Railroading Ryder?

by Jonathan H. Adler

I have to say that I’m quite skeptical about Joel Mowbray’s claim that Winona Ryder didn’t receive a fair trial. Sure the DA’s office spun the case, and polls show much of the general public bought, but so what. The whole point of jury selection is to exclude people who cannot be impartial jurors because they have a serious bias, such as that which could result from hearing sensationalist news reports about the case. So long as Ryder had competent counsel, the fact that many people in Los Angeles thought the DA had better evidence than he did is largely immaterial. So, too, is the fact that the DA may have it out for Ryder, even he let other celebs off the hook. I have no reason to doubt Mowbray’s claims on this score, but they don’t demonstrate that Ryder failed to get a fair trial.