Mass Media + Legal Action = Failure
It's interesting how the Kobe Bryant case has washed out. Here's USATODAY.com - All parties share blame for a travesty of justice.
My take on this whole thing is that the Brits have it closer to right when it comes to dealing with criminal cases. There is a blanket gag order for all parties and even the names of the accused and accuser are kept a secret until the case is decided.
This has a couple of benefits, one is that the falsely accused are never destroyed by the accusation. Another is that the accuser isn't subject to character assasination.
Let me take those down one at a time... Rgardless of the guilt or innocence of people like Scott Peterson or Michael Jackson, the accusation alone causes damage to their reputations and future. Michael can take it better than Scott, but neither one of them comes out of this without taking a hit. In the Peterson case, Scott will never be able to walk away free and clear.
But as to the accuser, if you accuse a high profile celebrity, you are assured to have your entire past drug up by the media. Anything they find will head straight to the defense.
Would the public be harmed by missing out on this drama until i's finished? I think that the harm to the system as it stands is greater. Right now the media is making it impossible to get a fair trial.