I Think the Casey Anthony Verdict is a Good Thing

I have prided myself on not talking about this trial. But I think it is a wonderful verdict.I don’t know whether the woman killed her daughter or not. I have not kept up. But the media certainly thinks she did. And a lot of spectators think she did.Here’s the thing though — our justice system runs largely in the background of American conscience and as long as it does not come off the wheels, the public pays it little attention. Then something like this happens and it is a good reminder that neither judges nor juries nor government prosecutors are perfect and flawless.We live in a world where when the court says something is blue, we are all expected to bow to the judge and proclaim the something blue. When the court says something is constitutional, we are expected to do the same.In the years between Plessy vs. Ferguson and Brown vs. Board of Education, nothing substantive affecting those decisions were placed in the constitution. And yet, the Court in Brown had to admit that the Court in Plessy was wrong. What had been constitutional was no longer constitutional.Courts and people make mistakes. The greatest danger our society faces is the one we’ve already curled up in the fetal position and refused to make eye contact with — the oligarchy of the Judiciary.The Casey Anthony trial is a state court case in Florida. But it was watched nationally by millions of people. I’ll refrain from commenting on those people. But this afternoon, millions of people decided 12 jurors in Florida got it wrong and many of them think the government screwed up the case along the way.It may be bad for the victim, but this reminder that courts should not and were never intended to be sacrosanct chambers of perfection is a very good thing. The irony here, through all the lamenting and even through my largely unnecessary extrapolation into a bigger picture, is that the system worked as designed. The prosecution failed to meet the burden to convict someone of murder. The jury is not supposed to go beyond what was presented at trial and jump to conclusions based on presuppositions that many spectators and the press have.One can be a murderer without being convicted and something can be unconstitutional even when a judge says otherwise.



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