23. The Casey Anthony verdict
Date: July 5, 2011
Not since O.J. Simpson’s trail had a court case won the attention of the world like that of Casey Anthony, an Orlando, Florida, woman charged with murdering her two-year-old daughter. So when the verdict was about to be read, it was only natural that it would be watched by millions of people around the country. And we would guess that the overwhelming majority thought this would be an easy slam dunk guilty verdict.
But when it was revealed that the jury found Anthony not guilty, it came as a devastating shock to most people. There was outrage, grief, tears, and, above all, damn good television. Nothing brings Americans together like a courtroom setting, and this piece of live judicial sensationalism was perfect for a country starved of it.