I did not watch the Casey Anthony trial every day, although I have friends and family who did. I have read several articles about the country’s fascination with this particular case and the trial, many of the authors of these articles accusing those who were glued to their television sets as having a morbid curiosity, or perhaps enjoying the live version of Law and Order. I am sure in some cases this is true, but I think the majority of people out there were just plain outraged that this woman took her child’s life and showed no remorse, much less a moment of grieving for the death of her sweet toddler.
Casey Anthony fit the role of villain very well. Nothing made me more angry than seeing pictures of her partying in bars, a huge smile on her face, drinking and dancing on tables, days after her daughter’s death. This was not a grieving mother. This was a habitual liar, most likely a sociopath, celebrating her newfound freedom. She later said these bar visits were part of her own personal “investigation” to find her missing daughter. Please.
I have tried to make sense of today’s verdict. I have tried to tell myself that maybe the prosecution didn’t prove the case, or provide the jury with what they needed. I have tried to tell myself that since I didn’t watch every moment of the trial, perhaps I didn’t see something obviously missing to make this jury come to the conclusion that seemed so clear to everyone else.
But I can’t make it all make sense. If this mother had ever shown one ounce of sadness over the loss of her daughter, maybe I could have some peace with this, but I doubt it. If she hadn’t lied, celebrated, and waited until she had no choice but to report her daughter missing because her own parents demanded it and called 911. Maybe. But probably not.
Many people have also compared this trial and outcome to the OJ Simpson trial. It is easy to draw parallels. In both cases, we all knew that the defendants were guilty. It seemed a foregone conclusion that a guilty verdict would follow. In seeing and hearing my friends responses after the verdict was read, I was taken back to that time and the OJ case, and remembered the same outrage. We all want to believe in our justice system and that the bad guys that do evil things will be punished. When it doesn’t happen, it is more than unsettling. If the truly identifiable bad guys walk away unscathed—how can we know we are safe? How do we believe in justice again?
The saddest part in all of this is that a child died a horrible death and was disposed of. Casey Anthony got what she wanted, a life without a child, and her freedom. She will likely not serve another day in prison.I watched the verdict live today, and noticed her parents were emotionless as it was read. They simply got up and left the room. Their lives are ruined any way you look at it. They will likely have to take Casey into their home, after she so viciously trashed both of them during the trial. Either way, they will suffer immensely and will never have “normal” lives again.
I want to believe in the justice system. I believe everyone deserves a proper defense and their day in court. I hate the tactics the defense attorney used, and I hate even more that they worked.
I also hate that as the nation is riveted and angry over a miscarriage of justice, more children are being abused and neglected than any of us want to think about. If we all took that anger and reached out in our communities to help somehow through programs like Guardian ad Litem, or similar efforts, it is the only way we can really hope to change or help prevent things like this from happening. After working as a Guardian ad Litem myself years ago, I was appalled to see the number of cases of extreme abuse and neglect that existed in one county during a few weeks at a time. The number and severity of cases was staggering. I felt as if I had lived in a bubble for so long, not seeing what was going on even a few doors down in my own neighborhood. There are cases like Casey Anthony’s every day that slip under the wire somehow.
In this case, justice was not served. The evil bad guy did not get the deserved verdict. The only way I know to feel like I am doing something is to reach out where I can and try and do some good—to try and sway the balance of good vs. bad a little. It won’t turn back time and make the jury deliver the right verdict, it won’t undo what happened today, nothing will. But it will give me something to do with this anger and disgust I am harboring right now. And hopefully, somehow I can tell myself that this child’s death was not in vain.