We’re going to get to the dancing in a moment, but first, can we talk about the justice system? It’s interesting! The verdict was delivered today in the Casey Anthony trial, and she has been found not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. Eek! Oof! That is one of those trials where no matter what the outcome, KIND OF A REAL BUMMER. Hopefully justice was served? The other high profile case, of course, is the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape case, which started falling apart last week (thank God! Just kidding!) when it was revealed that his accuser worked as a prostitute. Ugh. I mean, again, hopefully justice is served, and none of us want to live in a world where people are falsely accused and falsely prosecuted for crimes they did not commit just because they are powerful and wealthy. That would be a total nightmare. But also, and again, I’m no lawyer, but doesn’t it kind of seem like Dominique Strauss Kahn raped SOMEBODY? I mean, come on. Look at him. (Haha. Your honor, I REST MY CASE.) A French novelist has filed new charges against him, btw. More realistically, and less incendiary-ly, it’s just a shame for an important rape case to turn out this way because of how rape is such an under-reported and under-prosecuted crime, so things like this can only make the situation more difficult for women who have suffered such violent attacks. (Which is not to say the woman in this case was not violently attacked! We do not know yet!) All of which leads to last week’s HBO documentary Hot Coffee which uses the notorious Stella Leibeck vs. McDonald’s lawsuit of the 1990s in which she won a 2+ million dollar settlement after receiving third degree burns from a cup of scalding hot coffee. The whole movie is about how this case became the punchline of a million jokes and is representative of the widespread belief that the United States justice system is drowning in “frivolous lawsuits” when in reality this is a corporate campaign to deter consumers from punishing them for terrible and harmful practices. It’s a good documentary! You should watch it.

OK. And now, to the dancing!

There you have it. (Via Eric Appel.)

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Comments (65)
  1. Frankly, I thought Hot Coffee was going to have a lot more pixellated sexual intercourse. 1 star out of 4.

  2. Sure, this is will result in millions of Americans losing faith in the justice system, but think about the inevitable toddler riots!

  3. UGH UGH UGH to the idea that her work as a prostitute has ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING. “Your honor, the whore was asking for it.” Basically. UGH. This whole thing reeks of the worst kind of slut-shaming.

    • I think it has something to do with it, but not in the sense that she worked in the sex trade and was asking for it. That’s terrible. But the fact is, she did make a living engaging in illegal activity, which tarnishes her credibility. No matter what the activity, that would be the case. If it turned out that she was a bank robber, that would still make people question her credibility, because she has a history of willfully engaging in illegal activities.

      • I apologize that I don’t have much time too much in depth, but I think it’s quite obvious that the sexual component is a HUGE part of this.

        • I know that the reason it was brought up is PROBABLY the thing that offends you, the implication that a prostitute can’t be raped because they sell sex, and I agree that it’s a horrible thing. But that doesn’t change the fact that, even taking out the sexual aspect, it is pretty damning to her integrity that she worked in an illegal industry.

          • Why? If she told him no, or resisted, or was physically/mentally unable to do either, her being a prostitute changes none nothing.

          • You’re absolutely right. But if the argument is that she is being dishonest, then the fact that she earns a living participating in an illegal activity is pretty damning character evidence.

          • I can understand that logic, but traditionally when a victim’s sexual history is brought up in a rape case it’s done to shame/demean her so she’s viewed as a “slut” who was asking for it. The other facts being introduced, like her talking to someone about the benefits of pursuing the case, could speak better towards your argument.

          • The rad sex-positivity coming from Dennis Hopper’s character in Blue Velvet is kind of blowing my mind right now.

          • I know I’m probably going to be downvoted but facetaco’s opinions is completely full of shit. If she had sex with consent with others for money, why the fuck does that reduce her credibility? What if she smoked marijuana? Or had a shitton of parking tickets? I don’t believe for a second anyone who says the illegality of her past as a sex worker isn’t about judgment against someone who had chosen to use her body for whatever she wants.

