self and crawl back under the rock you came from.

7/07/2011 8:43 AM  
Blogger Toney said...

I'm in agreement with 8:43. We hashed out *why* Oaklandites rioted over Mehserle last time, and I believe even came to some sort of grudging agreement despite 1) an anonymous poster claiming African Americans have never been violently targeted, and 2) Patrick thinking I was justifying rioting and counter-violent behavior (I wasn't). Can't we let this go? If you aren't able to grasp the very subtle differences between these two situations, then maybe you should change your moniker to "Slam Master F", or "Lame Master A", or "Slammed Master, Eh?".

Also, Nancy Grace ranks right above Hitler in my "People I admire" list.

7/07/2011 9:16 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

There's definitely a long tradition of hating on Nancy Grace. In fact, there's probably more direct evidence that Nancy Grace caused someone's death than there was against Anthony.

Which brings us to Laura's point. This post isn't written by an Oakland mob, but a lawyer (a real one, not a sanctioned disgrace to the profession like Nancy Grace). I think it's upon us not to perpetuate the frothing at the mouth misinformation. I love sarcasm and satire as much as the next person, and maybe there are some subtle points worth exploring, but on the whole this post left me with a "WTF?" look.

7/07/2011 9:21 AM  
Blogger McTwo said...


Let me answer your two points. On the first, while the two situations are different, it is utterly ridiculous to riot over either, which this post effectively points out (by drooling sarcasm all over the place). On the second, I think there is a colorable argument to be made that the jury, made up of the 'public at large,' failed to grasp the beyond a reasonable doubt concept. You are correct to say this should not surprise lawyers, but more because juries do inexplicable things all the time than because the case was circumstantial.

7/07/2011 9:23 AM  
Blogger Slam Master A said...

I consider Armen having been left with a WTF look a victory. Post = success.

7/07/2011 9:37 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

Don't flatter yourself. Happens all too frequently.

"Summary judgment? WTF?"

"Hi, are you a summer associate?"
"No I'm a sixth year."

New Starbucks Barista Who Doesn't Know My Drink: "Hi, what can I get for you?"

7/07/2011 9:41 AM  
Blogger Slam Master A said...


7/07/2011 9:47 AM  
Blogger James said...

I understand that N&B has a history of trolling its own readers, but this wasn't even funny. It's just trolling. No need to get bent out of shape about it. Although, I had to laugh when McTwo jumped in to defend.

7/07/2011 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm not even going to touch the "utterly ridiculous to riot over either," although let me just say that you look like a naively privileged white man saying that (oops, I touched it).

More importantly, how are you going to make a "colorable argument" that the jury didn't understand the reasonable doubt concept when they acquitted in a case in which the defendant probably did it, but there just wasn't enough hard evidence? I love how you prosecutor-types always think juries are smart and the system works so well when they convict, but when they acquit, based on reasonable doubt, well, then, they must have just not understood the complicated legal concepts involved.

7/07/2011 10:02 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

To put it more bluntly, overwhelming evidence that you're a dumb whore is not a death penalty offense.

7/07/2011 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the always effective "you don't get race issues because you're a racist white person." Sweet, delicious irony.

7/07/2011 10:04 AM  
Blogger Slam Master A said...

But should it be?

7/07/2011 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


a juror interviewed by ABC News said this about the verdict:

"I did not say she was innocent," Ford said. "I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."

"I have no idea what happened to that child," Ford said.

sounds like they understood reasonable doubt pretty well.

7/07/2011 10:07 AM  
Blogger Toney said...

10:04: agreed.

10:02: you're out of line.

7/07/2011 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not out of line to point out when a white guy is acting like a ridiculous white guy.

7/07/2011 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent point: only a white person would think that rioting over the decision of a jury would not solve the problem.

Damn us stupid white people. Senseless violence is the answer!

7/07/2011 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, god I hate this part of Boalt. So we are all clear: the reason he is ridiculous is not, say, the merit (or lack of merit) in what he's saying . . . it is that he is white. What a bunch of righteous assholes.

