Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The system works

So after all this time, the Casey Anthony case is over. She was found not guilty (take this info with you when you go back under your rock). Naturally, almost everyone is up in arms about the whole thing. Twitter is all atwitter, Google Buzz is all abuzz and Facebook is some other adjective about activity about the lack of faith in our judicial system and how it failed this time and even how it is a failed system in the first place. Tongue-in-cheek comments are pairing Casey and OJ together while mourning for Nicole Simpson and Caylee Anthony. It's a travesty that she has literally gotten away with murder - is the general thought that adorns my Facebook wall.

Let me say now that I feel she's more than likely guilty. I would have like to see her actually found guilty and get the maximum punishment. I think what happened to that child is disgusting. I think something went horribly awry during the trial that she gets to walk on the murder charge and gets hit only with a few counts of misinformation or some such nonsense. The guilty party, whoever that may be, should be brought to justice. Those are all just feelings. That being said, my faith in the judicial system overall has not been shaken. Here's why...

When considering murder in the first degree, we have something called reasonable doubt. In this case, Casey was just squeezed through it. To keep innocent people out of jail or prevent juries from convicting based on emotion, reasonable doubt comes into play. Basically, it has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt that it was her. This means that a jury has to look at the situation and believe that there's no way this person is innocent. 100% certainty is required. If they can reasonably attribute the crime to another person then they cannot convict. First degree murder includes intent to kill and premeditation, which brings the stiffer punishments.

I've heard people sing the praises of the work done by the prosecution. I disagree. If it was that outstanding, they would have won. Maybe they left a hole in the case or maybe she's just innocent. So has the system failed? Absolutely not. Maybe the jury selection process needs to be revamped or maybe this particular jury was just terrible. It's hard to imagine 12 people all wrongly coming to the same conclusion, but I suppose it's possible. What is an alternative? The judge cannot impose judgment as he is an impartial arbiter and a servant of the process. He is not there to opine, plus as the one that levies the sentence it would be a conflict of interest for him to also decide guilt. Having a judge, as a singular entity, decide does not provide a system of checks and balances (something instituted throughout our government). Even at the level of the Supreme Court, there is more than a single position (9 to be exact). A jury consists of 12 members, very specifically. An even amount serves the purpose of allowing a tie and not having the fate of the accused held in the balance by a natural lean one way or the other. The point is that an odd amount means a decision will always be reached, right or wrong.

Did the system and framework not work as intended? I don't think so. I think it worked just perfectly. Further, I think the innocent verdict further validates our system. Despite all the evidence that she was guilty, they could not convict. There was no proof. It was not 100%. That means the jury weighed the facts and did not convict on emotion. I can only imagine that all 12 felt in their hearts that she was guilty but stuck to their integrity and went on FACTS only. While the evidence was overwhelmingly strong that she was guilty, it was not 100%.

So maybe the prosecution didn't seal it up. Maybe the defense was convincing to protect their client. Maybe she was just innocent. I can't imagine that she is. Regardless, there was no collapse in the judicial system today. Did OJ kill his wife? Maybe. The system found him innocent. People screamed from the rooftops about money buying freedom. Where is he today? In jail for other crimes. So, when there was evidence of a crime he was convicted. That just goes to show that the system works and comparing Casey Anthony to OJ doesn't hold water.

To further consider doubt, let's look at Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine. He attacked, nearly constantly, Jerry Falwell. He once said that Falwell molested a sheep and had sex with his mother. Falwell sued Flynt for libel - written defamation. The case was thrown out because of reasonable doubt. Nobody could reasonably believe that Falwell did those things and therefore it was considered satirical and not an actual accusation. What does this tell us in regards to Casey Anthony? It tells us that if you want to accuse someone of something and make it stick you have to make people truly believe it. You cannot leave room for the possibility that they did not do it. Not when lives hang in the balance.

The baby is dead and that is an awful and disgusting situation. Putting Casey to death or in prison forever while being unsure of her guilt is awful as well. I won't compare the levels of bad because they aren't parallel. I just mean that one wrong action doesn't beget another. Even if you live an eye for an eye, you have to make sure you're taking the eye of the perpetrator and not the person you believe did it.

I consider my point made here. I hope they find the killer if it is not Casey. Truly, I do. If it is her, then it's a shame the prosecution could not find the final piece of the puzzle to have her convicted. All I know is that I was not there. I didn't see the evidence. I didn't hear the testimony from the mindset of a juror. Truthfully, the only people that know what happened are the people present for the murder.

Oh, I also know that everyone reading this and even those that don't would be quick to scream if wrongfully accused (even casually). If anyone said "So-and-so told me that you cheated on your test/taxes/spouse" everyone would get pissed off and tell the deliverer of the message to mind their business/don't judge/you weren't there/etc. So, the institution of the courts and judicial system have spoken. She's been deemed innocent. For you to say she got away with murder implies you know something for a fact that the lawyers, judge and jurors should have known. If you do and haven't said anything, it's obstruction of justice and a crime in and of itself. How about that? If you don't then you're just deciding you know better having not been present for the event, the trial, or the deliberation. You can feel she's guilty (I do), but you can't decide she IS guilty. It's not our place.

One last note. 24 hours ago, the Internet was gushing with praise for the United States on our Independence Day. Support for our way of life, freedom, and our troops was a steady stream. Everyone was proud to be an American. Today, people are packing for Canada and have lost faith in the way we do things. Remember when I called you fickle not long ago? That's why.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW! Once again you make sense.. I never really thought about it in this way... they way I was looking at it is if she was guilty then it will come back around to bite her in the ass...