You probably won't agree with me on this, but this is my perspective of the Casey Anthony verdict. I think that justice was served from a legal perspective. Take note that I am referring to the jury's verdict; I did not say that I believe Anthony is innocent.
Neither you nor I sat through every minute of testimony, examined every bit of evidence and applied the instructions from the court to the evidence presented. The jurors chosen for the Anthony trial did do these things, and in the end they decided the evidence did not show beyond a reasonable doubt that Anthony murdered her 2 year old daughter, Caylee, in the summer 2008. The jury did find Anthony guilty of four counts of providing false information to the police.
As you most likely know from the heavy media coverage, the jury returned its verdict on July 5, after more than 10 hours of deliberation and after weeks of hearing evidence during the trial. The not guilty verdict was met with anger, frustration, confusion and tears all across the country. People in almost every state have rallied, representing little Caylee, an innocent child who was murdered three years ago, and felt that justice was not served in this case.
I read one article that mentioned a woman who had started a petition to have the judge overturn the verdict. Many people say that they are certain Anthony is a murderer; other articles and comments called the jurors incompetent; and absolute outrage has erupted across the Internet following this verdict.
These 12 jurors, 7 women and 5 men, in Orlando, FL, were charged with weighing the evidence presented and determining whether beyond a reasonable doubt Anthony murdered her daughter. They have done their job. They were not asked to go with their gut instincts; they were not asked to decide based on popular public opinion; they were not asked to listen to legal talk shows "experts" and opt for their legal spinnings; they were told to listen to the evidence presented and follow the instructions given to them in order to decide this case based on legal principles. They have done their job.
Standard of Proof
Florida's standard of proof for felony murder is beyond a reasonable doubt. Black's Law Dictionary defines "Reasonable Doubt" as "not a mere possible doubt; because everything relating to human affairs, and depending on moral evidence, is open to some possible or imaginary doubt. It is that state of the case, which, after the entire comparison and consideration of all the evidence, leaves the minds of jurors in that condition that they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction, to a moral certainty, of the truth of the charge."
Black's further provides, "In deciding whether guilt has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury must begin with the presumption that the defendant is innocent." This is not something the general public, media or legal pundits must do. Anyone, who is not on the jury, is free to form his or her own opinion about any given person, incident, evidence or verdict. The jury must stick to the evidence presented.
While the state had an abundance of evidence, there was no "smoking gun" and due to the severely decomposed body, there was a loss of physical evidence, according to State Attorney Lawson Lamar. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof in the law. The State had the burden to prove the guilt of Anthony beyond a reasonable doubt. They were unable to do that, based on the verdict delivered.
The Justice System
As to the woman who started a petition for the judge to overturn the verdict; that is not how our justice system works. If the prosecution or defense feels there have been errors made during the trial, either party may be able to make an appeal to a higher court.
Our justice system is not arbitrary; it is not based on popular opinion or belief. It is based on evidentiary rules; court rules; and precise legal standards and laws. And if you were the one sitting in the defendant's chair, you wouldn't want it any other way.
Many people have gone to prison maintaining their innocence and years later it's proven they were indeed telling the truth; sometimes far too late for the wrongly convicted and sentenced, but always a horrible tragic injustice...for all of us.
So, was justice serviced in the Anthony case? Yes. It was served because the jury decided the case based on the evidentiary standard of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt and did not simply go with an emotional response. Did Casey Anthony murder her child, know who murdered her child or assist the murderer? I don't know. And that is something we may never know, but in order for our justice system to work we must trust our juries.
Regardless of how you feel about Casey Anthony and the verdict, clearly justice was not served for little Caylee. I recall reading an article about the disappearance of Caylee back in July of 2008, soon after she had been reported missing. I, too, had a 2 year old in July of 2008. I couldn't imagine losing my child; not knowing where he was; what had happened to him. What kind of mother wouldn't report her child missing immediately...immediately?
If I lose sight of my Darling Boys for even a few seconds, my heart begins to pound, my insides feel weak and I do my best not to let my voice go shaky and shrill as I call for them. I have not ever actually, truly lost either of my Boys for more than a few seconds thankfully, but if I did, I would be contacting authorities within minutes of them going missing.
My son who was 2 years old the summer of 2008 when little Caylee lost her life, is 5 years old today, and I thank God for him every day. I'll have more on juries and the justice system this week. Over and out...