The world erupted last week when a not guilty emerged from the inner sanctum of a jury room. Immediately thereafter lawyers, law-students and lay persons plenty of abject morons began to react to the Casey Anthony verdict. On Twitter.
“OH MY GOODnESS hOW COULD TheY FIND HER NAWT GUILTy??!?”
“she never did it, JUSTICE!”
“That Jury is a bunch of morons! TIME TO APPEAL!”
Then Nancy Grace loses her fucking mind:
Breaking news tonight. The verdict watch in the case of tot mom, Casey Anthony, on trial for the alleged murder of her 2-year-old little girl, Caylee, is over. In the last hours, the tot mom jury renders a verdict of not guilty. We are here, camped outside the Orange County, Orlando, courthouse, bringing you the latest at the end of the courthouse day. In the last hours, a jury delivers a stunning blow to justice, a stunning blow to police and to prosecutors with a not guilty verdict on all major counts in the tot mom, Casey Anthony, murder trial. The defense team promptly leaves the courthouse and goes to toast champagne in front of a window at a local bar. Let me just say, the devil is dancing tonight!
Now, we all know that Nancy Grace is a former prosecutor because she constantly tells us this (well, tells you this, I don’t watch her drivel). As far as I can tell, she is a true believer in the guilt of anyone suspected of anything (Sorry Nancy, I did take that money out of my mother’s purse when I was nine years old, I guess that means I had a hand in the Caylee Anthony death). Her zealous defense of uhh...ummm...the certitude of all things prosecutorial...leads her to be blinded from what actually happened in this case. Or just incapable of actually being fair and balanced in analysis (maybe that’s why she is on CNN instead of Fox...). Let’s get my confessions out of the way: I didn’t pay attention to this trial. I didn’t care (still don’t) about this trial. And I really don’t care about Casey Anthony. Finally, I think she did have a hand in the death of her daughter.
That said, I think the verdict was absolutely correct.
Here are the simple items that I think that Nancy and all of the fellow talking heads are forgetting:
1. The prosecution screwed up, not the jury. The jury and their verdict is a shining example of our criminal justice system in action. A prosecutor can yell that smoke means fire all they like, it doesn’t mean that you can convict them. One of my prosecutor friends said that the State overcomplicated the theory of the case and as a result, lost the jury.
2. Not guilty does not mean innocent. The one juror interview that I read said that she thought that Ms. Anthony did something, but the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof. This is the jury system doing its job as the prosecution has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
3. Jose Baez and the Casey Anthony legal team are lucky as hell. If she had been convicted, it is my opinion that she would have had a slam dunk ineffective assistance of counsel claim to be made against them. I still think someone should intellectually smacked around whoever gave the idea of waiting until opening statement to give an actual defense (it was an “accidental drowning” and this was “panic”). Also, they should be called to question about claiming sexual abuse and then failing to present any evidence of it.
I’ve seen one quality interview on this case and that was on the local news here in Chicago:
If only Nancy Grace could take off her zealous blinders and remember what it means to be (1) an attorney and (2) a prosecutor it would definitely help the viewing public to understand a verdict.
This was not OJ. This was not a jury run amok. This was a great example of a jury listening to the judge and following the law.
You can’t ask for anything besides that.
Editor's note: You can in fact ask for something besides that. This is what you can ask for: