Despite all the sensationalism by individuals like Nancy Grace and being convicted in the court of popular opinion, Casey Anthony is a free woman. Our Constitution grants every citizen the right of due process, to a fair trial by a jury of our peers, that one can’t ever be tried for the same crime twice if one is found not guilty. The jury of twelve in Florida acquitted her because, in their minds, there was reasonable doubt.
While it is commendable that the jury showed that, for all its faults, the American legal system works it is deplorable that a possible murderer walked free. This is just one person’s opinion, of course. People’s faces would have been red with guilt had Casey Anthony been found guilty, executed and then twenty years later the real killer was found. But just as in the OJ trial, it is mind chilling and mind numbing to think that the real killer walked. Let’s consider the “facts.”
First, she waited weeks to report that her child was missing. Second, she lied about having a nanny named Zanny who supposedly kidnapped her daughter. Third, she lied about having a job at Universal Studios. Then she said Caylee drowned. And let’s not forget the foul stench coming from her trunk. Nor, let’s not forget the duct tape, the traces of chloroform, or the hair left behind in the trunk. Oh, and the evidence showing that a body had started to decompose in the trunk.
Yes, the jury should never have taken circumstantial evidence into account when reaching their verdict. But it is a severe miscarriage of justice to ignore evidence showing that she either had something to do with the murder or at least was complacent. It wasn’t just the fingers of Nancy Grace and those who wanted to see old time justice served, but the evidence pointing at Casey Anthony. Why did she lie so much if she didn’t do it? What was she hiding or who was she trying to protect? It’s all too clear that she was trying to hide her guilt and was looking out for number one. She can now dance and party it up thanks to a jury that was blind to the real evidence.
But where do we go from here to ensure that murderers don’t walk? While suggested legislation like “Caylee Laws” may have good intentions (or at least in some way alleviate the anger some people feel), are they really going to work? Or do people start taking the law into their own hands in a misguided sense of vigilante justice (like the woman who was attacked for looking like the acquitted). The answer is simple. We need to put an an end to media sensationalism by getting the Nancy Graces of the world off the air because they have shown to have no integrity as prosecutors nor as journalists. They sensationalize, get people riled up and watch the ratings go up and collect their big paydays regardless of a case’s outcome. Prosecutors also need to act within the law and make sure they build solid cases based on hard evidence.