Nancy Grace

Stephen McDaniel

We realize some of you are getting Stephen McDaniel fatigue. We apologize if that’s the case, but CHECK YOU CALENDAR: it’s August.

Aside from the stock market craziness that could signal a second recession, and perhaps the London riots, we are in a slow news period. And the story of Stephen Mark McDaniel, the 25-year-old Mercer Law School graduate accused of killing a comely classmate, Lauren Giddings, is just about the most interesting story out there.

If you’re not interested in this story, nobody is forcing you to read our coverage (which we tend to put up after regular business hours anyway). But if you are as interested in this fascinating case as we are — and our traffic stats suggest that you are very, very interested — then read on for the latest developments….

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Stephen Mark McDaniel

In prior coverage of Stephen Mark McDaniel, the Mercer Law School graduate accused of murdering his former neighbor and classmate, Lauren Giddings, we alluded to several emails that Stephen McDaniel sent to some of his classmates. Some students found the emails, which reflected McDaniel’s conservative political views, to be strange or disturbing.

Thanks to the kindness of several tipsters, we now have copies of some of the emails sent around Mercer Law by Stephen M. McDaniel. We will now share them with you, so you can judge for yourself whether there is anything in this correspondence that is troubling or problematic….

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Stephen McDaniel

Revelations continue to spill forth regarding Stephen Mark McDaniel, 25, the recent Mercer Law School graduate accused of killing his former classmate and neighbor, Lauren Giddings.

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Portrait of the Accused as a Young Man (Plus a reader poll: innocent?)”

Stephen McDaniel

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….

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Stephen 'Hacksaw' McDaniel

In last night’s story about Stephen Mark McDaniel, the recent Mercer Law School graduate accused of murdering his former neighbor and classmate, Lauren Giddings, we tried to come up with a Nancy Grace-style nickname for the accused. Inspired by Tot Mom, Nancy Grace’s moniker for Casey Anthony, one reader suggested “Chain Mail Man” (based on McDaniel’s penchant for wearing chain mail to his law school classes).

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Plot Thickens: Say Hello to ‘Hacksaw McDaniel’”

Stephen McDaniel

I just realized that I share several things in common with Stephen Mark McDaniel, the recent Mercer Law School graduate who has been charged with the grisly murder of his former classmate, Lauren Giddings.

During law school, I served as vice-president of my law school’s Federalist Society chapter. So did Stephen McDaniel (under Lauren Giddings, who served as president).

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.

Lauren Giddings

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….

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* Has anybody considered pouring a Chernobyl-like sarcophagus over the Wisconsin Supreme Court? [WSJ Law Blog]

* If Mark Zuckerberg ever tries to sue Kash for stalking him, I’m sure a bunch of ATL readers will offer to defend her. [Not So Private Parts / Forbes]

* Intelligent design my ass. An intelligent creator wouldn’t have put genitalia on the outside where it could get chopped off by an angry spouse one’s trying to divorce. [Radar Online]

* This week’s Round Tuit perfectly sums up the Casey Anthony situation by finding the perfect picture of an outraged Nancy Grace. [Infamy or Praise]

* When legal historians attack: Gordon Wood v. Alison LaCroix. [University of Chicago Law School via Brian Leiter]

* It looks like this gay couple got a two year lease on love. [Stop the Deportations]

* Did you know that Above the Law has its very own LinkedIn group? You should join! [LinkedIn]

It has been a while since I took the S.A.T, but here goes. Nancy Grace: Casey Anthony Verdict; Valerie Katz: ________.

A. Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio;
B. Biglaw Spring Bonuses;
C. Closed Compensation Model in Small Firms;
D. All of the above;
E. None of the above.

Correct Answer: C. I, like Ms. Grace about the Tot-Mom verdict, am full of rage about closed compensation models in small firms.

A “closed compensation” model is defined as one “where partners in a firm do not know how much the others earn. While partners generally have a sense of how compensation is determined, they will not be party to the outcome by which individual compensation is arrived at.” An “open compensation” model, by contrast, is “one where individual partner compensation is known by all partners of the firm.”

A recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that almost half of all workers in the U.S. “are either contractually forbidden or strongly discouraged from discussing their pay with their colleagues.” And, 66.7% of the respondents to my salary survey reported that they did not know the compensation that other associates earn.

Why does this make me think “the devil is dancing?” Find out after the jump….

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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….

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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.

And so it begins….

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