Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Casey Anthony Trial

As many of you know by now Casey Anthony was found not guilty of killing her daughter, in Florida. What I find interesting is the reactions of folks on the social networks. The L.A. Times even wrote a story about it:
Casey Anthony was found not guilty Tuesday of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, by a jury in Florida. The court of public opinion, however, thought the young mother was more than guilty, and moments after the verdict was read, social networks including Twitter and Facebook exploded with references to O.J. Simpson, Johnnie Cochran, and how upset CNN's Nancy Grace was going to be.
Reading a lot of these tweets really shows me that most people really don't know what goes on in a court room. Plus I think they are being very unfair to the members of the jury. They found Ms. Anthony "not guilty" because the prosecution failed to make their case.

This is the problem with the so-called court of public opinion: the public reads all about these high-profile cases and forms an opinion (Duh!) not taking into account that now the person has to be tried in court, and the prosecution has to convince a pool of jurors, who already are working under the assumption that the accused is innocent, that the person is guilty. It's not the other way around, folks. It is not up to the defense to prove the defendants innocence.

I recently was recently called for jury duty in San Francisco and ended up getting as far as an alternate juror on a criminal case and the judge spent a lot of time talking about the presumption of innocence and how the defense actually didn't have to present a case at all, since the defendant is presumed to be innocent.

I think this kind of public reaction to the Anthony verdict is very much the fault of twisted people like Nancy Grace and all those stupid "people's court" type shows, which are not about justice and the law, but are about spectacle and ratings. I think more folks should spend time sitting in an actual court room to learn a bit more about how our legal system really works.

I don't know if Ms. Anthony is really guilty of killing her daughter or not, but the state of Florida obviously did not convince them beyond a reasonable doubt so she goes free. That's how it works.

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