Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I don't care about the Scott Peterson case. Of course I think he did it. I'm not an idiot. But I really don't understand why I need to hear about it everyday. Except of course that an attractive honky gutting another attractive honky is more hand-wringingly delicious for the news than, say, the just plain sad trials of people poorer or darker.

That preface is provided so that you don't confuse my disgust over this for concern whether Scottie winds up strapped to a table, swabbed, and stuck.

Some background for those of your not playing the String Up Scott home game: A guy named Scott Peterson was banging some floozie much less attractive than his wife, even pregnant. Apparently he didn't think so, though, because he killed the missus and sunk her into a marina. Allegedly. So they're getting ready to put him on trial, but his lawyer wants to move the thing out of Peterson's hometown of Modesto.

Frankly, I don't blame him. I wouldn't want to work in Modesto, either.

But seriously, fuckers. There's obviously some absurdity to supposing that anywhere in California is less saturated by Peterson trial coverage than any other place, but like I said, this isn't about Peterson.

It's about the fact that the judge based his ruling on a study conducted by 65 undergraduates at The University of California's prestigious Stanislaus campus.

Apparently the court used a survey conducted and compiled by students of Professor Stephen Schoenthaler to determine whether more unbiased jurors could be found outside of the county than in it. Each student's participation accounted for 20% of their final grade, and required "dozens of lengthy long distance phone calls."

And in a development shocking to no one that ever took a lab psychology or statistics class in college, the crack reporters at The Modesto Bee cite anonymous student sources saying that a number of Schoenthaler's students falsified information on the surveys.

I don't know. Should I be more enraged that the courts consider a study conducted by undergraduates at some third tier California state school worthy of use in a capital murder trial, or that a university president and faculty member think enlisting the aid of 20-year-olds that couldn't get into Berkeley, UCLA, Santa Cruz, or Davis in a capital murder trial is a good idea?

And you wonder why they say you can't get a fair trial or a decent public education in California.

Analogcabin @ 12:32 PM
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