The first of the televised sessions in former President Trump’s conspiracy trial in Georgia aired last week and it was dull: Two of the 19 alleged conspirators arguing to have their cases separated from the mob and from each other.
It was an inauspicious start to what could end up being the most important court case of our lifetime.
TV pundits applaud the fact that the first trial in the case — scheduled for October — will be televised. It will guarantee “transparency” in the legal system for both sides, they say.
It could also be the most chaotic trial of our lifetime. For precedent, look back 10 years to Arizona’s Jodi Arias murder trial in 2013, reports the Arizona Mirror for News From The States.
It could have been an ugly, second-degree domestic murder, but was instead charged as a death penalty case by an overreaching prosecutor. It was hyped nationally by a cable TV talk-show host. It had an attractive male victim and an attractive female defendant, naked photos of both and X-rated phone calls.
Every minute of the trial, and all the salacious details, were broadcast live and captivated people all over the world.
Trial groupies stalked the attorneys and sent them explicit death threats. One expert witness checked into an emergency room because of stress. Other witnesses refused to testify at all, leaving jurors without information that could have changed the outcome of the trial.
The prosecutor posed with his fans on the courthouse steps and had an affair with an amateur blogger who allegedly helped him dig up dirt on jurors. A dismissed juror texted him photos of her breasts. Both he and Arias’ lead defense attorney, who self-published a tell-all book before Arias even had her appeal, surrendered their law licenses rather than go through humiliating disbarment hearings for things they did during and after the trials.
The Mirror reviews cases in recent decades that set the standard for "circus trials," including O. J. Simpson in 1995 and Casey Anthony in 2011.
The Arias trial was not the last to take hold of TV and social media. Earlier this year, the Gwyneth Paltrow wrongful-injury trial in Park City, Utah, made the headlines. Last year, it was the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp civil trial in Fairfax County, Va.