“Not guilty doesn’t mean innocent.”
I’ve always said justice is deaf, dumb and blind, and once again I’ve been proven right. In a case that’s been a national media monster for the last three years, jurors Tuesday, after only eleven hours of deliberation, found Casey Anthony not guilty of the first degree murder of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.
Across the nation a collective gasp of disbelieve greeted the verdict. Not since the “if it don’t fit you can’t convict” O.J. Simpson trial has a juries decision caused such an uproar! I mean the media, led by Nancy Grace the outspoken American legal commentator and television host who brought the Caylee story to the nations attention, had Casey, tried, convicted and executed since long before the trial even started. The trial was only suppose to be a formality! It just goes to prove, there is no such thing as a sure thing.
Welcome to Justice in America my friends, where at times guilty defendants go free and not guilty defendants go to prison, or are even put to death. Obviously there are some very serious flaws in our judicial system and the administration of justice, but our justice system is founded on one key premise, “innocent until proven guilty.” Although Casey may have been found guilty in the eyes of the media and the public, she was presumed innocent in the eyes of the law. The prosecution was charged with the burden of proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Casey had indeed murdered her daughter.
The prosecution failed to do this adequately. Jurors were simply not convinced. They went into deliberation with more questions than answers. One key question that was never answered to their satisfaction was the manner in which Caylee died. No clear method or motive was ever established by the prosecution. All it takes is one juror with reasonable doubt to hang a jury. In the Casey Anthony case several jurors had their doubts, after only an hour of deliberation, jurors voted 10 to 2 for acquittal on their first vote. Ten hours later Casey’s acquittal was unanimous!
However prosecutors were successful in convincing jurors that Casey is a liar. They hammered away on the lies Anthony told about when her daughter was last seen, and why she wasn’t reported missing for a month. Casey offered a number of stories to investigators including telling her parents she couldn’t produce Caylee because the girl was with a nonexistent nanny, that she and her daughter were spending time in Florida with a nonexistent boyfriend and that the nanny had been hospitalized after an out-of-town traffic accident and she and her daughter were spending time with her. Jurors convicted her of four counts of lying to investigators about the disappearance of her daughter. She could receive up to a year in jail for each lying count. She will be sentenced today. There is a strong possibility Casey could be released as early as next week.
There it is. The controversial case has closed with a highly controversial verdict. Casey cannot be tried again.
Having been a juror I believe the jury in this case followed the letter of the law and for all intent and purpose came to the right conclusion. Before deliberation the judge instructs the jury on presumption of innocence. The burden of proof rest with the prosecution. If they do not convince a juror beyond a reasonable doubt, a juror, in good conscience cannot find a defendant guilty. It’s that simple. Your verdict must not rest upon baseless speculations or influenced in any way by bias, prejudice, sympathy, or by a desire to bring an end to your deliberations. If there is even the slightest doubt, you must vote not guilty.
Is Casey guilty? Did she kill her daughter? Did she just get away with murder? Maybe. We all have an opinion, but like it or not, according to the our system of justice Casey has been found not guilty in the eyes of the law. Is it a just system? not always, but it’s what we’ve got…