Legal Musings: The Anthony Edition

Maybe I should have gone to law school after all.   I called this one three weeks ago.

The nation seems to be in a state of shock over this Casey Anthony verdict; I am relieved that the justice system is working as it was designed to, that a woman was not convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death based on a circumstantial case.

The prosecution did not prove their case.  Period.  They were relying on the emotional upheaval and biased media coverage to ensure a guilty verdict.  Honestly, I am surprised they didn’t get one; however, once you are one of those twelve people holding another human being’s life or death in your hands, perhaps you are more apt to take “beyond a reasonable doubt” seriously.

The Murder 1 charge was just ridiculous, especially given the evidence.  Had they gone with manslaughter, the state might have gotten that conviction.  After all, Ms. Anthony was found guilty on four counts of lying to the police, which means the jury doesn’t trust her, and they probably think she killed her little girl, be it through neglect, abuse, rage, or even cold premeditation.  However, the state’s case was so poor that the jury had no choice but to side with the shady lying kid killer.  I know I wouldn’t want to be responsible for taking someone’s life if there was any possibility the child’s death was an accident.

Of course, I think the death penalty is inhumane- not because I want to protect sociopathic killers, but because it makes those of us who are not killers less human.  So, Ohio, if you call me up for jury duty, don’t put me on a death penalty case, its just a waste of everyone’s time.  (Does Ohio even have the death penalty still?  I think we do…)  I choose to maintain my humanity.

My point is this- the not guilty verdict doesn’t mean that Casey Anthony isn’t guilty.  It means the prosecution didn’t do its job.  Like it or not, the system worked as it was designed.  The justice system is weighted in favor of the defendant.  The burden of proof is on the prosecution.  Its supposed to be that way, to ensure that the innocent don’t end up serving sentences for crimes they did not commit, and as time and DNA evidence have shown, it doesn’t always work.  Innocent people have served life sentences; innocent people have been executed.  So I am relieved when the public opinion, when emotion, when the media coverage does not decide the case.

Besides, there is no such thing as justice when a child dies.  Nothing is fair, the world is not right, comfort is a laughable concept.  Children go missing, are murdered, abused, on a daily basis.  Most of them do not get national media coverage; chances are we don’t even notice them if they happen to be mentioned on our local news channels.  Justice is a figment of our collective imagination.  Caylee Anthony was a beautiful, special child; they are all beautiful, special children.  Be enraged about that.

I know, I know, I save my rare posts for the most random (and apparently controversial) things…