Thursday, April 18, 2013

Alyce LaViolette: Expert witness for defence in Jodi Arias televised murder trial comes under attack by "digital lynch mob." Media coordinated avalanches aimed at guilty verdicts seen as dangerous trend by forensic psychologist Dr. Karen Franklin. Must Read. HL.

POST: "Digital lynch mob assaults expert witness in televised murder trial," by Karen Franklin, published by "Forensic Psychologist," on April17, 2013.

GIST: "Imagine you are testifying in a high-profile murder case being live-streamed over the Internet. Suddenly, an angry mob swarms all over you. More than 10,000 people sign an online petition urging a boycott of your lecture contracts. Your book gets a thousand negative hits on Amazon. You are stalked, and a photo of you dining with the trial attorney is posted on Facebook, implying unethical conduct. You even get death threats. That is the social media-coordinated avalanche that hit domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette, testifying for the defense in the capital murder trial of Jodi Arias. The unrelenting cyber assaults so rattled LaViolette that she suffered an anxiety attack that landed her in the emergency room. But the ER visit may only encourage the cyber-stalkers, who revel online over her discomfiture and obvious emotional deterioration over the course of seven grueling days of court testimony.........The domestic violence counselor had the audacity to opine that Jodi Arias was a victim of domestic violence -- that she was dominated and abused (physically, emotionally and sexually) by the man she eventually killed. Such an opinion bolsters Arias's claim that she killed her ex-boyfriend in self defense. Unfortunately for LaViolette, her analysis runs counter to the dominant narrative in a gendered morality play produced by media conglomerate Turner Broadcasting and distributed through its cable channels HLN, CNN and In Session. In this good-versus-evil melodrama, Arias is a psychopathic female who killed a morally righteous man in a fit of jealous rage. Period. End of story. Airbrushed out are all the nuances, the shades of grey inevitably present in any such violent tragedy.  The burgeoning infotainment industry has perfected a profit-making formula of sensationalized true-crime "reporting" that plays on viewers' emotions, whipping audiences into a frenzy of self-righteous indignation in which they clamor for guilty verdicts -- very often against female transgressors. Nancy Grace's shrill ranting over the Casey Anthony murder acquittal garnered HLN a record of almost three million viewers. More recently, HLN went after another woman, Elizabeth Johnson, suspected in the mysterious disappearance of her baby. ......... Nancy Grace, "Dr. Drew" and the other pundits capitalizing on such trials foster a false sense of intimacy by calling everyone by first names. They encourage vicarious audience participation on Facebook, Twitter, online polls and other social media. But this is no value-neutral production. This is an archetypal trope that requires a guilty verdict; as one insightful media critic noted, acquittals do not produce the desired catharsis."

The entire story can be found at:


I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site. 

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.