Justice for Casey Anthony?
If you’ve followed the Casey Anthony story, you’re sure to have an opinion. Any mother charged with the murder of her child will cause strong emotions in the public. And many will be holding their breath, waiting for the verdict.
It doesn’t matter whether you believe Casey Anthony is guilty or innocent, the requirement is that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt her guilt or else she has to be found not guilty. That was basically the task set before the jury as they went into deliberations. Ten hours later, they came back with the verdict: not guilty.
I’ve already heard a lot of opinions from people in the few short hours since the verdict was announced. Most are outraged. They were convinced that she was guilty and should’ve been punished. It’s a good thing that the court of public opinion doesn’t get to serve the punishment.
I agree that the situation is horrible. Any death of a child will cause strong feelings in a society. It’s just not right that something like that should happen. And Casey has not been the most pitiable of defendants. But we do have to remember the laws that this country was founded upon and that they are still in effect hundreds of years later. Because they work. Not all of the time and not perfectly. But they do work.
Jurys are admonished to find the defendant guilty only if the prosecution has proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt as part of their instructions prior to deliberation. The use of the term “reasonable doubt” is in place to prevent the prisons from being filled with innocent people who looked like a criminal or because they didn’t show remorse when they should have. Reasonable doubt isn’t the same thing as absolute certainty. No one can be absolutely certain of what another person has done, but instead it implies that the doubt must be based upon reason and common sense. Doubt such that a reasonable person would hesitate to act upon it. That is what the jury in the Anthony case has done. They viewed the evidence and testimony and decided that there was a reasonable doubt that she had committed the crime she was accused of. Does that mean she’s innocent? No. It just means that there was a reasonable doubt that she was guilty. And the jury gave the only verdict they could.
Whether you have an opinion on the case or not, it must be acknowledged that the court system is in place to protect all of its law-abiding citizens. Does it fail? Of course, because it’s run by fallible human beings. But most people would say it’s better than many other choices, including the vigilante justice of prior times. Justice isn’t perfect but it’s fair.