The overwhelming waves of ignorant uproar drowned out Twitter and Facebook today at 2:15 EST after the verdict was read for the Casey Anthony trial.
I read posts by people that blamed the jury for being stupid, blamed Florida for screwing everything up and blamed our justice system. I understand that this is an emotional issue, and that the death of a child makes it so that many people are unable to respond in any way other than irrationally and emotionally, but if you were one of those people, you are wrong.
The only thing that Casey Anthony is guilty of, beyond a reasonable doubt, is falsifying evidence (providing false information to law enforcement officers). Here are a few of the ignorant responses I saw yesterday (and understand that by ignorant, I’m saying that it’s an uneducated opinion not based in anything but emotions. It doesn’t mean that you, as a whole, are ignorant.)
1. At the very least, she’s guilty of child endangerment for telling people that someone kidnapped her daughter for a full month.
Caylee was not alive during that month. You can’t be found guilty for an impossible crime, eg, you can’t endanger a child who isn’t around to be endangered. If there was such thing as “attempted child endangerment”, that might have been possible, but that wasn’t a charge.
2. The jury should have found her guilty of manslaughter or second degree murder if there wasn’t enough evidence for first degree murder.
That’s not the jury’s decision. The prosecutor arguably made an error by pushing for first-degree murder and the death penalty when the evidence was barely circumstantial. If they had charged her with manslaughter, this might have been a very different case.
3. I just know she’s guilty – everybody can tell.
No you can’t, and you’re a fucking idiot. You don’t know anything. You know how the media has portrayed it and you know that she’s got poor credibility when it comes to honesty. That does not make someone a murderer.
4. Well, I didn’t kill Caylee Anthony, so who did?
Did it ever occur to you that this could have been an accident? Let me paint a scenario: Caylee sneaks outside and falls in the pool. Before Casey can get to her, she drowns. Panicking, Casey pulls her out of the pool, wraps her in plastic, and duct tapes it, which causes the tape to get stuck to her head, and puts her in her trunk. She’s too scared to tell her parents, so she concocts a story about the nanny stealing her. She continues to pretend like everything is okay to avoid suspicion, but the lies get bigger and bigger until she gets everything twisted around, and has to include her parents in the plan. In order to help spread the lie, they Google terms like “chloroform” to come up with a plausible story for what happened to Caylee.
Did that happen? I don’t know. And neither do you. However, given the circumstantial evidence, including the fact that they can’t even determine a cause of death, it’s a reasonable alternative for this entire situation. And that is what’s called reasonable doubt. Knowing that this could be a simple case of accidental death that was covered up by an immature, obnoxious woman who lies easily, would you be so quick to send her to her death?
We are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that regardless of what occurs in the court of public opinion, the law protects us all. That reasonable doubt prevents any of us from being found guilty because you made a mistake or he is a bad person or she is unlikable. It is not a perfect system, of course – there is no such thing. But it’s an excellent system that worked, in the case of Casey Anthony, the way that it was supposed to.
Stop reacting emotionally. I don’t care what your gut or your heart tell you. I don’t care what you “just know”. The verdict was appropriate given the evidence, the charges that were brought, and the situation, and to say anything otherwise is display your ignorance broadly.