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Trial and Acquittal

Jul 122011
 
 By , July 12, 2011

Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer

William Blackstone

There is a lot of talk on the internets today about the acquittal of Casey Anthony on charges of  first degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and of aggravated child abuse. People are, based upon what they have read in the papers, or worse, upon what they have heard on cable TV, crying out that once again a guilty criminal has gone free.

Allow me to express my opinion:

I have no idea.

I am not qualified to have an opinion on the guilt or innocence of this woman.

Neither are you unless you were in the courtroom for the entire trial.

Here’s what I do know: The prosecution enters into a case with the deck stacked in its favor in any major case. They have almost unlimited manpower compared to the defendant who actually has to hire his lawyer and investigators, or worse yet, rely on an overworked Public Defender. The only thing the defendant has on his side is the tattered remnants of the Bill of Rights, most of which the Bush Supreme Court has put through the shredder…and he has the presumption of innocence.

You can’t put someone in prison “just to be safe”, although I know of a case where a juror later admitted to doing exactly that. I keep hearing people complain about the OJ acquittal, totally ignoring that it was proven that a detective planted evidence. The scary thing that ought to keep you awake at night is the lengths that the prosecution will go to once they have committed to prosecute.  The McMartin family went through a living hell for SEVEN YEARS before they were acquitted in the absurd Satanic pre-school case. It should have been obvious long before that they were innocent, but it is all too often about winning and not about justice.

That the prosecution could not even get a conviction on the child abuse charge would seem to indicate that either the prosecution totally botched everything or that the jury was convinced of not just a reasonable doubt, but a good chance of innocence.

That should settle things…but it won’t. Instead new laws are being proposed in dozens of states that will make it a felony to fail to report a child missing within 24 hours or to fail to report the death of a child within one hour. These laws will pass not because they have merit, anyone who is a parent and has the slightest imagination knows that 24 hours often pass before you are even sure a teenager is actually missing, but because it is political suicide to vote against them.

 

Meanwhile, one of the jurors is in such fear for her life that she has had to quit her job and flee town.

 

Be seeing you.

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The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture. Philip Posehn's main blog is at The Town Scryer.
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