Okay, everybody take a deep breath…hold…exhale.
A certain Maggie from Orlando sent me an email requesting my thoughts on the Casey Anthony verdict.
Okay…but remember that you asked for it!
#1 The masses have been conditioned to think public opinion is a factor in all manner of shit because public opinion is too often a factor in lots of shit but that doesn’t mean public opinion should be a factor in most shit.
Last night I watched as Nancy Grace disgraced herself…once again…by attacking the jury, reading off their personal biographies with overt disdain for the juror with an “11th grade education” and the one with “a prior conviction for drug possession.”
My sister C-Money responded to Grace’s tirade with a question – how many of the people screaming about this jury have dodged jury duty when they were called?
Plenty…and let’s not bullshit about it.
Juries are drawn from the public. I wish and the system wishes that they were drawn from the general public, but sadly most juries are drawn from the willing to serve public that doesn’t make up a bullshit story to dodge their civic duty.
There is a difference and sometimes it shows.
That said, trashing juries feeds into the already existing problems with the jury system. Folks either won’t want to be on a jury in a high profile case and face the wrath of Nancy Grace & Co on national television…or folks will neglect their duty as jurors and do the public’s will rather than weigh the evidence.
I've been guilty of it my damn self...but watching this frenzy has inspired a personal correction on that tip.
I don’t care if you watched this trial from beginning to end…the jury experience is different and acting like they gleefully fucked up without entertaining the notion that this was a circumstantial trial with contradicting evidence and no certain cause of death is intellectually lazitude.
The mob is pissed.
The mob disagrees with the verdict.
But the only thing about this trial that surprised me was that the wishes of the mob were not granted this time.
That speaks more to the prosecution’s case than to the jury’s worthiness, because you can bet your ass those 12 people knew what the public expected.
No matter how many talk radio blowhards chew on this…no matter how outraged Nancy Grace & Co get…I don’t want to live in a country where the mob calls for an accused individual's head and then gets it in a basket.
That ain’t justice.
That’s the Reign of Terror.
#2 But what if her name was Keisha Anthony…?
Having acknowledged all of that, the Race Card was also at play.
Oh, puhlease don’t tell me you bought that bullshit that the Race Card and its get out of jail free benefits only apply to black people just because a few rich as hell black folks got favorable verdicts?
Race is usually discussed as a negative in jury trials…people of color often get longer sentences and are convicted on less convincing evidence.
But there is a flip side to every coin…and odds are we saw it on display yesterday with the Anthony verdict.
If “black” is suspect…then white is…?
If “criminal” equals “person of color”…then white woman equals…?
'Tis true that there is also the issue of class...poor people are suspect but people from middle class backgrounds are often assumed to be less likely to commit a crime.
I’ve seen this before…in the Susan Smith trial and others…where juries struggle to reconcile their preconceived notions about background and demographics with the charges brought against an individual.
The prosecution faced a challenge in Casey Anthony as much as they faced challenges in combining the evidence into a convincing case…a white woman from a middle class background who must be believed to be a monster to have done what the state alleged that she did.
If we're going to dissect this trial we should examine how the prosecution handled that challenge too.
#3 A child is dead - there is no justice in that...
I recently read this article about the murder of a young boy.
His body was found buried in the home where he was abused and tortured for years…left in a cage…denied comfort and food…separated from society for years…missing and yet not missed.
Christian Choate was 13 years old.
Christian’s story joins the thousands of other stories of missing, exploited, and abused children in America.
We have not ordered our society to protect innocents.
That should leave us all cold.
Verdicts in murder trials are not justice. They are what we are left with after we have failed to protect children and/or people from violence.
Justice dwells in a life free of oppression, neglect, and abuse.
May we seek justice in our communities...for the living...because every single person is deserved of it.
My heart weeps for Caylee Anthony.
May she rest in peace.
And may this case inspire advocacy for this nation’s children - they deserve far better than a jury’s verdict, be it guilty or not guilty.
Those are my thoughts...
...thanks for asking.