Casey Anthony Jury Got the Verdict Right

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Nancy Grace Casey AnthonyThe shock of the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony trial is still washing over America, one vitriolic Nancy Grace rant and Facebook status ripping the jury at a time. But there's one glaring error in their targeted attacks on the 12 men and women who spent 10 hours deliberating a verdict. They didn't have to prove Anthony's guilt in the death of little Caylee. It wasn't their job.

Sure, it's the jury that delivered the verdict that left us sputtering, "What, not even a charge of child abuse? She didn't report her toddler missing for a month!" But that's what juries do. They take the evidence presented to them, mull it over, and come back with a verdict that reflects not the innocence or guilt of the defendant, but whether they were convinced that the accused did the deed.

The Casey Anthony verdict doesn't mean she's not guilty at all.

It means the prosecutors in Orange County, Florida failed. Just take a look at the instructions from Judge Belvin Perry to the jury before they left the courtroom:

If you find that no offense has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then, of course, your verdict must be not guilty.

Reasonable doubt is easy enough to understand. If you have doubt, as a juror, you're legally obligated to return a "not guilty" verdict. It's up to prosecutors to present a rock solid case, a case so well-built that there is no doubt in the jurors' mind as to what happened. In the case of Casey Anthony, the jurors had doubt. But they didn't put that there. The defense did, and the prosecution didn't knock it away.

I'm angry on behalf of that sweet little girl, but not at the jury. In truth, when I look at the jurors, I confess I'm relieved. Relieved that juries still listen to the judge's instructions rather than taking matters into their own hands, relieved that in America the media can't convict someone, that prosecutors still have to. That jury COULD have decided to ignore what happened in the courtroom and go with their guts, but that wouldn't be the American justice system, would it? That would be a courtroom where personal bias snuck in, where someone could be convicted because that juror has a thing against black people or get off scot-free because that juror has a soft spot for Jewish folks.

Personal bias has no place in a jury box. The opinions of the Nancy Graces and other media types have no place in a jury box. And overzealous prosecutors need to be kept in check -- lest we have a repeat of the many lives ruined by them over the years, folks like Richard Jewell, supposed bomber of the Atlanta Olympics who never did it, and the members of the Duke lacrosse team who never raped a woman.

Like most of America, I still think Casey Anthony is guilty, but I'm directing my anger at the prosecution. They failed that little girl.

Have you been ranting against the jury? Do you think they had any choice?

 

Image via YouTube

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momve... momversuswild

My husband agrees with you.  We just had this conversation last night.  I do not.  I have no idea how one could have reasonable doubt that she did it.

bills... billsfan1104

OMG I agree with you on this. What people are not understanding, is that the jury did not see a lot of things that the media showed or what they argued in front of the judge, because they had to leave the courtroom. The jury also did not have the priveledge of listening to people like Nancy Grace and convicting her based on emotion. Too many people are going to prison for a long time, because they didnt listen to the evidence, they convicted based on emotion.

Cryst... CrystalCloud

They doubted the lack of evidence.

Mommah3 Mommah3

I agree that the jury did the right thing.....The "evidence" that was given by the prosecution was all circumstantial and did not prove that Casey killed Caylee. Yes I think its sad that we will never truly know who killed her or whether it was an accident or not. No matter what we all think, there are only 3 people who know who really did it and what really happened.....the murderer, caylee and GOD!

nonmember avatar Tom F

You're right to focus on "reasonable doubt".

However, there was absolutely no doubt whatsoever that she murdered the child.

nonmember avatar catinmo

It is completely shocking and a very very sad day for little Caylee. The jury was told by *both* sides that she is a pathological liar. She lied for 3 years that she didn't know anything. Then she comes up with the drowning story which common sense dictates is another lie. Why did they believe this one?!?! Even IF it was an accident, please explain the chloroform, duct tape, smell in the trunk, bagged like trash and thrown in a swamp???? I think the jury just wanted to get home and did not weigh the facts or do due diligence on this case :'(

nonmember avatar blh

How exactly is their reasonable doubt that she commuted child abuse? She didn't report her child missing for a month and im pretty sure that constitutes child abuse and there is no doubt about that. The reasonable doubt thing is a stupid standard anyway you can over prove without a doubt someone did something unless someone saw it and usually that's not what happens in a murder. And what about the dead body smell in her trunk? That seems like sufficient evidence to me

Pua Smith

Okay, fine, I understand how they couldn't find her guilty of murder 1. But not guilty of manslaughter and child neglect??? HOW? The story her lawyer told, she deserved that at the least. The point remains that the little girl died and wasn't reported missing for 31 day. Thirty-one day. If THAT doesn't deserve a child neglect charge, then there is something wrong.

nonmember avatar MommaMia

I am upset at the jury and do not believe they did the job they were sent to do. The morning news shows reported they were inattentive during prosecutor testimony, arms crossed and one of them played with her pen. They took very few notes on the evidence (yes, circumstantial evidence is still evidence!), and did not review any pertinent facts in the case or ask to look at evidence. It appears to be a "shoddy" verdict. Very alarming for society...

Fadra Nally

How many years of training did the "jury of her peers" have in the law? This is my issue. I'd rather have my case argued by lawyers and decided by a panel of judges that understand the law and the evidence.

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