A Word on the Casey Anthony… Thing

So you’ve probably discerned, from the slower posting schedule, that life here is pretty busy. Correct! But one side note.

I’ve not followed this Casey Anthony… thing. I take it that a young mother was put on trial for killing, assisting in, or negligently allowing her child’s death. I also take it that she was acquitted on those counts, convicted on some technicalities, and that the whole thing has become a media circus, with most people appalled that Ms. Anthony could possibly be acquitted.

Why? Outsiders know what they know of the case from what is actually hearsay, and beyond that, from snippets of the case gleaned from the press, which naturally prints (or shows) only the most sensational parts. Our legal system is built to avoid precisely the kind of decisionmaking that pundits and observers are relying on now, to convict Ms. Anthony in their minds. Unless you have watched an entire trial — watched, mind you, not read — it’s impossible to pass judgment on whether a jury reached a decision objectively, or reasonably, without fastening onto some specific quirk or irregularity, undermining the process. Those are the points appellate attorneys focus on; and they’re a far cry from the general “sense” of guilt that commentators tend to project onto Ms. Anthony, post-trial.

Questioning the product of a process that, so far, appears to have been conducted fairly, is a dangerous path to go down, and one that risks undermining the rule of law. Trials don’t always result in popular verdicts. It’s been that way since John Adams’ day. But we have to abide by the result, or challenge it within the system, not from without.

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2 comments

  1. A sane post on this subject! Thank God!

  2. Awesome post. And I have not followed it either, to the point that when I first heard about it last month I briefly had Ms. Anthony confused with that chick in Italy.

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