The Verdict Shows Nothing

It’s yet another case where everyone was supposedly watching and most had already reached a conclusion.  We all felt that way in the O.J. Trial when he was acquitted of murdering people that he very likely had a hand in the death of.  The same has now happened in the trial of Casey Anthony, who had been accused of murdering her daughter, Caylee.  Most of the media and most watching had figured that she was guilty and people were watching this trial much the same way that people watched the O.J. trial.  The hope was that she would be found guilty and we would be able to move on with our lives.  The verdict came back and showed that she was not guilty.

The reaction has been that the system has failed and has let someone off who had clearly murdered her daughter.  There have been people that have shouted “Baby killer” among other things at the defense in the case and others continue to try to keep things alive.  I personally received an invitation to leave a porch light on to show outrage with the verdict and demand justice for this little girl.  People feel that the system has let them down, but I am wondering why.

Some of the hallmarks of our legal system is that we are innocent until proven guilty.  That needs to be stressed in situations like this one.  If we were caught by police and accused of something like this, wouldn’t we want to have the benefit of that provision?  Secondly, the proof must be beyond a reasonable doubt and those that were a part of the jury in this case clearly felt that the prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence that crossed that threshold.  If there is any chance at all that Casey Anthony is innocent, then she needs that protection in the courts as much as we would if we were in that same position.

Make no mistake, I for one believe that she was involved somehow and someway, but since I was not there when the deed was done and since I was not a part of the case itself, then I need to give the benefit of the doubt to the jury and to the judge in the case that cleared Casey Anthony of those charges.  She still faces other charges that she lied to investigators and that could mean more jail time, but beyond that, what has happened does not show that the system failed us.  What it shows is that the system works.

The system may not always work the way that we like or the way that we hope, but it works.  Clearly there are things about the Anthony family that are not exactly square with the accepted norm and there is a lot more there than any of us need to know about, but we need to see that the system has done what it was designed to do.