Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BURDEN OF PROOF: The Casey Anthony Trial

The Casey Anthony Trial

T.V.’s most ridiculous 
and shameful reality
series has now come
to a conclusion, as the
verdict heard ‘round
the world was handed
down just hours ago in
an Orlando courtroom.

While pundits and other high profile talking heads chime in on the outcome of the media-fueled "dog and pony show" that was the Casey Anthony trial, the most compelling commentary I heard came from a child.

"Shouldn't that little girl's mommy have known where she was all the time?" my girlfriend's ten-year-old daughter asked during dinner this evening. "If her mommy didn't do it, then who else could have possibly done it?" she further reasoned. In her amazing, child-like wisdom, she cut to the very core of the matter — perfectly articulating in nine seconds what should have been the prosecution's entire open and shut case.

The theory that, "if it don't fit, you must acquit," apparently continues to affect (infect) jurors, years after Johnny Cochran successfully offered the now infamous defense at the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial.

But be sure that the popular notion that one cannot be convicted on circumstantial evidence is false. In fact, most (pre-O.J.) criminal convictions were (and occasionally still are) based, at least in part, on circumstantial evidence that sufficiently links criminal and crime.

Okay, for argument's sake, let's say that this really was a complex case and that former bikini salesman Jose Baez is actually a criminal defense mastermind who fought tooth and nail to see that justice prevailed. (Hooray, Jose!) But this jury also acquitted Casey Anthony on the charge of aggravated child abuse. Really? In the words of my girlfriend's daughter, "Shouldn't that little girl's mommy have known where she was all the time?" C'mon, on that count, "the glove fits" — like a noose. Even my ten-year-old friend could see that.

I've got to run to the Zip-E-Mart now for some Pepto — I'm feeling kinda sick to my stomach.

-Christopher Long
(July 2011)


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C'MON! -

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