For the past several weeks, I’ve received a few emails for different comments I’ve made on the Casey Anthony trial. To be honest, there were comments that were left here following my posts that I didn’t publish because of the hateful nature of folks. The vulgarity that surfaces in passionate people never ceases to amaze me. Now, though, I’ve fulfilled my contracts and I thought it fitting that my final words on this subject be spoken on my own blog.
I didn’t post many blogs on this topic because I know I’m opinionated, I needed to stay focused on other obligations and maybe there was a small part of me that knew my opinions were not popular with most, even though I stand by them – the ones I voiced and the ones I kept to myself. Today answered a lot of my own questions of the entire judicial system. I think the nation’s faith was tested today. Hopefully, the end of this trial reiterated that faith more than it destroyed it, regardless of how anyone feels about Casey Anthony’s guilt or innocence.
Here’s what I learned and what I take away from this tragedy:
In one of my first posts, I wondered about the people who would ultimately define the jury in the trial. It was during the insane voir dire process when we were all wondering if the jurors would have any idea of what was in store for them (the original clips from the post are in italics and thoughts from today are bold):
From the post dated 5/14/11 when I wondered about what kind of questions were being asked of potential jurors:
There’s a good chance you’re going to be hounded by Nancy Grace and the rest of the national media after this case is over. Want your own life under the microscope? No? Then avoid this case at all costs.
Following the verdict:
Sure enough, Nancy Grace didn’t disappoint following the trial’s conclusion today. She said that Anthony had been tried by a panel of her “peers” and then ripped into several of those jurors with reminders to her viewers that one had a DUI and another one had a son and daughter who’d been arrested for drugs (insinuating her “peers” would have to be criminals themselves). She didn’t hold back later, either when she was particularly devastated by the jurors’ refusal to speak to the press, scoffing that “they get on their bus and leave town, literally, back to Pinellas County. It’s over.” Next, she said “jurors were sitting with their arms folded just staring blankly in front of them… it was like they had already made their minds up”
Wanna be hated by half the country? Serve on this case and let’s see the hatred the jury’s verdict will bring out in people.
Aside from Anthony herself, this jury is clearly facing a world of backlash. From Twitter to Facebook to the media, everyone’s suggesting the jury declined to be interviewed because they know it wasn’t a popular decision. Bill O’Reilly even said he believes the jury is holding out for paid interviews. Then, of course, those blessed opinions from celebrities weren’t far behind. They were quite vocal, too. A Twitter war broke out briefly between Kim Kardashian and Jose Baez’s daughter, Christina.
Wanna lose months at work, miss your son’s ball games and your daughter’s homecoming pageant? Serve on this jury.
One of the alternate jurors gave an interview tonight to Greta Van Sustren. Here’s his direct quote:
It was tough; it was difficult. You know, I got to, you know, see my children twice during the six weeks. My daughter left for Europe. My son left for different wrestling camps. And by the time this is all over with, I would not have seen them, you know, for two-and-half months. It was tough.
Do you believe in our judicial system?
Clearly, the jury does believe in our judicial system. It recognized and was able to differentiate facts from fiction.
In another post, I questioned the family dynamics (and received a few brutal emails from “justice seeker”):
From the post dated 6/24/11
How insane is it going to be if Anthony is acquitted and then will have to face her father whom she, in essence, announced to the world is a child molester? I’ve said it before – this young woman exhibits the classic signs of one who was sexually abused as a child. I don’t know if it’s true, but my guess is this relationship between father and daughter is irreparable, regardless of the outcome. And judging by the defense of this woman, there’s clearly more to this entire tragedy than what anyone outside that family will ever know.
Following the verdict:
Her parents left the courtroom as soon as the verdict was read. It’s clear this family is ruined and whether or not forgiveness will ever be extended remains unknown. I don’t see how it could be. The terse statement released through the family’s attorney spoke volumes – not from what was said, but what was NOT said.
And in this same post, I questioned the ethics of both the defense and prosecution teams, as well as the ethics of the media:
Then there is all of the petty nonsense of state prosecutor Jeff Ashton. From the disrespectful tie he wore in an effort to save some basketball player (the tie had a website’s logo and address on it) to accusations of misconduct from both sides to the police misconduct that has been suggested by more than one witness, it’s little wonder that the focus has shifted from justice for the little girl to justice for the defendant. And don’t even get me started on the blatant bias from the media. In a sue-happy society, the media has seemingly forgotten the basics of journalism and has left many networks vulnerable for lawsuits, which I’m sure are coming.
It’s interesting to note that Jeff Ashton announced his resignation less than one hour after the verdict was read. His behavior during closing arguments was as unethical as it gets.
In another bizarre move, Julie Chen, who’s employed by CBS broke down in tears. Where are the ethics in journalism? Where is the focus on “reporting” the news while remaining far enough removed so that one’s personal views never enter the dynamics? There have been many shocking verdicts in the past decade, including Scott Peterson, who’s on death row in California for killing his wife and unborn son, and I don’t recall any journalist or reporter breaking down in tears after a verdict’s been read.
As far as vulnerabilities these so-called “media professionals” have exposed their networks to, here’s what Cheney Mason said today:
“I hope that this is a lesson to those of you that have indulged in media assassination for three years. Bias, prejudice and incompetent heads saying what would be and how to be. I’m disgusted by some of the lawyers who have done this,” Mason said.
“I can tell you that my colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases that they don’t know a damn thing about. They don’t have the experience to back up their words or the law to do it. And now you’ve learned your lesson. We appreciate the jury and those of you that have been objective and professional. We like it. Others, we’re going to be talking to again. Thank you very much.”
Just a hunch, but I’m thinking Mason’s “we’re going to be talking to you again” is ominous and reeks of a lawsuit on the horizon.
I’m amazed and frankly, disgusted, by the way so many are behaving. I’ve seen otherwise rational people say they hope this woman is killed the moment she leaves jail. The threats, only barely veiled, are despicable. The reactions any of us have are always legitimate; after all, our opinions are subjective, but when, as a society, we are bitching and groaning about the level of violence in our country and the fact our young people are jaded, violent and selfish, the question then becomes: What are we doing to set better examples?
The fact is, our judicial system worked exactly the way it should have. Despite my own concerns over this trial becoming a circus and my certainty that ethics were lacking, the jury did its job. It knew what was expected and it knew its limitations. Casey Anthony was acquitted because our jury system DOES work, not because it doesn’t.
It’s time each of us take a step back and remember none of us are here to make life a hell on earth for anyone else. If we don’t, we’re no better than those who destroy lives by committing unthinkable crimes. Strange as it sounds, whether or not this woman killed her daughter is moot. She’s been found not guilty in this life. Frankly, I’m not going to concern myself over what kind of conversation she will have with her Maker when the time comes. I’m too busy trying to keep my own behavior and decisions in check so that my own talk with God won’t be so awkward when my time comes.
For those who feel they must dole out their own justice, they would be far better served to replace that hatred and rage in their hearts with compassion and forgiveness and then use that energy in a way that won’t be wasted. Volunteer at a domestic violence shelter. Take a CPR class. Host a food drive (the holidays are rapidly approaching). The hatred anyone’s spewing on the outcome of Casey Anthony is simply wasted.