While I am still formulating my opinions on the Casey Anthony verdict, others have been vocal. I particularly chose one opinion from a friend who is a deputy sheriff (not in the same county as was the Anthony case), because it reflects the position of someone who has been in the business of providing evidence in support of criminal cases:
Ours is, (arguably), the greatest criminal justice system on the planet. We start with a basis in the English System of Law, whereby, if an act is not specifically prohibited, it must then be legal. Then we add to that, the standard of innocent until proven guilty.These two notions serve to keep innocent people from having their freedoms stripped away, and act as our greatest defense against abuse by the system.I was somewhat surprised at the verdict today. I expected that Casey would be found guilty on manslaughter and child neglect. I did not think they would convict her of murder. The physical evidence just wasn’t there.As a cop, when I formally accuse someone of a crime, I give the State the best evidence I have. Sometimes, as in this case, there simply isn’t that much to give them. The State then presents that evidence to a Judge and jury, as best they can. While I have no deep love for defense attorney, I recognize that they play a critical role in the process. If I cannot collect enough evidence for a conviction, either due to there not being enough, or due to incompetence of laziness, and the State is unable to prove there case, the arrestee should go free.I would much rather see 1000 guilty people go free than see one innocent person go to prison.Does it suck that Casey escaped justice? Of course it does. I have said from the start that the State jumped the gun when they arrested her. I think the media was putting pressure on the agency, and, in the manner of poo descending an incline, that pressure was passed on to the lead detectives. Now that she has been found not guilty, she can never be charged with those crimes, in that incident, again. Had the State waited a month, 6 months, 6 years, (there is no statute of limitation for murder), they conceivably could have built a case that would have resulted in her conviction.
Rather than hurl obscenities at the legal system, let’s assign blame where it belongs:
1 ) On the media, for making a conscious decision to turn this incident into a media circus, placing undue pressure on the arresting agency.
2 ) On the agency, for caving to that pressure, and passing it on the the lead detectives.
Hopefully, we’ve all learned something from this tragedy.
What’s next in this drama? Casey will be painting herself as the martyr in this opera, and the media will lap that up like a dog does its own vomit.
Thanks for the great comments, Sean. I agree with your conclusion about what’s next. No doubt Casey will make a lot of moolah from media interviews, book deals, and maybe a movie, etc. Perhaps José will see the opportunity and sign on as her agent. However, somewhere out there lurking in the weeds is Zenaida Gonzalez, who with her cutthroat plaintiff counsel team of John Morgan and Keith R. Mitnik of Morgan & Morgan (for the people) will be eagerly awaiting each new increment deposited in Casey’s bank account, as they prepare for the slander trial against Casey. This is one civil tort case in which I am rooting for the plaintiff! (The last one was The Estate of Nicole Brown Simpson vs. Orenthal James Simpson in 1995.)
I’ll be back with more thoughts later.
[…] of the jurors. The burden of proof was on the State of Florida and they botched it. If you read the previous post featuring the words of a deputy sheriff in another county, you know that the State Attorney’s Office was bludgeoned by the media […]