Ever since the acquittal of Casey Anthony, people have been wondering: What has Nancy Grace been up to? The prosecutrix turned pundit got some majormileage out of the Casey Anthony trial, which she followed with maniacal dedication. How could she top her gavel-to-gavel coverage of the infamous “Tot Mom” trial?
Earlier today, “Nancy Grace” started trending on Twitter. It was from Twitter that I learned of Nancy Grace’s second act.
You’ll have a hard time believing this, but it seems to be true….
On Saturday, the Macon Telegraph reported on a theory that Stephen McDaniel was framed for the murder of Lauren Giddings. This theory was advanced by McDaniel’s mother, Glenda McDaniel, who steadfastly maintains her son’s innocence. As commentator Kenny Burgamy aptly noted in the Telegraph, “A mother’s love is instinctual, unconditional and forever.”
Yesterday the Telegraph followed up with a detailed profile of Stephen McDaniel, looking at his childhood, family background, and college years. It’s a great read; check it out in full over here.
To whet your appetite, let’s cover the highlights….
In our coverage of Stephen Mark McDaniel, the 25-year-old Mercer Law School graduate who has been charged with the murder of Lauren Giddings, his former classmate and neighbor, we have repeatedly stressed that McDaniel remains innocent until proven guilty. We have pointed to past examples of individuals who were viewed by the public as almost certainly guilty of particular crimes, but who turned out to be innocent — such as Gary Condit and Richard Jewell, to say nothing of the numerous prisoners who have been freed thanks to DNA evidence.
It is therefore appropriate to ask at this time: Has Stephen McDaniel been framed for the murder of Lauren Giddings?
Let’s look at some of the theories — and the evidence — suggesting this might be the case….
In light of new evidence that has come to light, however, a better nickname has emerged for Stephen McDaniel. Until a superior option presents itself, the defendant may occasionally be referred to in these pages as “Hacksaw McDaniel.”
What is the basis for this new handle? Let’s take a look at the arrest warrant for Stephen M. McDaniel, which lays out the gruesome particulars….
Through the Federalist Society, I got to meet one of my heroes, Justice Clarence Thomas. So did Stephen McDaniel, who expressed his admiration for Justice Thomas’s integrity.
I once aspired to be a prosecutor and a federal judge. So did Stephen McDaniel, who hoped to serve as a prosecutor on his way to realizing his dream of serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Stephen McDaniel’s mother, Glenda McDaniel, once asked her son whether romance was possible between him and any woman. My mother has posed similar questions of me.
And this, thankfully, is where the similarities end. My hair, while sometimes problematic, doesn’t look like the result of “a grizzly bear banging Bob Marley’s mom” (as one ATL tipster described McDaniel’s mane). In law school, I wore khakis and button-down shirts to class, not chain mail (which doesn’t sound very comfortable). I have never been accused of burglarizing apartments (to steal condoms). And I’ve certainly never been accused of murder.
As we reported last night, Stephen M. McDaniel, 25, has been charged with the horrific murder of Lauren Giddings, 27, a bright and beautiful recent graduate of Mercer Law. Giddings’s decapitated torso was found on June 30. The search for the rest of her remains continues.
Let’s take a closer look at this deeply disturbing case….
Television news sources are reporting that Casey Anthony has been found not guilty of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, or aggravated manslaughter of a child.
Casey Anthony was found guilty of four counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers.
HLN, the news channel that has been covering this trial since it started, all day, every day, is having a freakin’ field day. Mothers all over the country are ripping their hair out of their heads. Nancy Grace didn’t just have a cow — she gave birth to an entire herd.
Is Jose Baez, Casey Anthony’s lawyer, the Latino Johnnie Cochran? Either way, he’s looking forward to many, many incoming client calls.
As I noted in today’s Morning Docket, Casey would’ve gotten some first degree murder for breakfast from me. Instead, all she got was a few slaps on the wrist.
Will we ever find out what really happened to Caylee Anthony? Sadly, I don’t think the answer to that question is yes.
We will continue to provide relevant updates to this post throughout the day as they arise. Refresh this post for the latest.
