The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Proverbs 18:17

Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
Genesis 18:23

I had not been following the trial of Casey Anthony too closely. Bits of news from the trial had come across my Twitter feed, and I’d read some headlines that related to the case. Still, I was not emotionally invested into the case like others were. When the jury’s verdict was announced, and it went against popular opinion, it was interesting to watch a mob mentality form over social media.* People riled one another up and spoke as if they were legal experts and knew the inner workings of the trial.**

*Then again, when anything remotely newsworthy breaks, most people on social media chime in. Like when a celebrity dies, seemingly everyone on Twitter was that celebrity’s biggest fan.

**I may be just a tad bit skeptical of talk show hosts who feigned outrage over the verdict. A number of these hosts would say and do anything for an additional .1 in the Nielsen ratings.

I had two thoughts from watching this angst spill out on social media, and online, over Casey Anthony being found “not guilty” on three of the four counts against her. I’m glad these people aren’t my judge and jury, and I know most of them would have a different perspective if they were an actual juror on the case.

Most people are “positive” that she is guilty, yet to reach that conclusion they’ve had to make assumptions, about Casey, and believing the worst with the absences of information.

Now, I should be clear that I find some of Casey’s actions reprehensible. As a parent, I’m dumbfounded at her choice to not report her daughter, Caylee, missing. It is incredibly suspicious. It adds to the circumstantial evidence. However, that isn’t enough to find her guilty of murder. To be found guilty it has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt. That never happened in this case. For instance, Casey being a “party girl” is not enough to prove why she’d kill her own daughter.

Circumstantial evidence should not be the basis for finding someone guilty of murder. This hit home when I came across an article from the Omaha World-Herald yesterday. A 15 year-old boy was cleared of murder charges when right before his case went to trial someone stepped forward with evidence that appeared to clear the boy. The boy was accused of sexually assaulting and murdering his 4 year-old sister. The evidence before? It was all circumstantial, but the County Attorney still went ahead with murder charges on this teen. According to the attorney, the evidence at the time “speaks for itself”. If that was the case, then why when someone steps forward with new evidence is the entire case undercut? Because the case was built on circumstantial evidence and emotions.

The boy is now cleared of charges, but what about the lasting scars he’ll have to carry? Before he was cleared of the charges, his father turned his back on him and didn’t provide his own son with an attorney. Now what? What does a son think of his dad that did not believe in him?*

*There’s a boy, and family, that needs prayer.

Since DNA identifications started being used in the justice system, there have been over 270 individuals exonerated for their crimes. Since 2000, there have been over 200 exonerations. Those that were wrongfully convicted served an average of 13 years behind bars.*

*Statistics provided by Innocence Project.

While the American Justice System is good, it is not perfect. Numbers vary on the estimates of those that are found guilty but innocent, but let’s say the number is 5%. There are over 7.2 million people that are in jail, prison or on probation. 5% of 7.2 million is 360,000. 360,000 individuals that are wrongfully convicted.

We should always be seeking justice, but not be rushing to judgment, and wrongfully convicting someone, just so we can have a false sense of closure.

Alan Dershowitz said it best, with regard to the Casey Anthony verdict. “The system worked.”

It saddens me that we may never know what happened to Caylee Anthony. Unfortunately, it is common. There are now over 11,000 unsolved murders a year. What brought attention to this case was it was a young girl that was murdered, and her mother, who was young, attractive, and had risque photos of herself online, was the one charged with murder.

Let’s hope and pray that justice does come for all,  and that we aren’t blind to it when in an uproar over injustice either. We don’t need more innocent people presumed guilty.

One thought on “Justice & Reasonable Doubt

  1. I completely agree with you Robert. Better to let a guilty person walk free than risk sending an innocent one to prison…or death. If you are not sure beyond unreasonable doubt, it's not enough to convict.

    I don't think Casey or her father have been completely truthful with how Caylee died and they never will be. God knows. Nobody ever “gets away with it.” That is enough for me.


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