Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Justice can be an ugly word

Unfortunately, there's just not much to talk about today except the travesty that was the Caylee Anthony trial yesterday.  This case has wrapped up the emotion of so many because every time parents across the country look at pictures of that beautiful little girl they see their own children's faces.  Add to that her demise was apparently brought at the hands of her own mother, the one who is supposed to protect and nurture her, and you've got a scenario that shocks the conscience and blows the mind.  The one person who is not supposed to harm you is your mother.  Mommas are supposed to fight to the death for their children.  They are supposed to jump between an out of control car and their kids; run into a burning building; dive into a raging sea.  They are not supposed to suffocate them so they can party a little more; dump them in the woods for the scavengers to pick at.  But here's the truth, as upsetting as it is: the jury got it right.  I hate that.  Every fiber in my body is nauseous at the thought.  As one who studies the law, I know our legal system is set up on a principal that 1) you are innocent until proven guilty and 2) you must be proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.  The evidence tells us that Casey Anthony is guilty of harming her daughter - but that doesn't mean it proves it.  Our gut instincts, they way we "just know". ... these are not legal doctrines.  The problem is there are light leaks in the guilt.  Tiny little holes that don't show until you put the vessel in water and she starts to sink.  There's no time of death.  There's no method of death.  It's not that there's no proof her hand wasn't in it, it's just that there are shadows all over the details, and the same loophole's put in place to avoid another Salem Witch Trial are the same ones that allow this guilt laden mother to walk away free (in some respect; she'll still have to serve some time for the minor charges they found her guilty of).  The truth is that Casey Anthony is a horrible person.  Horrible.  Disgusting.  Terrible human being.  Anyone who fails to report their daughters death for 31 days and parties during that time, knowing their precious little girl is dead (remember, she claims the daughter drowned and that she new about the "accidental" death in those days she was clubbing) is a wretch of a human being.  That being said, we've yet to make this a crime in our society - and we can't punish her through the legal system for something that is not a crime.  No doubt her life is still ruined and her treatment by the society she re-enters will be a cruel and unusual from of punishment.  For the next 50 years the name Casey Anthony will be synonymous with tigers that eat their young and there may even be a day that Casey wishes she had been put in prison or been put to death.  Imagine trying to date someone and saying "hi, my name is Casey Anthony".  Or imagine going on a trip and having that be the name on the ticket you hand to the boarding agent at the airport.  Imagine having a postman deliver mail to with the name Casey Anthony on it, or applying for a job with the name on your resume.  Everyone in the world knows what she's done, and everyone in the world knows she got away with something awful.  Even if she didn't murder her daughter, she did something morally reprehensible.  But the law is not about morality.  It's not about gut feelings and doing what the rest of the world wants.  It's about justice with in the confines of the law.  And the law says their can be no shadows of doubt, even fuzzy details.  Don't hate the jury, they did what they were supposed to with in the confines of our legal system.  The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the prosecution for failing to shine a bright enough light to disperse the shadows.  All we can do is hug our children this morning.  Hug them with all of our love and all of our goodness.  Hug them the way that Casey Anthony should have hugged her daughter.  Hug them like only a parent can.


  1. Well said. I was struggling yesterday between my horror at the outcome and my respect for the justice system and it's design to protect the innocent. The system has obvious flaws since we know that guilty have walked free and innocent have been punished, but it is the system we have and I respect the intent of it. I am so blessed to have my girls and I will raise them well in a world that so often fails it's children.

  2. My thoughts are very similar to yours. I was not as shocked as so many others by the verdict yesterday, but I most certainly saddened. You are right though - having to live with that name now will be a sentence in itself.

  3. I've read stuff about her since yesterdays decision, Facebook posts, blogs, articles. But none said it as well as you.

  4. " is better one hundred guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer."

    -Benjamin Franklin

    And that's pretty much how I feel about it.