Very interesting piece on the website of the Orlando Sentinel today. I suggest clicking the link below for the full article.
It turns out that a consultant for the defense analyzed more than 40,000 highly-charged opinions, both negative and positive, that were found on social media sites and blogs, and used them to help the defense craft their trial strategy.
“A perfect example was Cindy Anthony. People hated her when she admitted to the chloroform searches, but there were many who said she lied out of motherly instinct. They felt a kinship, especially mothers. In closing, the defense softened its approach and said she lied to protect [Casey Anthony].”
From the Orlando Sentinel:
“When bloggers and others in social media sites started to attack George Anthony about his alleged mistress, the defense team beefed up their questions against him,” said Fort Lauderdale-based consultant Amy Singer. “None of the bloggers ever changed their minds about him.”
The innovative pro-bono tactic by Singer shows how social media sites like Facebook and Twitter could revolutionize the way lawyers defend their clients, especially in highly-publicized cases like the Casey Anthony murder trial.
“This is the first time I have heard of this kind of consulting for a trial and it’s incredible,” said Florida A&M University professor Shiv Persaud. “It definitely might become a part of my curriculum in trial practice. We could benefit from a new type of tool we didn’t have before.”
“I’ve spent 32 years listening to people’s reactions to trial stimulus, but it’s never been anything like this,” Singer said. “This whole case was driven by social media. We really tapped into people’s minds and I think it’s a tool that should be used by defense and prosecution.”