Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Not Guilty

"The sword of justice has no scabbard." ~ Antione De Riveral

I admit I didn't watch the trial of Casey Anthony. I didn't hear the testimony. I didn't weigh the evidence. All I know is part of what the news outlets reported.

It seems the general opinion of the people who did watch the trial in it's entirety is that Casey Anthony is guilty as charged. And, from what I've heard, she probably is.

Despite the verdict handed down by the jury.

But, I have all I need to know to opine on the results.

I've heard the attorneys offer their points of view. I've heard journalist's analyses. We have all heard the opinions of the observers.

What I haven't heard is the juror's opinions. And, in the end, it's really only the jury's opinion that matters.

Perhaps many people don't understand the singular responsibility of a jury. Juries are charged to make a judgement on the facts of the case only.

Not on emotion. Not on feelings. Not on public opinion. Not on some sense of fairness.

Just the Facts, Ma'am.

But, above all, the judgement of the jury is dependent on whether or not guilt has been established beyond a reasonable doubt.

Throughout any court trial, jury members are continuously charged by the Judge, in no uncertain terms, before, during, and after all testimony and evidence is presented:

There must be no doubt of guilt, or the defendant must be found "not guilty".

The States attorney has the burden of proof. If he cannot prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury must reach a verdict of "not Guilty".

The Casey Anthony jury therefore have discharged their solemn and sacred duty in the way the American Justice system intended.

It could well be, and probably is, that the jury members believed in their hearts that Casey Anthony was guilty of murder in the first degree.

But, in their minds, the States attorney failed to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, and they voted accordingly. And, I feel confident, when the interviews with the jury members are published, that is exactly what they'll say.

No doubt the state attorney wanted a guilty verdict, but unfortunately, he should have done a little more homework, sealed the evidence down more tightly, and done whatever was necessary to remove any semblance of doubt about the guilt of Casey Anthony.

Obviously, as far as the jury was concerned, he failed to accomplish that goal.

This is the way the American Justice system is intended to work.

Like it or not. The system works.


Jim said...

I agree with you on this.

I'll quibble with "There must be no doubt of guilt, or the defendant must be found "not guilty"." A juror can have a doubt, but it must be reasonable. A juror could say "I have some doubt because Casey may have been hypnotized by werewolves and that's why she acted strangely." It may be doubt but it's not reasonable.

That said, I agree. The prosecution must prove the case. If the case is purely circumstantial, the prosecution has some really heavy lifting to do. In this case they failed.

It will be interesting to hear from the jurors.

Mark said...

Justice is a cold hearted master.

Lone Ranger said...

Juror 14 -- an alternate - is talking. He says she was acquitted because there was not a shred of PHYSICAL evidence to link her to the death. They are calling it the CSI Effect. People expect to see trials the way they are presented on TV.

Fredd said...

Fact: last one seen with Caylee Anthony alive: Casey Anthony

Fact: Casey Anthony did not report Caylee missing.

Fact: Caylee Anthony was subsequently found in a garbage bag in the woods, rotting.

Fact: Casey Anthony partied like never before after Caylee was dead.

The math here is not hard for me.

Those dopes on the jury simply did not understand what ' beyond reasonable doubt' means. It doesn't mean 'beyond ALL doubt.'


Ducky's here said...

Prosecutors might have been successful with lesser charges but to try a capital case when you can't even establish a cause of death ... folly.

Trader Rick said...

At the end of the day, the "dopes" on the jury got the "math" right.

After all this time we don't know the manner or means of the child's death. In my opinion, the State didn't even prove there WAS murder done, let alone who done it.

We probably will never know what actually happened.

Having said that, I think the Judge should max her out on the four counts she WAS found guilty of...

Fredd said...

Trader Rick:

Convictions have been obtained on murderers without ever finding their victim's bodies. Hundreds if not thousands of convictions.

Don't tell me that you believe all of those murderers should have been found not guilty simply because they did a better job of hiding the bodies?

The dopes didn't do the math.

Trader Rick said...

Thank God we have courageous Jurors like these to uphold our system of justice! To call them "dopes" just because you don't like their verdict is to slander our whole justice system. They ruled on the facts of the case as presented, and the prosecution did not present those few facts or a reasonable theory that would support a conviction, to any reasonable person. If detractors who stoop to revile these citizens as "dopes" know of a better system, let them bring it forward. This Jury did their patriotic duty as they saw it.
To characterize them as "dopes" who can't "do the math" is not only insulting to THE AMERICAN WAY, it's really kind of thoughtless, not to say irresponsible.FAIL!


Jim said...

Believe it or not, Rick, I agree with you 100%.

Fredd said...

Love the system, hate the dopes. I would rather be at the mercy of dopes than have the government or the media decide MY fate.

Just because I think these jurors are dopes doesn't mean I want the system changed. It's the best in the world.

Dopes RULE!! I just don't have to love them, that's all I was trying to convey.

Trader Rick said...

Since the anonymous troll 'jim' agrees with me, I am taking another look at my stance on this subject...

Marshall Art said...

I would doubt that there exists a better alternative for our current justice system. It ain't perfect, but a more perfect system is unlikely. We simply have to live with what might appear to us to be imperfect outcomes because it's the way the system is set up. Is this woman guilty of murder? I have no idea (didn't follow the story at all). But the facts Fred listed only prove that she's an idiot. Nothing more can be gleaned from those facts without a more direct connection between the child's death and the mother having any part in causing it. For whatever reasons, the jury felt none existed as presented by the prosecution.

Lone Ranger said...

I don't recall all this angst and hatred when O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson were let off the hook.

ELAshley said...

Innocent until proven guilty. That's the law of the land.

Doesn't matter if she's really guilty, under the law and the rules given them, the jury had no choice but to return not guilty verdicts on 3 of worst of seven charges.

All this craziness being acted out by an outrage public is dangerous. Death threats to Ms. Anthony? Her attorneys? And the jurors, for crying out loud! This is not a good thing. It's a dangerous thing.

Miss Anthony may very well be guilty... of something... in connection with her daughter's death, but she's been through the crucible. She was acquitted on all but the lying charges.

Our system of law is not about justice, it's about the law. Justice is never found in a court of law... only penalty or release of penalty according to law. Justice is something that happens AFTER the law has established its criteria.

Law and justice are two different things. Unfortunately the masses don't really understand this. If ANYONE is to blame for the verdict, it is the state prosecution team. If anyone is responsible for the public outcry, it is every media talking head that touted scenarios, and analyses, and opinion, stirring up an uneducated public.

It doesn't matter if I believe Casey Anthony to be guilty. The jury, hamstrung by the prosecution and instructions handed down by the judge have said otherwise.

God will give justice in his time.