The Court of Public Opinion

With the acquittal of the murder charge as well as the child abuse charges against Casey Anthony, the internet erupted in a furor as the majority of commentators questioned how someone who, in their opinion, was guilty as sin, could be found not guilty. Did the prosecutors drop the ball and not present the evidence in a way that could sway the jury? Did the defense team pull miracles out of their back pockets? The jurors themselves have commented that they all believed that she is guilty but that the evidence presented was not enough to convict.

How does someone look at the evidence presented before them and decide they are not guilty of a charge and yet believe that the accused is guilty? The jury obviously followed their instructions from the judge and looked at all the evidence that was presented and made their decision based upon that. It was the right thing to do. Why do they believe that Casey Anthony is guilty though? If the evidence did not support their belief, why do they believe it? Do they believe what they see on CSI and expect all evidence to be as convincing as a television show?

Is it that the actions of the accused while her child was missing was inappropriate at very least? Was it that from what they saw in court that the defendant did not appear to be remorseful? Or did the general belief held by all who have followed the story that the defendant did it? Three years before the court case, as facts appeared in newspapers and online, people began to build their own opinion on what had happened, and their often ill informed views, spread out like a virus. In short, the public had already found Casey Anthony guilty before she had her day in court.

For the rest of her life, Casey Anthony will be viewed as someone who murdered her child and got away with it. Regardless that she has been cleared of the charges, she is branded for life as a murderer. Just like another defendant in a highly publicized case, where the evidence presented failed to garner a conviction although most people believe that O.J. Simpson was guilty.

Is it better to be found guilty of a crime, and then serve the time rather than to be accused and then either be found not guilty or if the case doesn’t even make it to court? While Iron Mike Tyson was convicted of rape and served three years of a six year sentence, and today can be found doing cameos in movies, as well as even having his own reality TV show. Craig MacTavish was convicted of vehicular homicide while driving drunk and served a year. Afterwards he would win several Stanley Cups as a player and go on to coach several teams. Leslie Grantham, Dirty Den in Eastenders, served ten years for killing a German taxi driver in 1966. This didn’t stop him from starring in the hugely successful soap set in East London.

Perhaps defense attorneys who look at a defense plan of getting their client convicted of a crime so that once they are released they will no longer be haunted by it?

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9 comments

  1. There was a lot of evidence to support this case, including a hair from the childs head in the trunk of her car, that was removed from the head after she was dead…the follicle is black if it comes out after someone is dead, otherwise it is clear or white. They tested the trunk of her car and the proof was there that a body had decomposed in the trunk. She wrote in her diary that she was scared but now her life would be better, etc. She looked up how to break a child’s neck on the internet as well as info about chloraphyl, which happened to be used on the child!There were so many pieces of evidence. I hope the lady she tried to pin her child’s disappearance on sues her butt off!
    Everyone says she has to live with it, it was not an accident and she has no remorse so she probably doesn’t even feel guilty! She did what she felt would improve her life. She is a disgusting, sick person who deserves to be in jail with people just like herself!

  2. Orrrrrr…we could recognize that we only get the details of the case that the media chooses to share with us, that we aren’t party to any really critical conversations between anyone actually involved in the case let alone anyone’s intimate thoughts, that we don’t actually know anyone involved with the case personally, that we may not actually have any training or real understanding of the laws of California and of forensic practices in general and so accept that we really aren’t qualified to pass any judgement.

    Then, instead of getting caught up in long-distance drama with people we’d never heard of, we might recognise the areas we might want to improve in ourselves and find that we have more time and energy to focus on the lives that we actually touch, including our own.

    Or not.

  3. I just think it is sad…if she didn’t want the child she should have put her up for adoption. No one should kill anyone!

  4. Sure, it is sad – although again there’s judgement without real insight. But your sadness doesn’t add or subtract from the event, just from your own life.

  5. …but if you took that sadness and channeled it into action locally – say helping teen parents develop their parenting skills, joining Big Sisters or something similar…that would be useful, as well as being very fulfilling work.

  6. in my books and many other she got away with murder hope she rots in hell

  7. Well Scott, I do a lot of volunteer stuff and help a lot of families in and around my community and my life is very fulfilled. I can have sadness for the loss of a child without it consuming my life. I voiced an opinion, that was what this blog was for. Funny thing is you are telling people not to judge but you seem to be judging…just my opinion.

  8. Good for you Valerie. If you’re working to be part of the solution, I’d say you’ve earned the right to have an opinion. That’s just my opinion/judgement/advice of course. ;-)

    I’ve got to ask though; do we really think it makes sense that any of us can know better than the people in the jury who heard every word of evidence and got to look the people in the eye when they spoke, knowing that we had a fraction of the information that they did? It just sounds like the definition of hubris to me.

  9. I think if she would have been given 25 years in prison instead of a death penalty the jury would have found her guilty. Nobody wants to look someone in the eyes and say we are ending your life! I have followed this case and from what I have read from reliable articles if they are correct, they had plenty of good solid evidence. Just no eye witness, and for the jury I think it was hard to believe and they just couldn’t put her to death. Just my opinion…Then again their laws are different there than here. Here with the evidence they had, her chances of being convicted would have probably been in the 85% range, unless her lawyer found some technicality. Just my opinion

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