For the past few weeks the media has been obsessed with the Casey Anthony trial. Most networks covered it wall to wall and while at first it was entertaining, eventually it just got so boring you would think nothing else was going on. Nevertheless it was what was on, so eventually I too got caught up in the drama. For me it was like a very long episode of Boston Legal without the liberal political agenda.
If you followed only part of this trial you could not help being convinced that Casey is guilty as hell. All pundits, legal heads and judges were without a doubt convinced that Casey would be found guilty. For them, the trial was a simple technicality.
When the verdict came in, everyone lost it. Even the usual fair minded people went ballistic. Some went as far as labelling the jurors as uneducated, lunatics, nuts, dumb, morons and those were just some of the nice words used to describe them. All that in addition to questioning the entire justice system.
After the conclusion of the closing arguments. I discussed the case with a friend, who just so happens to be an attorney. My friend wrapped up the case by saying that Casey was toast. I disagreed. I said that had I been on the jury I would acquit her. My reasoning being that while Casey is a liar and a complete nut, there was simply no hard evidence that she murdered her daughter. In fact there was no real proof that a murder even took place.
Anyone who has ever studied the Torah or the Bible would know that there are many crimes punishable by death. What most people don’t know is that the instances of a death sentence actually being carried out were practically nil.
The Talmud tells us that in order to convict a suspect of a crime the following had to happen: Two witnesses had to witness a person about to commit a crime, they had to warn the suspect that what they are about to do is a crime and warn them of the potential punishment. The suspect had to confirm that they understood but would commit the crime anyway. The witnesses had to witness the crime taking place from start to end.
Upon conviction, the witnesses were both questioned independently and the stories had to collaborate. But if their stories collaborated 100%, their witness with dismissed. The reason being that no two people see things exactly the same and if their stories were identical they were suspected of collaborating the story between themselves.
The jury consisted of 71 people. If the verdict was unanimous the defendant walked free. Because, if out of 71 people there was not even one juror who could find at least one fault with the arguments, something had to be wrong.
Basically the Torah went out of it’s way to guarantee that if a person was found guilty there was nothing left to doubt. No questions unanswered, and no suspicions of the suspect being framed. In short, without rock hard evidence, there was nothing.
Casey Anthony juror Juror No. 3, Jennifer Ford, explains the decision:
We live in a world that for everything that happens someone has to be blamed. Reminds me of a story:
A president of a company walks into his office and finds his top salesperson and his secretary checking the files on his personal computer. The president loses his temper and demands the salesman be fired and let go. With the best interest of the company in mind his advisers suggest that doing so would hurt the company as this is the best salesman they’ve had for years. The president agreeing with their analysis, proclaims “OK, then the girl should go.” Hearing this he is advised that this could be risky, she might sue for unfair dismissal or harassment and the bad publicity could hurt the company. At which point the president says; “OK, then the computer must go”. In other words someone has to take the blame.
From the moment Caylee Anthony’s body was found the media, the pundits and the prosecution concluded, without any evidence, that Caylee was murdered and that Casey is guilty. There was no evidence of a homicide, but everyone concluded that there was one. There was no proof that Casey did it, but everyone decided that she did. Rather than investigating whether a crime was committed and then finding the suspect, the media and the prosecution concluded that a crime took place and decided that Casey was the culprit. They then went and dug up whatever they could to make the two fit. They had a shoe and a foot and tried to squeeze the shoe onto the foot whether it fit or not.
The fact that Casey went dancing while her Caylee went missing, isn’t evidence that she killed her daughter. If the prosecution proved anything it was that Casey is a totally messed up person without any sense of decency.
The Anthony family has a weird way of handling things. For all we know, Casey was never happy with the responsibilities of being a mother and while she wouldn’t go and hurt her daughter to rid herself of those responsibilities, once her daughter went missing she was glad to be relieved of those responsibilities. In other words maybe Casey was only too happy Caylee was gone and hoped she would never be found. That would explain her sending the investigators on a wild goose chase. While that maybe disgusting and wrong, it still doesn’t warrant a murder conviction.
As for the chloroform and the hair in the car and the duck tape on Caleey’s mouth. That still doesn’t prove that a murder took place. Caylee may have died in an accident and fearing of being blamed for killing her, Casey thought to get rid of the body to avoid just that. At best the chloroform and the duck tape can be evidence of a cover up, something she was charged for.
What if it were an accident and someone went out of their way to make it appear as a murder? What if Casey’s parents so disappointed with Caylee’s death, determined for someone to take the blame were willing to frame their own daughter for a murder that never took place? What if Casey knew what her parents were up to and sent the police on a wild goose chase simply because she didn’t want them to find the body knowing she would be blamed for the murder?
I’m not defending Casey, my point is that without evidence of a murder and with out hard facts of who committed the crime, anything is possible and that is reasonable doubt.
Casey Anthony is a liar, irresponsible, has serious issues, and her family is completely messed up. But liars, irresponsible and crazy people don’t go to jail. Send them to a shrink or book them into a mental institution, but you cant just convict them for murder just because you don’t like them, especially a murder you’re not even sure happend.
The only fact we have is that an innocent girl was found dead. We have no evidence of a murder and even if one did occur we any evidence that Casey had anything to do it was circumstantial. Just because we want justice for an innocent girl and just because we hate a person that doesn’t justify convicting them.
In the Torah and Jewish law much trust is placed in punishment by G-d. In a scenario where a guilty person walked free because of lack of evidence, it is believed that justice will be carried out by the ultimate Judge. Sometimes it will be a direct punishment and sometimes G-d will create a circumstance where the guilty person will repeat the crime and this time there will be solid evidence. In the end, guilty people will be punished.
We’ve seen it with O.J Simpson, he walked free but eventually he got what he deserved. Based on the information they had, the jury did the right thing to acquit Casey Anthony. If, however, she is guilty, she will eventually pay the price.
Maybe Casey Anthony is guilty. Maybe she did murder her daughter. But I would rather the jury acquit her because there was no hard evidence than convict her because they felt like it. That way lies true miscarriage of justice.