UPDATE(2:55 PM): Do you think Casey Anthony was guilty? Take our poll, and see how your fellow ATL readers voted, after the jump….
I knew the moment would come when I’d have to watch a full hour of Nancy Grace and I was not looking forward to it. The daytime anchors and hosts had been mere fluffers for Nancy Grace’s performance at night and there were multiple teases to her show throughout the day. For Nancy Grace is the shrieking televangelist of something called victims’ rights. In her worldview, there are saintly victims and black-hatted criminals who roam the earth, preying on the canonized. Previously, I knew she had been criticized for picking the wrong saints. While the Duke Lacrosse case had made fools of many, very few had been as brazen and unapologetic as Ms. Grace.
This, of course, made something like Caylee Anthony’s tragic death a sort of no-lose proposition for Nancy Grace. Caylee is dead and she’ll always be dead and all the wild conjecture in the world won’t change that heartbreaking fact. I planned to watch three solid hours of Headline News last night, starting with the full-frontal assault of Nancy Grace and giving myself two solid hours of cool down with Dr. Drew and Joy Behar.
So I sat up straight on my couch, turned the channel back to Headline News, and steadied myself for the onslaught….
On Sunday night, I was sitting on my couch eating Chicken McNuggets®, when Lat Skyped™ me. The following is a faithful transcript of our conversation.
Lat: Hey Juggs, I’ve got an assignment for you. Wait, why aren’t you wearing a shirt? Me: Why are you wearing a top hat? L: Touché. Listen, I have an idea for a pretty delicious story. Did you read that article in the Times about Headline News’s coverage of the Casey Anthony trial? M: I only read Mad Magazine. L: Okay, well, listen. Is there any way you can put on a shirt? M: *mumbles angrily and stomps off camera to find a respectable shirt* L: Okay, cool. Listen, that post you did about Jose Baez got some deliciously high page views. This trial is apparently through-the-roof popular and I think I know what you can do to cover it. M: Go on. L: I want you to… wait for it… spend a day watching Headline News. You watch the coverage, scribble down some thoughts and… presto! We’ve got ourselves a delicious post. M: Do I have to wear a shirt? L: Jesus, what the f**k is it with you and shirts? No. God, I don’t care. Wear whatever you want. Just watch TV and write down your thoughts. You think you can do that? M: Sure. I’ll be like Marlow, exploring the Heart of Darkness. L: That’s another thing. Your random literary references. They barely make sense and I’m pretty sure you haven’t read any books. M: Your top hat’s stupid. L: Okay, just do this. Ciao. M: Seacrest out.
Over the past few months, a number of you have written to us about A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar. It’s a critically acclaimed, independent documentary film about lawyers and the legal profession.
The movie made the rounds on the film festival circuit earlier this year, and now it’s out on DVD. Here’s a brief synopsis:
A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar… is a celebration of the law and triumph over adversity that follows 6 future lawyers of all ages and backgrounds as they undertake the rigorous and excruciating California Bar Exam while also dealing thematically with certain hot button issues in our profession. The [themes of the film] include, among other things, stress, big firm economics, substance abuse, law as a calling, frivolous litigation, bar exam economics, women in the law and other threads that you can likely intuit.
These subjects are all near and dear to the hearts of ATL readers. And there’s stuff in the film that ties into this week’s special theme, non-top-tier law school graduates:
The cast members run the gamut, from a former Marine who has taken and failed the California Bar Exam 41 times, to top and middle graduates of the Loyola and UCLA Law Schools, to a Latina activist from East L.A. who attended a non-accredited law school, to other diverse and interesting people.
Sadly, the film was produced before the rise to fame of Loyola 2L. But it features other legal celebrities, such as Alan Dershowitz, Scott Turow, and Nancy Grace — all of whom appear in this short clip:
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The Trust Women conference is an influential gathering that brings together global corporations, lawyers and pioneers in the field of women’s rights. Unlike many other events, Trust Women delegates take action and forge tangible commitments to empower women to know and defend their rights.
This year, the Trust Women conference will take place 18-19 November in London. From women’s economic empowerment to slavery in the supply chain and child labour, this year’s agenda is strong and powerful. Speakers include Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking and many other influential leaders. Find out more about Trust Women here.