I was in college when the verdict came in at the OJ trial. I remember my dorm virtually blowing up with collective ire over the assumed injustice. Even this year I have heard people discuss the Simpson trial and get very worked up over that jury’s decision. Today, I watched my FB and Twitter feeds mirror the explosion of indignation when the verdict of “Not Guilty” on three of the four counts against Casey Anthony was pronounced. I have read statements rooted in hurt and dismay (“I hope the jurors sleep well tonight and don’t burst into flames!”), or were attempts to cling to peace in the storm (“I know that God is the righteous judge, and that Caylee is receiving perfect justice now.”), or that were on the very edge of legality (“On my way to Orlando with a shotgun and a shovel! Who’s with me?”). However, it is only in the last few minutes that I’ve read anything approaching what I am about to say.
Part of me is glad that Casey Anthony was found not guilty. After following this story, reading summations and excerpts, the fact of the matter is this: the prosecution absolutely failed to do its job. In this country 100% of the burden of proof is on the prosecution. The person charged doesn’t have to prove that they are innocent; the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged is guilty. That’s the entire premise behind “innocent until proven guilty.” And, in this case, the prosecution did not prove Casey Anthony’s guilt. They couldn’t even, ultimately, prove that little Caylee’s death was murder.
Casey Anthony’s actions while her daughter was missing (dead) were what convinced almost everyone that she was guilty (And just hang with me on that one for a second), but those actions make her a horrible… HORRIBLE mother, not a murderer. It’s like the defense attorney said, to convict a juror has to “have an abiding conviction of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” Let me be clear about one thing: I’m fairly certain that she is, in fact, guilty. But the case against her is almost entirely circumstantial.
Long story short, the prosecution could not determine beyond a reasonable doubt the cause or manner of death. Without the absence of reasonable doubt, a conviction can’t (and shouldn’t) happen.
However, there is another issue for me here. Consider this: According to a study conducted in 2008* (coincidentally, the same year that little Caylee Anthony was killed, or died), showed that there were 20,000 murders committed, with only 15,000 arrests made. Of those, only 14,000 actually went to court, and, of those, only 10,000 murder convictions were handed down. What that means is that 4,000 court cases resulted in acquittal.
Where is the ire and indignation over those 4,000 cases? Why is Caylee’s life (and the perceived injustice on her behalf) more important to us than these other 4,000? Is it because Caylee was so cute (God, she really was) or because she was so young and had so much life ahead of her? For my brothers and sisters in Christ, let me ask this, was Caylee’s soul more important than that of the other 4,000 victims who have received no justice Or, even harder to say (or swallow), is her soul more important than her mother’s?
The facts of the aftermath (whether Casey Anthony is, in fact, innocent or guilty) are these:
- Casey Anthony’s life will never be the same.
- Casey Anthony will almost certainly never have anything approaching a normal life (“Hi, I’d like to apply for a job as a sales clerk in this fine Target store.” “Ok, and what’s your name?” “Ummmm… Casey Anthony.” “Yeah, get out!”)
- Casey Anthony’s family will almost certainly be destroyed over this.
- Casey Anthony will almost certainly never live another peaceful day for the rest of her life, whether from guilt or from fear that the aforementioned “seekers of justice” will come for her.
- Casey Anthony, according to the rule of law, is not guilty of this crime, but she will be forever treated like she is.
It may be very true that justice wasn’t served today, but just imagine for a moment that it was you in Casey Anthony’s chair and you had not, in fact, killed your daughter. Aren’t you glad that we live in a country where your guilt must be proven and not your innocence?
Finally, I would like to share the advice of a good friend of mine. If you are convinced that Casey Anthony is, in fact, guilty of this crime (as, again I can’t say this enough, I AM ALSO) then the only justice Caylee may know this side of Heaven can be found in your voice. Take time out of your schedule to write, Lifetime (here), WE, (here), E! (here), HLN (here), Nancy Grace (here), Prosecutor Jeff Ashton and the other prosecutor’s (here), Defense Counsel Cheney Mason and the other defense attorneys (here) and anyone else that I can’t think of (or that you hear about) to let them know that you won’t take part of the purchase of ANY book, the viewing of any movie, made-for-TV or otherwise, and, if you want to be really hardcore, cancel subscription to channels that provide these. In short “Don’t buy their books, don’t see their movie[s], don’t watch them on interview shows. Capitalism isn’t the last line of defense, but in this instance it might be the only one.”
A couple of postscripts:
I have turned off comment moderation, so say what you want, but I will neither read nor respond. I meant what I said in the title; I’m just saying this one thing.
I really can’t say enough, I do think that Casey Anthony is, of not guilty, at the very least culpable in Caylee’s death.
Casey’s father creeps me out. Google that for yourself.
Regarding my questions to fellow Christians: As far as we can tell, no victory was had today. But no victory would have happened if she had been found guilty either. Satan rejoices at the death of the lost and the righteous equally. We should do neither.
I pray there is a special place in hell for the unrepentant killers of children. At the same time, I pray that those guilty will truly repent, and I am grateful that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
*Numbers are rounded up based on averages from a seven year study.