Friday, November 15, 2013
I'll be brief and to the point for once.
Nancy Grace was spewing vitriol as usual when I clicked onto her in my most recent session of insomniac channel surfing. (My senior piano recital is in less than thirty-six hours. For once in my life I have a legitimate reason for anxiety-produced insomnia.) This time. Ms. Grace was venting about a man who presumably killed his wife and children, but won't tell where he stowed the bodies. Ms. Grace does not like the alleged killer, nor, for that matter, do I like him.
Ms. Grace, however, bemoans the fact that the accused killer has retained or has been provided with the services of a defense attorney. Perhaps I missed something, but I read somewhere that Ms. Grace was or is a member of the Georgia State Bar association. Membership in the bar would have necessitated that she study state and federal law. In all of this study, did the idea that an accused person has to either plead guilty or to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury of his or her peers before being sent up the river? Does she understand that, according to the provisions of our constitution, everyone accused of a crime is entitled to a trial? Does she comprehend that every defendant is not only entitled to legal representation, but, according to the law, must have said legal representation in order to ensure the defendant's right to due process?
Is Nancy Grace merely pretending to be stupid, or does she, despite having graduated from law school, not understand the fundamentals of law on which our society is based? I'm not even objecting to Ms. Grace's disregard for the presumption of innocence (Google Richard Ricci from the Elizabeth Smart case for more information) when discussing the cases of the day on her TV program. It's just TV, after all, and not a court of law.
When Ms. Grace so blatantly promotes disregard for the legal rights in court, even of allegedly heinous criminals, is she sincere? Does she honestly feel that we should convert our society into some sort of Christian Taliban totalitarian state in which anyone accused of a crime has no legal recourse or protection whatsoever simply because of the nature of the crime of which he or she is accused, particularly if his or her crime is sufficiently noteworthy to warrant discussion on her program? Or does Ms. Grace know better, and is she merely playing a role that garners all-important TV ratings? Either way, I abhor what she is doing. It speaks abominably for our society that she maintains sufficient ratings to continue to be on the air.
In just a few years, Ms. Grace's twins will be in eighth grade. I hope she helps them with their homework at that time, as she most certainly needs a refresher course in the finer points of the U. S. Constitution. If the persona we see nightly on television is for real, her present working knowledge of the document wouldn't get her out of eighth grade, much less through law school, past a bar exam, and onto our television screens.