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Justice

July 6, 2011

Today is an interesting day in our legal system.  Many—myself included—believe that Justice has NOT prevailed in the case of the murder of 2-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony.  For anyone who has been living under a rock, her mother, Casey Anthony stood accused of the crime, and has been found not guilty of all the crimes she was charged with.

 

There are comparisons being made left and right to the OJ Simpson murder trial, where the evidence appeared so clear to many of us, yet the jury found him not guilty.  Similarly today, so many of us just saw no possible verdict other than guilty—after all, to steal from my mother, little Caylee did not cover her own mouth with duct tape and dispose of her own body.  However, this afternoon we were stunned to learn the jury didn’t see it that way.

 

So where is the Justice for Caylee? 

 

Let’s look at the word.  Our friends at dictionary.com define Justice as “the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness; Rightfulness or lawfulness; The moral principle determining just conduct.”

 

Has Caylee received Justice by any of these definitions?  Well, no.  Whether her mother committed the crime or not, no one has been held accountable for the horrors this baby endured, so Justice has most assuredly not been served.

 

The problem with finding Justice in a case like this one is there is no way for any of us to know with 100% certainty what happened on the day Caylee died.  Because of the lack of absolute certainty, doubt can live in the minds of those making the decision, and you have an outcome like this one.

 

Now there are those who will say that it is better to set free 100 guilty men than to convict a single innocent one.  I suppose there is some logic there, but how about we find a better way to figure out who is actually guilty?  You see movies like Minority Report where we come up with high-tech solutions to this kind of crime, but they too are not without their flaws.  It would be great if every crime had a video tape to go to, someone who confesses, or an eye witness who was rock-solid.  According to CSI there are fingerprints and DNA and fiber samples and tire treads that will show the way.  Outside of Hollywood unfortunately those are the exceptions, rather than the rule.

 

We rely on a great deal of forensic evidence to tell the story of what happened in a crime, but even that is problematic since sometimes there just aren’t enough forensic clues to paint an accurate picture.

 

So where does that leave us?

 

Unfortunately without an answer.  There is no clear-cut solution to this problem.  It is in moments like this that I have to find solace in my belief that there IS a higher power of some sort, and in the end Justice will be served by that power.  Whether it was Casey Anthony who committed this heinous crime or some other person, that higher power knows and will ultimately take care of things. 

 

Our legal system is flawed—that’s for darn sure.  But it’s the best we have at the moment, and arguably the best system in the world, so we have to have a moderate amount of faith in it.  The idea being that until we have instant video of every action everyone makes every day (scary thought) we have to embrace what works and aim to fix, or at least improve upon, what’s broken.

 

My hope at this point for this case is that no one decides to take matters into their own hands because to quote Gandhi again, “An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind.” 

Caylee Marie lived a tragically short life during which she bore more pain than any person, especially a child, should ever endure.  Nothing done now will bring her back or change what happened to her.  That being said, those who harmed her know what they did and hopefully the guilt of that knowledge combined with the judgment of that higher power will bring them unspeakable suffering for all eternity.

 

 

 

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