The public outrage over the acquittal of Casey Anthony has me, frankly, perplexed. I have been monitoring all the social streams, Twitter hashtags, Facebook conversations, and news outlets and the public is universally upset at the verdict.
The case against Casey was built entirely on circumstantial evidence. Let’s think about that. There was no evidence of premeditation or intent to murder her child. The State tried to paint a case for premeditation, but they failed to successfully do so. They never proved that Casey, herself, committed the murder or was even present when her daughter died. No fingerprints. No smoking gun (or chloroform). The State has a burden of proof – and they failed to provide that proof. Just a lot of interesting sidebars – a house of cards built on speculation and supposition.
Over the past three years we have seen intimate details of the Anthony household come to light. We have heard many rumors, speculations, and accusations levied against not only Casey, but every member of her family. It was a veritable media circus and Casey was tried and convicted in the courts of Public Opinion well before her case was brought to trial. We learned that the Anthony family was dysfunctional. We heard stories of child abuse, sex abuse, lying, and manipulation. We watched gleefully as the soap opera of the Anthony family antics played out for the world to see.
And, because there were discrepancies, because we decided that the Anthony family had questionable morale, we decided that Casey must be guilt of murdering her child.
Well, people, that’s not how it works. Just because we don’t approve of her lifestyle, or her family’s behaviors, does not mean she committed a murder. Remember, only Casey was on trial – not her father or her mother. And the State had to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that Casey killed her daughter. Beyond reasonable doubt.
I am genuinely disappointed in those of you who tried her and convicted her based solely on your opinion – an opinion presented to you by a sensation-driven media engine. You want your pound of flesh because you have assumed her guilt – and you never heard all of the evidence. You never participated int he trial. All you saw were snippets the media decided to share with you.
Protests, religious statements about her Final Judgement waiting for her, threats against the family – how our forefathers must weep and roll in their graves. Our justice system is in place, based on a presumption of innocence and burden of proof for a reason. It’s in place just so those of you with narrow minds and the self-assured conviction that someone is guilty because you don’t like them can’t derail the justice process.
The jurors in the Casey Anthony trial took their jobs very seriously. They reviewed the circumstantial evidence presented and concluded that, despite how they may feel about Casey, there was no proof that she murdered her daughter.
- Lies to a law enforcement officer do not mean she is guilty.
- Partying for a month does not mean she is guilty
- a messed up family does not mean she is guilty
Is Casey guilty? Maybe. Maybe she did do it and now a killer walks free. But the State could not prove it – and I would rather have a cautious legal system than an incautious one. I would, by far, rather set a guilty person free than hang an innocent one. That’s what the American Justice system is about.
For those of you who are convinced justice was not served – ask yourself what kind of jury YOU would want if you were on trial. Would you want someone like yourself on the jury – someone who KNEW without proof that you were a murderer? Or would you rather have someone like the jurors in the Casey trial – someone who weighed the evidence and made decisions based on that, and that alone?
I agree with you. Casey was not proven to be a murderer. There simply was no evidence; and the jury did their job. I could not have convicted her on the evidence I heard – hypothetically– and everyone in my office were mad as hell at me for not being to say she was guilty of murder or manslaughter. I was rather surprised that she was not found guilty of child neglect (or some type of charge like that – I forget the specifics) being that she did not report her child missing for 31 days. Is there a law requiring parents to have a reasonable idea about the whereabouts of their children? Is there a law requring parents to report when their go missing. Obviously not. If not, there should be.
You touched on a topic I did not. Should she have been found guilty of child neglect? I agree with you; she probably should have and I am not sure what evidence (or lack thereof) didn’t support that charge. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more about that in the coming days.
As a side note…I do believe that Casey may have accidently killed her daughter by giving her the chorophil??? to make her go to sleep and perhaps disposed of the body or someone she was with disposed of the body. I also think she has some major psychological issues going on. … she may not even remember what she did with her daughter.
While I was a little surprised by the verdict, I completely understand it. I paid very little attention to the trial and all the media coverage over the last three years but I couldn’t avoid it completely. I in no way think that I heard all the evidence, or even enough evidence to have a valid opinion. But the key phrase for me came from Dr. Garavaglia herself while testifying for the prosecution. In her expert opinion the cause of death was “homicide by indeterminate means.” If you can’t determine the means, it’s even harder to determine the guilty party. That statement would have given me enough reasonable doubt to acquit Casey Anthony.
Really good point, Dave. Many people say that was one of the biggest weaknesses in the prosecution and had they found the body earlier they may have been better able to determine the cause.
Thank you, Ron, for seeing through the circus. I too was outraged by the uproar surrounding this verdict. None of us were there when that little girl died. None of us were on that jury. None of us were in that courtroom. The general public is in no position to play juror, or God for that matter. I honestly have no opinion on the accuracy of the verdict, only on the validity. Casey Anthony was given her basic due process and that process concluded with a verdict of not guilty. We are all innocent until proven guilty. This right isn’t included in the Constitution, or any founding document. It is found in 17th century English Common Law. It is not simply the basis of the American Justice System, but of the basic human principles governing all of Western humanity. We lose sight of that. We feel somebody has to be brought to justice, when in reality, if we can’t prove guilt without a doubt, all we would be doing is wrongfully ruining another life. The fact of the matter is that our Justice System played itself out, and if we trust that system, we should trust its outcomes.
This was a fantastic piece, and as your fellow observer, I thank you for being in the minority and taking a step back from it all.
I’m glad you pointed out the fact that presumed innocence dates back to English Common Law. I should probably write more on the history of our due process at some point – because the general masses either never learned, don’t remember, or don’t care as long as they see their pound of flesh fry at the end of the day. (probably the latter, I suspect)