Like many people, I kept tabs on the on-going trial of Casey Anthony, the young mom from Florida who was accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony, three years ago. It wasn’t that I especially wanted to, but the hype surrounding the trial was tough to get away from. Casey’s picture was everywhere and the news of the daily court-happenings popped up through every media venue.
Accusations that Casey wanted her daughter out of her life so she could spend more time partying, painted an unflattering picture that tarnished her character from the start. I was curious how the whole thing would play out.
By the time the jury began deliberations, I was convinced, like many people, that she had killed her daughter, tried to hide her body, then finally dumped it in the woods.
But all the jury had to do was decide if the prosecution had given a strong enough case to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Casey had indeed murdered her own child. And when they came back with a “not guilty” on the first-degree, child abuse and manslaughter charges, my first thought was, “There’s something wrong with the system.”
As I was stewing about the injustice that had just been served, I switched the TV channel to Fox News. Not one of my favorite channels, but what the reporter said made me take a step back and think about what actually happened.
He said that we are lucky that the system works the way it does. We get to have our fate decided by a jury of our peers, who don’t listen to what is going on in the media, or what others opinions are and listens to the facts. It had to be proven, without a doubt, that Casey Anthony killed her daughter, and it couldn’t be done.
Did Casey kill her daughter? We may never know. But whoever did will have to live with that for the rest of their life.
Though some people may not agree with the jury, we have to admit that they did their job. They did what was expected of them; to listen for the facts and decide if she was guilty based on those facts. Obviously, they didn’t hear enough facts to convict her.
Personally, I hope I never have to be put in that position. I can’t imagine the stress that would come with having the life of someone put in my hands.
We’re lucky that we have the jury system we do, that our fate is not handed down by some totalitarian power who decides our fate for us. We should be grateful that we at least have the opportunity to prove our innocence, especially when deck is stacked against us.