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Am I really going there?

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Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2011 3:42 pm

Yep. I'm really going there.

But only because I've been asked: "What do you think about the Casey Anthony verdict?"

So - here goes. It's a touchy subject. I've ranted before about people or groups who I believe to be less than stellar examples of humanity and got some strong feedback. Some of it unprintable.

But this case is well-known that unless you live in a cave or on a remote island, you must have heard of it and you must have an opinion.

The million dollar question is "Was justice served?"

To which I say "of course not." There is no justice that exists for a murdered toddler. Whether her mother was found guilty, given the death penalty, or - as happened - acquitted, no justice was served. It's that simple. A young life was taken and we will probably never know what actually happened ... but justice? Nope.

Of interest to me is the fact that jurors are in hiding and actually leaving their homes and moving elsewhere because of threats from the public. Given the fact that this case brought about insurmountable anger and rage from the public I can understand a bit of animosity toward the jurors. It was high profile and heinous.

But the public needs to back the hell off.

The jurors did what they were brought on board to do. They listened to hard evidence; they saw what were likely some horrendous images; they heard a whole pile of speculation and theory. The jurors got what the jurors got. And at the end of the day, there remained too much reasonable doubt to imprison someone for life. No matter what the public thinks. No matter what Nancy Grace thinks. No matter what you and I think.

It sounds simple, and it is. And it is not.

I served on a jury for an assault case a couple of years ago. We heard testimony from the victim, witnesses and other acquaintances of the accused. The defendant never took the stand, which was probably in his best interest. But it was a felony charge that would have carried a long prison sentence if he were found guilty. The same thing happened, however, in the Anthony case: Acquittal. When we convened to discuss the evidence, the case, what we knew and didn't know - we could not prove that the defendant was guilty. A couple of jurors tried to find something to make it stick. But it was simply not possible. One said "Well ... I think he did something!" And I said "That may be. But you can't send someone to prison because you think they did something." And, to be honest, most of us were pretty sure he did "something." But the evidence was not there and the case could not be proved. I came away from that experience with a new appreciation of what juries go through.

And that's what our justice system is based upon. Many people have been wrongly convicted, many have been acquitted when it's clear that they're guilty of ... something. And some have been convicted on mostly circumstantial evidence and we're all pretty much okay with that (Scott Peterson right a bell?).

I think much of the world expected Casey Anthony would be convicted and would have been fine, or even elated, by that decision. The acquittal shocked me also, to be sure.

Is Anthony an immoral sociopath who put the needs of her daughter last? Yes. Is she a conniving manipulator who put her family through the ringer? Absolutely. Would I trust her with the care of any children I loved? Hell and No.

But the trial is over and whatever brand of hell that she's created for herself will continue to swarm around her for a long, long time.

Those who are angered by the jury's decision should redirect their energy. Next time you get a jury summons, quit finding excuses to back out of it. Quit making stuff up because you "don't have time," or "can't afford it." Stop backing away and step up. When they say "a jury of your peers," it doesn't mean "a group of unemployed or bored individuals who are out of excuses and may or may not be invested in the process."

Get involved and see how it works. Create your own definition of justice.

That said ... my heart breaks for little Caylee Anthony.

May she finally rest in peace.

 

 

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