Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Prosecuting the Beautiful People

New information in the Jessica Lunsford case reveals that John Couey kept Jessica Lunsford bound and hidden in a closet for three days, while numerous house-mates, relatives, lovers, and professional drug users, lived the life of the hedonistic glamorous glitterati in the exclusive neighborhood of Snowbird Court.

This has turned into a high profile case that poses some unique challenges for the prosecutors.

First, access to money. Defendants able to live this kind of lifestyle often have large sums of money with which they can hire the best attorneys to defend them. Even if they have lived beyond their means and lack funds, the high profile nature of the case attracts attorneys looking for the publicity to make a name for themselves.

Next, the beautiful people often have access to the press, where they can spin and counter-spin the case to their advantage. Ordinary people don't have access to do interviews that might sway a potential jury pool.

In the Lunsford case prosecutors will have to overcome a constant stream of people who were house-mates with the defendant being interviewed in the media. The stories of the prurient good life being lived in Snowbird Court will be breathlessly recorded in the press engendering feelings of sympathy and quite likely the awe struck extravagant veneration of ordinary people who will make up the potential jury pool.

Yes, in cases like this one, the prosecutors will have to have their ducks in a row. People just won't be able to envision these lovelies committing such heinous acts.

Ducks in a row.