Monday, March 19, 2007

TV Trial

Legendary record producer Phil Spector's trial is at last beginning in Los Angeles, four years after he was charged with murdering an actress at his home. Although high-profile televised trials are common in the US, this is the first big one involving a celebrity defendant since the OJ Simpson case twelve years ago.

For most defendants, as with Simpson, having it all on TV can be both good and bad news. Turning an apparently open-and-shut case into a long drawn out trial can help a famous person get off. But letting the public in on the whole thing means many people will inevitably believe that person is guilty, even if they're actually acquitted by the court. Simpson may have been cleared, but his reputation is in pieces, and he's never worked again.

But that won't bother Spector. Aside from a couple of tracks for Starsailor of all people, he's not produced a record in a quarter of a century. If having the trial on TV makes it more likely he'll be cleared, he won't mind being condemned by public opinion. He'll be able to go back inside his mansion and count his money. Getting the trial on TV could prove the smartest move the defence will make.

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