I was stunned by the verdict, as many were, based on what I knew. But in fairness, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the case until the last few days. I’m about sensational murder trials as I am about basketball games—I don’t watch them until the very end. Too much of an emotional roller coaster, and I’ve had my share of those lately.
But, as I’ve looked at what the jury members who’ve spoken have said about how they came to their decision, I’ve been more settled than stunned, more hopeful than nonplussed. In the end, the prosecution failed to demonstrate in a way that “removed all doubt” a connection between Casey and the crime scene.
I don’t know if she’s guilty of killing her daughter. I don’t know if she’s innocent, either. Not my call. But to those whose call it was, I am grateful. They restored my faith in our judicial system by demonstrating the restraint that enabled them to look at what was presented to them, and, irrespective of how they may have felt about Casey Anthony’s behavior, surmised was true, or what they believed about her based on intuitive feeling and judge her on the basis of the instructions they were given. We’re human after all, and sometimes we make mistakes. And I personally would prefer that those mistakes be in the direction of mercy. It’s a tough moral choice, I know, but for me, to err on the side that allows some who may be guilty to go free is the lesser of two evils. To convict an innocent soul, punishing him or her for crimes not committed is a much greater sin.
Today, I am more confident in my peers because of the jury in Casey Anthony’s case. I know too well from personal experience that circumstantial evidence is just that. I suspect we all do, in one way or another. What leaves me pensive, though, are the Christians who would have “put her under the jail,” convinced that she is guilty and that they are all-knowing. I’m pensive because that’s exactly what happened to Jesus, and yet they seem not to make that connection. Jesus was tried, convicted and crucified because the high priests of the time, threatened by his obvious influence over the people, presented circumstantial evidence that he intended to lead a mob and try to overthrow the Romans. And they succeeded in their aim.
We know what we believe happened after that, but we are smug in our self-righteousness that we wouldn’t have been a part of that crowd.
And yet, I wonder…