Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Casey Anthony Verdict Is Not a Bad Thing For the American Justice System

I actually know very little about the case, which is actually a good thing for my credibility in this matter. I know Casey Anthony was accused of killing at least one kid, maybe more, but none of the facts about this case really matter for the point I am about to make.

Our justice system is set up to let people free if there is a reasonable doubt that they did not commit a crime. This is a very good thing. Yes, it means that sometimes murderers are let free, but with a little research, it's clear that the justice system does a much better job of putting murderers behind bars than they did 100 years ago.

I recently read a book called Popular Crime, which I cannot recommend highly enough. I have never read any book about crime, because it isn't a topic that interests me all that much, but this was a phenomenal book. In it, there are gruesome stories about people killing women, hacking up family members, and raping children. These are all awful things that our entire society hopes to prevent from ever happening again, but I can't say that any of these things really worried me. I'm not a woman, and I'm not a child, so those two are out, and everyone in my immediate family is far more successful than I am, so it's not like they're going to kill me out of jealousy.

But that doesn't mean that some stories weren't hard for me to read. There were a few examples of murders that really scared me. It wasn't the murder itself, but the trial that followed that scared me. These were stories of innocent men being convicted of murder. These men were sentenced to life in prison for a crime that they had nothing to do with. Eventually, one of the men was pardoned by the governor, set free, and was immediately executed by an angry mob.

That is a failure of our justice system. Casey Anthony may have murdered her daughter, and from the outrage on Twitter and Facebook, it seems to me that most people think she did. But there wasn't enough evidence presented to the jury for them to make that decision. In an individual case, this may look like a failure, but in the grand scheme of things, this is a success for our justice system. Instead of jurors being overwhelmed by their emotions in a case about the death of a child, they sided with logic and reason and came to the conclusion that there was a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony did not commit murder.

Casey Anthony may not be going to prison, but let's face it, her life is ruined. What is she going to do in her life? She'll hang out with low-lifes and losers, because those are the only people that will accept her. I haven't heard anyone making the claim that they are worried she will kill again, because it's highly unlikely that she will. She does not pose a serious threat to society.

If she did murder her child, I understand where people would think that the verdict sucks, but I would much rather let someone get away with murder than falsely convicting an innocent man of the same. This isn't a failure of our justice system; it's just not the verdict most people wanted to see.

-Joe

P.S. Some of the details from the book may be slightly off since I am recounting this from memory, but the gist of the stories from the book are maintained.

P.P.S. If this post bummed you out, here is a video of a fridge that shoots out beer:

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