Casey Anthony and the CSI effect: are we all doomed?

I wish I could simply accept the jury’s decision in the Casey Anthony case and be done with it, but I can’t.  I’m stunned, I’m sickened, I’m fearful for the future of American Jurisprudence.   There are at least three  points that I think that most of us should be able to rationally accept:

  1. When murder (accidental or intentional) occurs, the perpetrator rarely takes the time to film the event
  2. Equally rare are murderers (accidental or intentional) who conduct the act in front of witnesses.
  3.  People who commit murder are rarely willing to confess to the event, knowing that they’ll have to suffer the consequences.

Outside of that?  We are left with the talents and dedication of hardworking police officers, detectives, and investigators who lay their asses on the line for us each and every day and who work damned hard to stitch together the pieces of highly difficult cases.  The victims aren’t able to tell us what we need to know and their murderers rarely step forward to tell us what happened.  In far too many cases we are left with circumstantial evidence to try to come as close to the truth as any human being can without having been present at the time of the unfortunate loss of life.  Prosecutors, working in partnership with officers, detectives, and other investigators try to bring justice to the victims and their families.

So is it the case that shows like CSI, and any myriad of crime dramas on air, seem to have us convinced that if legal cases aren’t solved with 100% certainty (relying on evidence such as DNA matches, hair, skin cells, and fibers) then those cases are specious and should be approached with cynicism and distrust?  Are we to believe that every single case is wrapped up nice and neatly?  Are we so mistrustful of our legal system and the science that drives so many cases, that even in a case when a mother ADMITS she daughter died in her presence and that the child was wrapped in a trash bag and disposed of (after possibly spending days in the trunk of a car, depending on whose evidence you believe) that the very same mother could escape any sort of legal reprecussions for her actions?  

Would this jury as much as convicted Casey Anthony of abuse of a corpse had they been given an option?  I seriously doubt it.

One alternate juror has stated that he/she didn’t believe George Anthony on the stand.  (But the individual did seem to believe the mother who knew her daughter was dead, allowed hundreds/thousands of people to become caught up in a search for a dead child while other missing children did not receive that help, and who partied for a month following the death was believeable?).

Another alternate said that he/she had difficulty believing that Caylee was ever in the trunk of the car.  Based on what?  Not believing it was possible for a mother to do something like that?  (Bella Vita, Baby!  “A Beautiful Life” tattoo purchased as the child lay dead and rotting, gnawed on by animals… a mother who does that would be incapable of leaving a child’s body in the trunk? ).  Have we become a nation that believes our own opinions, and CSI influenced mindset, than the actual evidence before us?

So many posters/twitter users/facebook fans have commented on the fact that Nancy Grace will have a heart attack and die over this verdict.  It’s sometimes said with glee.  In all honesty, Nancy Grace is the equivalent of chewing shards of glass, in my book, and I’m sorry that she has become as much the face of this trial as Casey Anthony or (RIP) little Caylee.  This case should always have been about Caylee.  She is the person all seemed to think the least about, save the prosecution … it was all about Casey’s demeanor, George Anthony shoving his member in his daughter’s mouth and sending her off to school, Cindy Anthony and whether she was a pathological matriarch protecting her wild-child daughter and her (allegedly incestuous and groping) son, Lee… it was about the cameras, validation for the defense team, persecution of the prosecution, but this trial was never about Caylee, in my opinion (see, I have them too!)

Caylee was least well served by this trial and to some degree so were the rest of us.  Those who’ve said that Casey shouldn’t be convincted because the cause of death could not be determined make me recall the (very) old joke about the defendant accused of the murder of his parents throwing himself on the mercy of the court because he was just a lonely orphan.  That Casey made it impossible for anyone to determine the COD by keeping the body hidden (that was not at all intentional, I’m sure, just a coincidence).  Should that mean that given all other evidence she should have been allowed to walk free?  What lesson is there in that for any other alleged perpertrator of a crime? 

What happens at this point now that Casey Anthony has been found “not guilty”?  Does she go home to the father and brother who assaulted her (given the defense she put on)?  Does she press charges against her father for sexual assault?  Does she seek charges against her brother for attempted sexual assault?  Can the state charge them both?

SURELY she won’t go home with those threats to her person living there? Not now that she’s spoken her truth, right?  If her family is calling her claims “baseless” (meaning that it was a lie?) what must they think about the rest of the story her? 

Do you know who  isn’t so likely to forgive the lies associated with this case?  Zenaida Gonzalez!  As I understand it, she has a case moving forward based on the false allegations that she, Zanny the (never was the) Nanny, abducted Caylee — a girl her mother knew was dead.  As a result, Gonzalez was threatened, the lives of her children were threatened, and her life was turned upside down.  If a huge win for Zenaida in a case against Casey is the best anyone can hope for, I’ll take it.  I hope a lawsuit will make it impossible for Ms. Anthony to ever profit from the lie that harmed Ms. Gonzalez and her family and that she never makes a dime from Caylee’s death.

It’s all we have… oh, and CSI, in the place of appreciation of real police work.

ETA:  Just found this online (CA and the CSI Effect)…   I agree in some places, obviously, and disagree in other…

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2 thoughts on “Casey Anthony and the CSI effect: are we all doomed?

  1. They couldn’t even prove there had been a murder. I think this case is an excellent example of why our system of jurisprudence WORKS. Better a hundred guilty men go free than one innocent be jailed. Too often it goes the other way, and an innocent person is incarcerated (even put to death) for a crime they did not commit.

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