Jennifer Mascia

Jennifer Mascia graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2007 and has spent the last five years on the Metropolitan News desk of The New York Times. She is the author of Never Tell Our Business to Strangers.

Recent Articles

Came As She Was

Amy Winehouse joins the list of stars who probably died from untreated mental disorders.

It's a familiar scene: Fans gather outside a recently departed star's home, wailing the artist's lyrics, leaving cards and flowers, and watching as famous friends and relatives step out of the tabloids and mourn with the hoi polloi. Heartfelt speeches are made, suicide notes read aloud, and obituaries are written lamenting young life snuffed out, talent wasted, and the evils of substance abuse. In the last few decades, we've seen this happen to varying degrees with such musicians as Kurt Cobain, Bradley Nowell of Sublime, Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, even actors such as Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy, and River Phoenix; and in previous generations, the rock stars Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Sid Vicious, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin. Nearly every hard-drinking metal hair band can claim at least one fatality in its early lineup. Now, with her death on Saturday, 27-year-old soul chanteuse Amy Winehouse has joined the Gone Too Soon Club, and aggrieved fans outside her North London...

Can You Hear Justice Now?

In the age of cellphones, Facebook, and YouTube, does sequestering a jury make sense anymore?

(AP Photo/Red Huber) Casey Anthony reacts after the jury announced their verdict.
Imagine for a moment that O.J. Simpson hadn't penned a suicide note and hightailed it to the Tijuana border with a passport, a fake beard, and a map of Mexico as newscopters swirled above his head. Or that Susan Smith hadn't shed crocodile tears on national television while falsely accusing a black man of kidnapping her young sons. Or that Rodney King hadn't been beaten by officers on a videotape that was soon part of every newscast around the country. This Bizarro World may be difficult to conjure--say the words "white Bronco" and, 16 years on, people still know what you mean--but sequestered juries, such as the one that decided the case of Casey Anthony, a Florida mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, are routinely asked to discount sometimes ubiquitous pre-trial publicity in high-profile trials. That was hard enough to do in the early 1990s, when tabloid and court programming reigned and CNN replayed such scenes ad nauseam. But it seems impossible today, when nearly...