Jurisprudence—The Casey Anthony Verdict CrossRoads, posted by Cindy Cross, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Jul 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm Cindy Cross is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Jurisprudence—The Casey Anthony Verdict by Cindy Cross
The Casey Anthony murder trial has kept America hooked on commentary by Nancy Grace and other legal pundits for the last couple months. Not since the OJ Simpson in 1993 has there been such media coverage of any other murder. People called in sick to stay home and watch the trial.
The Casey Anthony trial had all the makings of a Masterpiece Theater who-dun-it; the main suspect is a good looking young sociopath, the grandmother who lied under oath to protect the accused, the grandfather who is hiding an illicit affair, on and on the cast of interesting characters goes.
The main element that enthralled America was the pursuit of justice for the adorable little girl, Caylee Anthony, who lost her life under mysterious circumstances. Who did it? From the evidence it seemed like a slam-dunk first degree murder charge. It seemed that Casey wanted to be free from the ties of motherhood and save face with her family by claiming it was a kidnapping.
The trial came to an astounding end when the jury rendered Not Guilty on all charges. Nothing. Nada. Nil. Casey Anthony will be set free next Wednesday, free to compete in hot body contests, free to live her life any way she sees fit. Free to tell all the lies she wants. All while Caylee Anthony is dead.
What happened? Many see that there was only circumstantial evidence—nothing strong enough to convict. Was I watching the same trial? If Casey Anthony didn’t do it—who did?
Is our justice system flawed? Many who faithfully watched the trial fell into two camps—those who liked defense attorney Jose Baez and sided with an acquittal, and those who hated Jose Baez and sided with first degree murder. It became personal. Did the jury hold the same feelings that influenced their verdict?
Should the U.S. consider a legal system like France and England who hold the accused guilty until proven innocent? It’s hard to fathom that a little child could be killed, whether intentionally or by accident, and no one is held accountable.
What, if anything, can we do as a nation, to make sure that justice has more common sense? Isn’t that only reasonable?
Posted by Mellow Fellow, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 8, 2011 at 11:58 am
I agree with Cindy Cross. I mean I stayed home from work and watched the whole trial. I believe that watching court TV is good for America. I also believe that we should change the fundamental notion of "innocent until proven guilty" based on this ONE trial. It only makes sense. There has never been another miscarriage of justice until now. You know like the financial executives who sold bunk derivatives to the world that toppled the global economic system, or the people who sold loans to minorities so they could reap the commissions. Or priests who sit in bungalows because the statute of limitations ran out, or crooked cops caught setting up men for drunk driving. OR like in SF where drugs were stolen, hundreds of cases were tainted and nothing done to the perpetrator. How about the drug dealers that make hundreds of thousands of dollars off our kids every year and sit in their mansions. Or the for profit educational institutions bilking billions out of our service men. Those are trivial. But this case, yest this case ... let's change our legal framework. Oh, one more thing ... can we have more dramatic court TV because I want to stay home more and see if there any other basic tenets of American Democracy I want to topple.
Posted by None of the Above, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm
You might want to check your facts here. British and Napoleonic law both include presumption of innocence among their primary tenets.
Additionally, all the members of the European Union are bound by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe; Article 62 states: "Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law."
I think the discussion might better be geared toward the idea that all 12 jurors have to agree on a verdict, as opposed to a simple (or even super) majority, as is the case with civil trials in the U.S.
I think a case could be made for a shift that would let a jury decide with a majority of 7 or even 10 of the 12 members.
It's also worth noting in a discussion like this that TV coverage of trials has both positive and negative aspects.
Consider the Simpson case, the slow speed chase and the outside information we got that the jury never saw.
Also consider Nancy Grace as a worst-case scenario: has Ms. Grace ever come out in favor of someone charged with a crime? Has she ever done anything about the now hundreds of innocent people that DNA profiling has exonerated?
That said, I think American justice is right where it should be. It may not be the best, but it's better than anything else that's been tried.