They announced today the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial: not guilty. To be honest, I'm not surprised. And in an even more honest admittance, I'm actually relieved.
Before you get your panties in a bunch, hear me out. I've been following the case for weeks, reading just about every article on who was testifying, what evidence was presented, and the commentary about it all. My gut tells me that the jury chose correctly. They were presented with evidence, a lot of it circumstantial, a lot of it conflicting, and at the end of the day, they had to make a decision about a woman's crimes based on the facts they were given.
Do I think Casey Anthony murdered her daughter? No. Is she responsible for the child's death? Yes, I think so. Looking at pictures of Casey and Caylee and reading the testimony of her former friends and lovers, I see a young mom who struggled with motherhood, but ultimately loved her daughter. I don't see her as a person who would coldly calculate and premeditate the murder of her baby. I do see her as a person who practiced poor judgment. She drank a lot, partied a lot, spent the night with lovers and sometimes brought Caylee with her on those excursions. While those actions in and of themselves are not always bad, in excess they can lead to poor decisions. And in Casey's case, they most certainly did.
But did the jury make the wrong decision? Did they fail at their job? I don't think so and that's why it really frustrates me that a lot of people have already convicted Casey of murder a thousand times over in their minds. The justice system doesn't work on emotions. God help us if opinions from Nancy Grace, gossip columnists, or political pundits are ever entered as evidence in trials; when that happens, you best hie theeself down to your bomb shelter because that is a blinking neon sign that America is ending, friends. (And don't get me started on Nancy Grace; she is entitled to her opinion, but please, take the time to do your research and form your own thoughts before following a sensationalist news anchor.) I have to laugh when I read comments on the web along the lines of "Those jurors didn't do their job!" Ahem, actually, they did. People want to have their cake and eat it too, but if Casey were to be declared guilty today, then it would be a very sad day for democracy and America both. The legal system was set up in a way in which a judgment could be passed down without an emotional taint. We are to remain innocent until proven guilty. Be glad that the system worked properly today!
For those of you who wish that Caylee would get justice, know this: the rest of Casey's life is going to be hard. Very hard. She will be sentenced for lying to investigators and hampering a murder investigation. She will still serve time. She still has to deal with the defamation lawsuit with Zenaida Gonzalez as well as any other legalities stemming from the money she stole from former friends. When she gets out of jail, she will be hard pressed to find a job or a home. She will be very lonely as most of her friends, and even her own family have deserted her (which on another note, if it's a parent's job to love their daughter no matter what and support her, then it's no wonder that she wasn't the greatest mom herself. Look at how her family has treated her during the entire thing!).
And while that may not sound like it's that bad, Casey must live with the truth of Caylee's death on her heart every day until she dies.
My friends, today proved that justice does exist. It just might not be the way you hoped for. Imagine if things went the other way: Casey would have most likely received a death sentence, where she would wait on death row for years, receiving shelter, food, and other amenities at the expense of taxpayers until her number came up. She wouldn't have to deal with the public. She wouldn't have to get a job to pay back the legal fees and lawsuits. She'd sponge off the rest of society. And when she was finally executed, it would be as painless and humane as possible. Is that really justice for Caylee? This way is much better, because it will serve to remind a young woman of her mistakes every day. It will force her to examine her actions and accept the consequences for them. She will have to grow up and be a big girl. And who knows? Mama always said the Lord works in mysterious ways; perhaps he saw fit to give Casey another chance to atone for her sins through suffering. I can only hope that she will recognize this opportunity for what it could be, and make the best of it.