My Thoughts on the Casey Anthony Verdict

I’ve seen several reactions across the blogosphere concerning the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial.

Jim West thinks that jury trials are a joke.

I’m not saying that I disagree with Jim; but Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment guarantees the right to a trial by jury.

The Trial of All Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed. (US Constitution, Article III Section 2)

And:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. (Sixth Amendment)

The other issue is the jury itself.  Lawyers tend to shy away from certain people during jury selection.  For example, when I was in college, I was selected for jury duty.  Being a political science major, I was thrilled.  I was even more thrilled when I was selected to be a potential juror for a case.  Anyways, the potential jurors had to introduce themselves and state what their occupation was.  When it came to me, I promptly introduced myself and stated my occupation was a college student.  At that point, one of the lawyers asked me what my major was.  Needless to say, when I said it was political science, I was struck by both lawyers.  The judge also dismissed me from jury duty because, in his opinion, there was no way I would make it on any case as a juror.  The simple fact was, I knew too much about the process.  Lawyers generally don’t like that.

And finally, there is the issue of the phrase, “Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”  This is the burden of proof that the prosecution must meet in a criminal trial.  What this means is for one to vote guilty, no reasonable doubt of the individuals guilt can be raised.  If there is a reasonable doubt, one should vote ‘not guilty.’  But what is a reasonable doubt?  This phrase is open to interpretation by each individual member of a jury.  What is reasonable to one person might not be reasonable to another.  If I was on a jury and was charged with determining the guilt of an individual and that my decision constituted life in prison or a death sentence, I’d want to be pretty damn sure that person was guilty.  I would want to be able to say that my conscience was clear.

I really didn’t follow the trial, but from what I’ve read online, I think the jury blew this case.  Anyways, just my thoughts.  I agree with Joel on this one.  Not guilty doesn’t mean innocent.

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3 thoughts on “My Thoughts on the Casey Anthony Verdict

  1. the ‘idea’ of a jury trial is fair enough. but the present ‘practice’ of the jury trial is less about justice than it is ‘finishing up’ and ‘getting home’. too often it isnt evidence that rules jury decisions but sentimentality or love of fame or the quest for the book deal after the high profile trial. such an environment makes injustice too likely.

    • As someone who has studied and worked in a court, I absolutely agree. The theory behind the practice is shoved into the background. I’ve seen people try to get out of jury duty for the silliest things. I’ve seen the eyes of jurors glaze over during the trial. Rules of jury conduct are ignored. And yes, people only think about how this can benefit them in some way instead of worrying about if justice is done. Aside from Political Science students, lawyers also frown upon having a pastor on the jury because on some level, the pastor (should) get that it’s about justice being done and not about a way to make a quick buck.

  2. I did not follow the trial either.
    However, I just could not bring myself to believe that a mother could kill her child & (if) knowing she did so, could carry on the facade to the point of media attention this trial has produced.
    Additionally, and I am fully aware that this in itself has ZERO realistic relevance, however, I said & remain convinced that she is “just too darn pretty” to do something so ugly.

    Further, and which for me is foundational, is that I am convinced of the Absoulte Sovereginity of God in ALL life.

    There is ultimately but 1 Judge.
    The Word of God says: 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, Heb 9:27

    12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor. Jas 4:12

    50. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. John 8:50

    If indeed the jury did (blow it) of if in fact there was lack of evidence that left “reasonable doubt” the point is ultimately moot.

    A jury of her peers found her not-guilty. We, as citizens of the United States of America either believe in or at least support the system that is in place or we are committed to doing our part in change.

    More importantly, citizens who are also believers in the Jesus Christ of the Bible MUST therefore trust the He is who He is. GOD.

    Thank you for your time.
    Respectfully,
    Tom Holzinger

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