7/07/2011 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dumb whore." Nice. I see your racism, and raise you misogyny. Homophobia anyone?

I know that a couple of my friends (who are, you know, actually students at Boalt) post on here. I used to think it was okay because they added a somewhat saner voice to the discussion. I don't anymore. To the (shockingly few) posters who are current students: your friends lose respect for you every time a member of your club posts this kind of disgusting stuff. Seriously, it reflects on you.

7/07/2011 10:30 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

I didn't follow the trial at all. Was there no evidence introduced that Casey Anthony was dumb?

7/07/2011 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7/07/2011 10:39 AM  
Blogger McTwo said...

I apologize for my male white ignorance on the issue of rioting.

James, I love you too.

7/07/2011 10:46 AM  
Blogger James said...

Hi 10:30,

Assuming you may or may not know me, I'd like to think that I wouldn't think worse of you for posting on this blog (albeit anonymously) simply because some other people on this blog post shit that I think is ridiculous. I'm also not sure what to make up this sort of "loss of respect" threat. Shoot me an email if you want to discuss this further (assuming, again, that I know you).

Of course, it's worth reiterating that this isn't a club and that sometimes individuals will post or comment in ways that not all of us agree with. Sometimes they'll post or comment in ways that I find offensive, ignorant or just generally childish. However, I find that I'm still able to distinguish the people who aren't offensive, ignorant or childish for the ones who are. No one here really exerts any editorial control over anything. There are pros and cons to that, sure, but I'd like to think my fellow students are intelligent enough to understand that distinction and to not attribute positions to me (or others) that don't have my name on them. I also find anonymous moral blackmail to be a pretty bullshit tactic to employ from someone who's so concerned about respecting me.


7/07/2011 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@James - You're not one of the people I was talking about; we're not friends. Of course I'll talk to the people who are my friends... that's what friends do.

But I thought it was worth posting publicly because it's worth having a broader discussion of whether the non-racist / non-sexist posters have any sort of responsibility for the trash they choose to associate themselves with. I think they do.

For example, you seem deeply offended by the concept that someone might lose respect for you --- meriting a thoughtful two-paragraph response --- but you don't bat an eyelash at "dumb whore" (twice). That's the kind of thing that makes people think you (and the other student bloggers) are okay with the sort of racism / sexism that gets posted here. That you share the "official blogger" byline (yeah, it sort of is an invite-only club) with others who regularly post this stuff doesn't help, either.

7/07/2011 11:48 AM  
Blogger McTwo said...

"If you think she is a lying, no good slut..." -Jose Baez, closing argument for Casey Anthony.

I am pretty sure that Armen was just paraphrasing the Defense's characterization of the Prosecution's case, not being sexist. He changed liar to dumb, and slut to whore.

7/07/2011 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McTwo, you are really just digging the hole deeper here. your argument/suggestion is worthy of Jose Baez in its gall (though not its success).

Armen was paraphrasing the attorney just like Casey Anthony's baby drowned in a pool

7/07/2011 12:09 PM  
Blogger McTwo said...

I read his comment that way in the context of this trial, but maybe you're right and it was just his personal opinion of Casey Anthony. I do not know Armen personally, so if you have greater context on his personality or views in that regard, then I am happy to defer.

7/07/2011 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mctwo, pleeease stop digging this hole. Greater context is not required to interpret Armen's phrase. Its not up in the air as to whether he was making an ingenious, substituted-word play or whether he just said something dumb.

He just said something dumb.

7/07/2011 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, McTwo is clearly digging a hole by explaining that a person used the phrase "dumb whore" because it was a part of the case for which the thread is titled.

But we should certainly all take offense to every word we don't like.

Dumb whore.

Stupid slut.


Yes, I went there.

7/07/2011 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah 12:29, picking up a shovel for yerself eh? Well, thanks for going "there." But you moved a little too quickly.

