Our criminal justice system more often does right by us, but there are times when verdicts come in that convince us that we’re in an altered state of reality. Such is the case with the trial of Casey Anthony, a young single mom who was acquitted for killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008, despite mounting evidence that convinced the vast majority of the country she was guilty. If you hadn’t followed the case, our sister channel Lifetime, will be airing all the drama in the world premiere of Prosecuting Casey Anthony, a story told from the perspective of the prosecuting attorney Jeff Ashton, played by Rob Lowe.
As a precursor to the premiere, we take a look back at some famous cases, in which the accused people were publicly perceived as guilty, despite their verdicts. Check out these famous acquittals:
“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!” Those were the words of O.J. Simpson‘s attorney Johnnie Cochran, who was referring to, among other things, the gloves that were used to murder the football star’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1995.
Despite leading the LAPD on a highway chase in his white SUV, Simpson quickly assembled a Dream Team of lawyers who helped him snag an acquittal. Ten years later, Simpson found his way in the public eye again when he came out with a book exploring the hypothetical situation of murdering his ex and Goldman called “If I Did It.”
Watch a mini bio of Casey Anthony’s verdict here:
When you have a case of an attractive young girl and an alleged sex tryst gone wild that resulted in your roommate’s murder, don’t expect your story to go quietly in the night. American college student Amanda Knox was studying abroad in Perugia, Italy in 2007 when her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, was found dead in their shared villa with a knife slash to the throat.
Knox claimed she was with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, that night and implicated a bar owner had killed Kercher. However, another man, Rudy Guede, entered the picture and was eventually charged with her murder. Although Knox and Sollecito were also charged with Kercher’s murder, the two appealed the case. Despite the Italian media portraying Knox as a Jessica Rabbit with a demonic streak, she and her then boyfriend were acquitted in 2011, thanks in part to faulty DNA evidence.
Bibbity, Bobbitty, Ewww. One of the more wince-worthy cases of our time, Lorena Bobbitt was tried for chopping off the penis of her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt, in 1993. Claiming years of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse at the hands of her husband, Mrs. Bobbitt told the jury she went over the edge when he raped her one night and thus, amputated him where it counted. Later that night, she reportedly took off in a car and tossed his decapitated part out the window while driving down the Virginia highway.
For reason of insanity, Bobbitt was acquitted, but the story took on a whole other level of strange when word got out that John Wayne got his manhood sewn back on and entered the adult film industry.
Trying to escape a loveless marriage, Baretta actor Robert Blake hired a hit man to murder his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley—so goes the Los Angeles prosecuting attorney’s supposition. In 2001, Bakley was shot at close range in the passenger seat of a car. Two men emerged, claiming Blake had tried to hire each of them at different times to kill his wife. However, due to lack of evidence and the fact that each man had issues with drugs and/or mental instability, the jury acquitted Blake on the charge of murder and the solicitation of murder. But like O.J. Simpson, Blake was found guilty in civil court and ordered to pay Bakley’s three grown children $30 million dollars. He later filed for bankruptcy.
He believes he can fly…more like fly out of court without a scratch to his legal record. Despite video evidence that rapper R. Kelly was sleeping with an underage girl and had child pornography in his possession in 2002, he was acquitted when the case went to trial six years later. Why? According to a Chicago jury, there wasn’t enough evidence to indict him, and by then, the presumed victim refused to testify against him in court.
Lifetime’s ‘Prosecuting Case Anthony’ premieres on Saturday, January 19th at 8/7c.
Be sure to check out Lifetime’s interview with ‘The Office’s’ Oscar Nunez, who plays Anthony’s defense attorney!