When the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial was handed down today, much of the nation let out a collective cry of outrage. From Nancy Grace to Kim Kardashian and pretty much every person I spoke with or saw post on Facebook today, people are furious that Caylee Anthony's death will not be avenged and that the woman we all "knew" was guilty was not found to be.
Never one to mince words, but rather use them to inflame the masses, Grace in particular offered a seething reaction: "There is no way that this is a verdict that speaks the truth. As the defense sits by and has their champagne toast after that not guilty verdict, somewhere out there, the devil is dancing tonight.”
But what truth does Grace know?
It's nice, attention-grabbing rhetoric, but like the rest of the coverage she has delivered throughout this case, her opinions are based almost entirely on emotional reaction to what she has seen. And what she and none of us have seen or heard is what the jury saw and heard -- the real evidence upon which their decision was based.
Grace and others call it an outrage of justice, but the real outrage here is how quickly Americans are to condemn our judicial system based on the rantings of people like Grace. Whether Casey Anthony is guilty or not is not up to us to decide; it's up to the jury. As much as their decision is hard to believe based on what WE have seen, we should respect it and trust that they are doing their job.
As my brother, Rory Ryan, a professor at Baylor Law School, said much more astutely than I could:
This wasn't a group of lawyers, or legislators, or corporate executives with a motive. It was 12 folks who heard an awful lot and had to make a sensitive decision about a matter within their community. And I am glad they, not many of my Facebook friends, will preside over important matters in my community. Again I thank the framers for entrusting these matters to a jury instead of those who watched highlights on "Headline News."
So as much as I ache for little Caylee and the horrible things she endured during her all-too-short life, and as much as I suspect Casey of things much greater than she was convicted of in my heart, in my head, I think the verdict reflects well on our judicial system. Namely, for the sake of any of us who may ever be falsely accused, it proves that our legal system does work, and that a jury is able to differentiate between thinking someone is guilty and proving it ... no matter what Nancy Grace says.
What do you think of Nancy Grace's coverage of the Casey Anthony case and reaction to the verdict?
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