Firstly, Mctwo was not "explaining that a person used the phrase 'dumb whore' because it was a part of the case for which the thread is titled."

No one in the case said that. The defendant's lawyer used, different words, (stupid slut), in a particular context. No one in the trial said what Armen said.

What Mctwo was doing was making a pathetic excuse for his blogging buddy. This, as well as those other words, did not offend me (i am a male, though with apologies, I do not use words in order to intentionallu offend). I just felt god telling me to call out some bullshit.

Btw, when you said "Yes. I went there." Where did you mean? Every neighborhood bar in America?

7/07/2011 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fun game! i want in.




7/07/2011 1:02 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

". . . and you know what we're gonna' call it? . . . The ARISTOCRATS!!"

7/07/2011 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose the ultimate irony of extreme liberals is their alleged blind allegiance to tolerance (at least extreme conservatives are quite open about the fact that they are not tolerant of certain viewpoints... something that you should definitely be intolerant of!). And yet, when a person takes a differing opinion, well fuck tolerance!

This deficit is even more pronounced when a tolerant person, such as yourself, lacks the common sense to recognize sarcasm.

Holy shit! Someone made a funny at the expense of a characteristic that a person or group of people can't control! I have never before seen that in comedy...

And despite all this, and despite the fact that I am ashamed someone like you, who was clearly kicked in the head by a mule at an early age, is allowed to breathe the same air as me, I still believe your opinion (though entirely worthless and devoid of any redeeming qualities) should be allowed in this forum. Because that is why it's here.

7/07/2011 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Tyler said...

10:30, I was a Boalt student a couple years ago, and your post reminded me of something I didn't like when I was there—same thing it sounds like 10:21 and James don't like.

An ivory tower environment populated by analytical types should be a great place to sharpen your positions by testing them against colleagues that disagree. But people like you prefer to just dismiss people who you disagree with as (e.g.) "racist" and then socially ostracize them for their wrong-think. That way you never have to exert yourself and you can maintain your ideological purity, just like a Republican watching Fox News or Rick Santorum at Jerry Falwell sermon.

But you take it a step further than that. Seriously, re-read your comment: you are saying that if one of your friends *disagrees* with a person you consider "insane/disgusting" on this blog, you will nevertheless lose respect for your friend. Merely stooping so low as to argue with another person is enough for guilt by association to attach. Really?

I can certainly understand why you object to Armen saying "dumb whore" rather than "a woman who is sexually promiscuous and ignorant regarding the social mores about the proper thing to do when your child drowns in the pool or dies under other unexplained circumstances." So why not just say you object? Say that while such language is colorful and evocative, it must be suppressed because it tacitly encourages misogynists? Say it perpetuates the virgin/whore dichotomy and thereby oppresses women? I'd agree with you. Who knows, maybe even you'd get Armen to agree. Wouldn't that be a better outcome than convincing others not to dirty their hands by associating with him?

(P.S.: as a technical matter, I'm not sure but I think you too can get that little orange B next to your name if you sign up for Blogger.)

7/07/2011 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That I have trouble discerning the serious Nuts & Boalts post from these tourettic outbursts speaks volumes...

7/07/2011 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feeding the trolls means the terrorists have won.

7/07/2011 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those of you who are stunned by the verdict or who think the jury did not apply the law should consider this:

"The verdict in the Casey Anthony case reflected the lack of forensic evidence and heavy reliance on circumstantial inferences. There was no evidence of a cause of death, the time of death, or the circumstances surrounding the actual death of this young girl. There was sufficient circumstantial evidence from which the jury could have inferred homicide. But a reasonable jury could also have rejected that conclusion, as this jury apparently did."

That's Alan Dershowitz in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece:

That puts Laura in some pretty good company.

7/07/2011 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Tyler disliked about Boalt, I dislike too (and anyone who disagrees with me is naive and racist).

But I nonetheless find this post repellent. I mean, of course the Mehserle protests were about more than disagreement with an individual verdict. Who denies this? Whether or not you're inclined to justify the protests, or the violence that arose around the protests, the fact that nobody in Oakland protested this week does not reflect badly on the Mehserle events one bit.

