*Update*- There are indications on the internet that the article I cited as a good explainer was plagiarized from an earlier Tweet-thread by Natalie Whittingham Burrell: @natlawyerchic on Twitter. Ms. Whittingham Burrell’s thread predates the ATL article – she posted on June 2, per Twitter. ATL indicates in an Ed note that they received the draft article on June 3. So, while the language is different, the issues raised, the discrepancies cited and even case law references are the same. I’m going to leave my post which references the Warshow article on ATL, but I’m going to add links to the Whittingham-Burrell thread, which, even if it was not plagiarized, had the scoop on ATL. Also, Ms. Whittingham-Burrell included some photographs in her thread that are very useful for context.
I was only able to watch small fractions of the trial, and edited posts on social media often don’t shed much light on the subject, so I’m happy to share a more thorough analysis. Out-of-context clips can give one a lopsided view of a trial, when it needs to be seen in totality to truly understand the verdict. I found an excellent explainer from Diana Warshow on Above the Law that really digs into the allegations and the evidence presented to the jury. This is about the most comprehensive one I’ve seen, and it addresses many of the questions I’ve heard about why the jury found in favor of Depp, despite Heard claiming evidence of injuries.
One issue this article doesn’t get into is the likability of witnesses, which goes heavily to their credibility. Johnny Depp is a huge movie star whose testimony was generally well-received by outside observers, judging by the social media reaction. Amber Heard, while being a move star in her own right, is not as well known or successful as Depp has been, and her testimony was not apparently as well-received by the general public as indicated on social media. In light of the verdict, one suspects that the perception of the testimony, both from a likability standpoint, and in light of contradictions pointed out in the ATL article, the jury certainly found Mr. Depp’s testimony more credible.
I’m not taking sides on Team Depp or Team Heard, but the jury who listened to weeks of testimony had a clear winner in awarding millions more to Mr. Depp.
Again, Twitter commentator Natalie Whittingham-Burrell had an excellent tweet-thread with some reasons why Depp won.