      • “Your honor, the accuser downloaded an entire Metalica album from Limewire. There’s no way that dude raped her.”

        • “I mean who would rape a Metallica fan? GROSS!”

          That’s where you were going with that right? You’re a disaster!

          I’m sorry.

    • IF (this is a huge if) she worked as a prostitute, it might add some degree of credibility to his story that the sex was consensual. Couple that with what appears to be a series of lies about other things she told the investigators and the D.A. and it becomes really unlikely that it will be possible to get a guilty verdict.

      Also, I think you can plausibly look at the Anthony verdict as a rejection of slut shaming by the jury. The endless 10 second clip of the defense closing that was on CNN yesterday seemed to have been the theory that all the prosecution was able to do was portray Casey Anthony as a slut, which had nothing to do with a murder occuring.

    • Do you know that the fact of the (alleged) victim having worked as a prostitute can be brought up in court under New York Law? When I found out about that I felt sick. Like, of course you can’t rape someone who sells sex. Just like you can’t rape your wife. Or anyone who is wearing a short skirt. Prior agreement, men can’t control themselves, amirite? *CRIES*

      • I have to say this, and maybe it’s controversial, but having been or being a prostitute shouldn’t make your statements automatically disreputable in the eyes of the law. Lies are lies, but the presumption must be that every person tells the truth in court. Otherwise, the testimony of anyone with a prior conviction for anything (shoplifting, tax fraud, hell, traffic tickets) should be rejected. We all are capable of lies.

        • Agreed. But there’s a difference between a traffic ticket and making illegal activities your primary source of income. I’m not going to necessarily doubt the word of someone with several speeding tickets, but I am less likely to have faith in a person’s word if I learn that they make their living in human trafficking.

          • Then why do cops use paid informants?

          • Being a paid informant doesn’t mean a person is being honest. They’re acting for their own self-interests, not out of any sort of civic duty or sense of honor. Now if the police are getting information from criminals without offering anything in return, you may have a point.

        • I think in this case, her being or not being a prostitute isn’t the only reason the prosecution / police doubt her credibility. It also has alot to do with a series of lies she told them that they found out about and, as a matter of law, were required to disclose to the defense.

          In the american legal system there isn’t a presumption that any witness is or is not telling the truth. There is, however, a presumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. When a case hinges on a he said / she said version of events, damage to an accuser’s credibility for whatever reason will kill a case.

    • I feel like this is one of those conversations where facetaco starts getting a lot of flack for stating a documented occurence.

      No one here is saying the victim of a rape deserves it, or brought it on herself or anything, but it is an established fact that juries (and much of the broader American population) lose respect for women that do not conform to ultra-conservative norms of sexuality. Privately, individuals want women to sleep with them, but publicly these ‘loose’ women are not given the same respect by juries. In a similar way, people who are accused of prior crimes are typically less believed in court. It’s a common trick used by prosecution teams. It’s usually of very limited relevence to the case, but ‘goes to the character’ of the defendant.

      • I think the worst part of all of this DSK stuff is that that dude probably raped (totally) raped someone, just maybe not this particular someone, but now any one who makes accusations will automatically be in doubt. The same thing happened with Michael Jackson. He ABSOLUTELY touched some kids, just maybe not the ones who accused him.

      • I think it’s less flack, more thoughtful debate. It’s good to have these sorts of discussions I think, so we can all go away and think out our positions with a bit more attention to the fine details.

        So let’s continue! No one has work they really need to be doing, right?

        …yes, juries will form reflections of wider societal judgements. Pretty much accepted – although if you are really strongly opinionated one way or another (say, you are obviously racist) you’ll get kicked off a jury. So they are managed somewhat. And they are told to pay attention to the evidence (beyond reasonable doubt, be aware that the witness is under oath and is legally obliged to tell the truth).

        I just dislike the fact that mentioning things that are irrelevant to the case (in a strictly fact based legal sense) is allowed to muddy the waters.