So there's no real satirical point here. But what I find repellent isn't that, it's the statement, "But then again, who cares about the death of a two year old girl? She probably deserved it." Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems pretty bizarre to me that SMA has the impulse to ascribe such a horrifying attitude to "the people of Oakland." I'm not endorsing attitudes like 10:30's when I say that I see in this post a lot of anger and hatred toward a certain group of people.

7/07/2011 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"of course the Mehserle protests were about more than disagreement with an individual verdict."

Sure, but the point here is that protests about the Anthony verdict could be about "more" than just the verdict too. Take your pick: a flawed jury system, bad prosecutors, bad police investigations, tolerance of bad parents, etc etc etc etc

Nevertheless, there was no riot. People disagreed with a verdict, strongly, and there was no riot......

7/07/2011 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was no riot because most of us aren't three year olds who could potentially be the victim of murder caused by systemic bad parenting.

7/07/2011 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of us also aren't fighting and resisting arrest at BART stations.

7/07/2011 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of us aren't shooting unarmed, non-dangerous individuals in the back as they are pinned to the ground.

7/07/2011 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of us aren't shooting unarmed, non-dangerous individuals in the back as they are pinned to the ground.

7/07/2011 8:30 PM  
Blogger Jackie O said...

Sorry to change the subject from the inevitable Boalt race debates (wah wah), but I have a serious question about the evidence.

I keep hearing this business about "no evidence" showing a cause of death or even the circumstances of the death. But did we ever get an explanation for the duct tape? I can understand how the pool drowning defense raises doubt (though based on the other circumstantial evidence, I don't think that doubt is reasonable). But were jurors left to believe that Casey pulled her daughter's body out of the pool and then put duct tape on her face? I didn't follow the trial that closely so maybe I'm missing something here.

7/08/2011 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the inevitable Boalt race debates (wah wah)"

Score another one for the "Active Status" bloggers. Can I take a wild guess? I don't know who you are in "real life," but I would bet my LIFE that you're a white law student. I'm not saying a student of color wouldn't get weary of the way race is talked about at Boalt sometimes, but the contempt and dismissiveness of your attitude (or James', or all the others) just screams, "I'm a snotty white kid that's never seriously had to confront why this matters so much to many of my classmates."

7/08/2011 6:14 AM  
Blogger Jackie O said...

Yes, I have white privilege and am quite aware of that. I'll disagree with being called "snotty" but it's a good throwback word, so props on that.

I have frequent conversations with my friends about race, both in class and outside of it. I don't think race is unimportant and I'm not shy to discuss it. I just don't have conversations about race on a blog. It doesn't seem like the healthiest forum for the topic to be thoughtfully discussed and N&B generally proves that to be true. I wish my classmates would have these N&B race conversations with each other in real life. Things would go pretty differently I imagine. Hence the wah wah.

And I seriously want to discuss duct tape.

7/08/2011 6:47 AM  
Blogger L'Alex said...

Jackie O, I didn't follow the trial that closely either (what I did watch was on mute, see previous discussion re: Nancy Grace) but if I recall correctly, the defense put on an expert who testified that the tape was applied after the skin had already decomposed. That, combined with the shadiness of Roy Kronk (who found the body, but might have poked it with a stick / moved it / wanted to become famous from it) was probably enough to cast doubt on the duct tape being the cause of death.

7/08/2011 7:28 AM  
Blogger James said...

I was dismissive about race when exactly?

7/08/2011 7:49 AM  
Blogger Jackie O said...

Hm. So a stranger put duct tape on a dead body? Weird.

7/08/2011 8:33 AM  
Blogger McTwo said...

Yup! And a stranger did that while at the same time the mother went out and partied immediately following the disappearance, and also got a 'bella vida' tattoo, and lied to the police concerning the disappearance. What a coincidence!

