The 1996 Summer Olympics were about half over on July 27. Spectators, athletes and reporters were enjoying a night out and reviewing the days’ events, congregating on the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park and listening to a free concert there. Sometime after midnight, a security guard noticed a suspicious bag and began to move people away from the area. The bomb squad was alerted. At 1:20 a.m., the largest pipe bomb in U.S. history exploded, showering the area with shrapnel. One woman was killed by the blast and a cameraman rushing to cover the explosion died of a heart attack. One hundred and eleven people were injured.
Sometime during my first year of law school I received, as a gift, a sweatshirt that says across the front of it, “On the advice of my attorney, my shirt has no comment at this time.” It’s a common sentiment. Just about any time that a person is accused of a crime or involved in a situation in which they might be the target of a lawsuit, they tell the media that they would really, really like to answer questions, but their legal counsel has advised them not to. It happens so frequently that it has acquired a slang name– ‘lawyering up.’
I have no idea if Casey Anthony was responsible for the death of her daughter. Partly, that’s because I have, somewhat intentionally, avoided media coverage of her case. Partly, it’s because after 11 years of being involved in adult criminal and juvenile delinquent cases, I know that unless you’re intimately involved in the investigation, prosecution or defense of those cases, it’s nearly impossible to have a good, solid appreciation for the evidence.