Let me preface this post by noting I know nothing about this case, and have gone out of my way not to indulge in any of the details. There are countless murders and tragedies every day around the world; many more egregious than the death of Caylee Anthony. Why are people so fascinated with the case? I don’t really know.
What does interest me, is how people perceive the criminal justice system when someone vilified by the media walks; do the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt go out the window?
What follows are a sampling of statuses from my Facebook wall, in no particular order. Some of these people have legal training. Some don’t. Some are happy with the verdict. Others are not.
- This may come across as a snarky comment, but I find it curious that so many people on Twitter express disgust at the American legal system when most of them know relatively nothing about the judicial system.
- I am thankful for the judicial system today. I am thankful for our rule of law. I am thankful that I will always be innocent until proven guilty by the state. I ♥ our judicial system. Thanks for being a part of it!
- I would like to think I know a fair amount and have closely followed the trial. Even if people believe the jury got it right, some people like myself are disgusted at the kind of mother Casey was. To me that’s a tragedy no child should suffer.
- Casey Anthony was acquitted despite the entire country hating her. The defense must have put on a great case.
- I wonder if all the people complaining about this verdict would prefer a legal system that convicts more easily than it acquits. They’re forgetting that the Burden of Proof, Trial by Jury, and Presumption of Innocence string together the Golden Thread that runs through Western Justice. We should be thankful that our legal system fears injustice more than it thirsts for Casey Anthony’s blood.
- I am always amazed by people who did not sit through a trial, review evidence, or receive jury instructions yet are convinced beyond any reasonable doubt of someone’s guilt. I don’t know what happened in the Casey Anthony case, I didn’t review any evidence. But if she is guilty and the prosecution didn’t make their case, this is on them — that’s what the whole innocent until PROVEN guilty thing means.
- Not happy when OJ got off, not happy about #caseyanthony, why do white ppl get so angry when people are freed.
- Be glad that we live in a country where our legal system allows that the former is much more common and easier to arrive at than the latter. You never know when it could be you in the courtroom.
- Whelp. If she did do it, she’ll be judged soon enough. #lordhaveMERCAY
- Florida f#$ks up yet again… #JusticeNotServed
- This chick was googling how to kill her kid and they couldn’t make any connections. She’s not some CIA agent. Come on, FL.
- I will never understand the American fascination with these trials… there are on average more than 40 murders every day in the U.S. Why should we obsess over one in particular every few months?
And in what may be a bit of cognitive dissonance, people who think the verdict was correct tend to have friends who agree with them, and vice versa.