Pattye Benson

Community Matters

OJ Simpson

Following the Law, but was Justice Served for Caylee Anthony?

I followed the Casey Anthony murder trial over the last few weeks, just wanting justice served for the beautiful little 2-yr. old, Caylee Anthony. I do not claim to be any legal expert and was driven by the emotion surrounding such a heinous crime. I accept that my opinion for the outcome to the trial was based on seeking justice for the little girl who could not seek justice on her own.

We all knew that a guilty verdict for Casey Anthony was not going to bring Caylee back . . . but for justice to be served in this case; I thought that was the required outcome. When the verdict of ‘not guilty was first announced, I immediately thought of the OJ Simpson trial and what I perceived was a similar injustice. In reflection, I can see that the trials and ultimate verdicts of not guilty in the Anthony and Simpson cases really are not the same . . . although I wanted justice for Caylee Anthony in the same way that I wanted justice for Simpson’s victim.

Much evidence was presented in the OJ Simpson trial – beyond any reasonable doubt. However, the jury in the Simpson trial was impacted by the media, the public, issues of race and the best defense attorneys that money could buy. A media circus surrounded the Simpson trial and in the end, the media won.

The Casey Anthony trial also played out in the media, but this time the law won. The verdict may not have been wanted I wanted, but the prosecution had an obligation to establish guilt beyond any reasonable doubt and they were not successful. Do I think that Casey Anthony committed the murder of her daughter? Yes, but the prosecution did not make the case, simply not enough evidence to convict.

Initially, upon hearing the not guilty verdict, I was outraged at the jury. I figured that with only 10 hours of deliberation it had been a slam-dunk for the prosecution. No, just the opposite, the jury’s seemingly quixotic decision was based on evidence, or rather ‘lack of’. In deliberating the case, the jury followed the law – and in the end, isn’t that what we want from our legal system? Still it is hard to look at the Casey Anthony verdict as good news . . . after all a beautiful little girl is dead and the murderer may have gone free.

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