Why the Casey Anthony Verdict Should Actually Make You Feel Good About the American System

OK, yes, you’re right, she probably did kill her daughter. And cover it up. And it was insane and terrible.

And, no, I don’t know a ton about the case — other than what I gathered from The View and bits of MSNBC before changing the channel.

But, that’s the point: I don’t know a ton about it, I didn’t have to listen to arguments from both attorneys and look at evidence. It doesn’t matter what I think, because here, in the US, you’re not subject to mob judgements.

You are subject to a premise of innocence, even if you don’t deserve it, and you have the right to a standard of proof that was not met in this case.

Yes, she probably did it and in Italy that would have been enough to convict her from the start, but here, probably isn’t good enough.

And, I’m ok with that.

If you concede that we will not, as a country or a justice system, be accurate 100% of the time (and we won’t because regardless of what CSI tells you, it’s pretty impossible), then the only question that matters is which side would you rather err on?

I don’t want tons of guilty people going free — hell, I don’t really want any guilty people going free — but I would rather some guilty not be punished than some innocent be locked up. [And, if you’re not ok with that, then you should decide what friends and family you’re ok with being wrongfully convicted?]

It is the price we pay for our freedom: the knowledge that we are less safe for it.

(I mean, my god, have you never read like any book ever?)

Innocent until proven guilty is a powerful thing and it does not exist everywhere and it does not exist without our belief in it. We could lock up everyone who seems suspicious or everyone who fits a certain profile. We could skip the whole trial thing and just send dissidents off to work camps. We could presume guilt – otherwise why would they have been arrested in the first place – and require someone to prove their innocence; it’s a system that is widely used in other countries.

(I don’t know a ton about the Amanda Knox case either, but I know it wouldn’t have met the standard of proof in the United States.)

But, we are better than that. We are braver and stronger than that. Even when it is hard – and I have no doubt it is hard right now for friends of family of the little girl who was killed – we are willing to believe in innocence; it is a cornerstone of America.

2 thoughts on “Why the Casey Anthony Verdict Should Actually Make You Feel Good About the American System

  1. I don’t really know much of this case, but I saw all kinds of stuff via social networking people clamoring. Anyway not what I wanted to comment about really. Since I added you to my list, and really knew nothing about you, except the few updates I have read, I scouted you out a bit more. like 10 minutes worth, but anyway I noticed you went to school at Glenbrook South or North or something. I went to Fremd, so we grew up not so far apart.

    I thought it interesting.

    O.K. one more thing, about the murder. I find it strange that so much media gets in an uproar over the one murder of a white girl, and we kill many more little girls as a nation, and those deaths are honorable, because no one ever tells us of the innocent civilians who die at our hands. War is ugly, but we rush to wage it.

    News outlets are all owned by huge conglomerates, and it is an old boy network who bring us the news, and they suck at it. IMHO.

    News should be about truth. We don’t see truth, because we believe in all kinds of false platitudes, and Nationalism, etc… Truth though really is truth. U.S. is not right, just because we are the U.S. How hard is it to see we don’t enforce antitrust laws??? or price fixing laws??

    Oh well, sorry to rant. I am done. 🙂

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