7/08/2011 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that the duct tape was put on after the body was found because it was partially decomposed and all that was left was the lower part of the jaw, and they wanted to make sure the jaw stayed attached to the rest of the skull.

Kinda gruesome, but an explanation for the tape that doesn't point to murder.

7/08/2011 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You must be white.

No, just kidding, thanks for your response. You're certainly right that the Anthony verdict could be seen as representative of larger, bad phenomena, like the Mehserle verdict was. But I guess I still don't find anything illuminating in the fact that one verdict drew Oakland protests and one didn't, and I still think the comparison is disingenuous in an ugly way. Johannes Mehserle was a white police officer who shot an unarmed black man in the back, in Oakland. Casey Anthony was a vendor at Universal Studios Orlando who appears to have suffocated her daughter to death. Setting aside all questions of race relations in 2011 America, there is a lot of prominent historical precedent for the Mehserle incident (white authority figures facing limited or no criminal consequences for brutalizing or murdering black men); there is very little historical precedent for the Anthony incident (mothers facing no criminal consequences for murdering their children). And the Mehserle shooting was in Oakland.

It feels silly to spell all this out, but I think it highlights my point: The contrasting reactions are entirely logical and predictable, and suggesting otherwise unfairly paints the Mehserle protesters as indifferent to infanticide.

You (and SMA, et cetera) may think that historical precedent and/or contemporary racial conditions didn't justify the Mehserle protests. Fair enough; some here might call that opinion racist or naive or whatever else, but I wouldn't. But playing dumb about the massive differences between these two incidents really isn't productive, and can make people think things about you that I'm sure are not the case.


7/08/2011 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, 3:20 (and 9:19). I appreciate your thoughtful commentary.

7/08/2011 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"suggesting otherwise unfairly paints the Mehserle protesters as indifferent to infanticide."

Good comment (above), but I think you understate the perniciousness of the original post. It wasn't that it implied Oakland residents were "indifferent to infanticide," but (as I read it) that the outrage sparked by the Oscar Grant killing was illegitimate (i.e., that Oakland resident don't really "care[] so much about ensuring justice is done.")

That's what I found insulting about the original post, particularly coming from someone with (I'm guessing here) tenuous connections to the community affected and the anger Oscar Grant's killing sparked. It's like the poster wanted to say - "I want to take the occasion of the Casey Anthony verdict to reaffirm my belief that Oakland residents care more about Nikes than justice" - but didn't have the guts to come out and say it.

7/08/2011 12:39 PM  
Blogger Toney said...

I wish everyone here would quit being so Belgian. It's ruining N&B.

7/08/2011 1:49 PM  
Blogger McTwo said...

So is the point that rioting is okay so long as you care deeply?

7/08/2011 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are great reasons to right, McTwo.

You'll find many of them in the history of the US (and its inception).

7/08/2011 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riots are always bad. Just ask King Louis XVI.

7/08/2011 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How am I supposed to take a comment seriously when it begins with "You must be white."

I know it gets thrown about a lot, but that actually IS racist.

Also, I know a lot of latinos and Asians who aren't fond of rioting either, why must I be white and not some other non-black? Being against rioting over fair verdicts is a white thing I guess? I'll leave the racist generalizations to the experts I suppose.

7/08/2011 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You should be much more careful when you're talking about the sensitive subject of race."

7/08/2011 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, I know a lot of latinos and Asians who aren't fond of rioting either, why must I be white and not some other non-black?

Oh oh, I just learned something! In a Venn diagram of people who aren't fond of rioting and people who are black, there is no overlap!

7/09/2011 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think a lot of people are misreading others' comments here.

7/09/2011 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That's because we all went to law school. We've learned to read things into text that aren't really there.

7/09/2011 1:15 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Well, looks like we have achieved perfect understanding + racial harmony. All in a day's work at Nuts & Boalts! Good work all

7/09/2011 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

going back to the initial topic.

A really good article which also discusses issues:

7/10/2011 9:53 AM  

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