        • Because I strongly object to the death penalty, as a juror I would automatically vote to acquit were that on the table. I’d also probably never make it past the selection process due to that very fact.

          • Are conviction and sentencing two different votes? In the hypothetical, you could vote for conviction and then during sentencing vote for a life sentence or something.

            I have no idea if that’s true, but I think so? I’m glad we got to the bottom of that very important issue no one brought up but me.

          • you are right… in any trial where the death penalty is even a remote possibility they ask the jurors if they could ever sentence someone to death. If not, you get booted.

            The ruling and sentencing are two different processes. Sometimes the judge does the sentencing even though it’s a jury trial? I’m not sure if the jury ever gets to sentence but every time I can think of the judge does it. With the death penalty there are so many appeals built into the system that half of the state would have a say before they finally killed you.

        • you are right, usually someone takes his opinion very seriously for no reason and then hijinx ensue

    • it’s simple logic…if a woman has agreed to sex in the past, any and all sexual encounters she has in the future are officially consensual. air tight. case rested.

      it sounds like a defense strategy Lionel Hutz would employ…only somehow in the “court of public opinion” it works? ugh.

    • A good Mans is hard to find.

  4. Oh thank god, sweat pants and vaseline is back in style. Just gotta pick up wool socks and I am set for my night on the town.

  5. The best Michael Jackson tribute video yet.

  6. It’s going to be a Thanksgiving to remember at the Anthony household come November! “Could you please pass the cranberry sauce? Oh, Casey, Remember when you waited for the start of a murder trial about the death of a member of our family to accuse me of raping you as a kid in a blind attempt to skirt prison? That’s why we don’t have your favorite candied yams this year.”

    • Candied yams are NOBODY’S favorite. That’s why you never see any other foods that are A) candied, or B) made of yams.

    • Casey looked so thrilled at the verdict, and duh, avoiding the death penalty and prison will do that, but I wonder what the hell she’s going to do when she gets released. OJ had money and some public support. She’s broke, no one would hire her, she’s shattered her family relationships, and has a bunch of housewives who were obsessed with the coverage up in arms with some weird vigilante rage. The concept of getting away with it and going free is a lot different than what her reality is going to be.

      • I think it’s fair to assume that she’s already in talks to appear on some sort of reality show. Probably involving her going into a lumberjacking business with Delta Burke and one of the kids from Kriss Kross.

      • Yeah I mean, there’s always the “I’m going to write a book.” idea. Honestly I think her best bet would be to immigrate to South America and work in an office for the rest of her life.

  7. MFK: Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony, Lizzie Borden.

  8. Cue the literally thousands of totally clever* tweets comparing the legalization of gay marriage in NYC to the legalization of murder in Florida. Twitter: Where Awful Goes to Die.

    *you know what the footnote is

  9. Somebody’s got a busy week ahead of him.

  10. As an Orlando monster, I’m just glad this shit show is over. Also, let me recap the already-emerging trends regarding the verdict: people OUTRAGED that she “got away” with murder; people DEMANDING a retrial/appeal; people INCREDULOUS at the terrible education system where kids know nothing about double jeopardy; people INCENSED at how she can confess to the crime tomorrow and “get away” with it because of double jeopardy; people (literally!) implying that they will KILL the attorneys/defendant/jury when they get the chance. Too much CAPS, people!

  11. How the fuck is Casey Anthony not guilty.

    • Like i understand that all of everyone is going apeshit right now about this, and ultimatley the criminal justice system probably knows more about criminal justice than I do (WHAT?) but i am genuinley confused with this outcome.

    • it only takes one juror to say “I have doubts that she did it” and the whole thing is over. Our legal system is based on the principle that it’s better to let some guilty people go in order to ensure that innocent people don’t get swept up. Unfortunately, there is still the increasingly rare and much less common than people think although one happening is one too many occurrence of people being falsely convicted.

  12. Considering how hard Casey went clubbing after ditching her daughter in a trash bag, I can’t imagine what the party tonight is gonna be like.

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