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I Am So Proud to Be an American Citizen

Today, I witnessed our system of justice at work. And our American system of justice worked. I am profoundly moved by this quite unexpected (!) event.

Serving as a juror on any case is a solemn duty. Solemn. The two most important words that I, as a juror, have always kept foremost in considering the guilt or innocence of a fellow citizen — and the accused are, all of them, our fellow American citizens entitled to every right the rest of us receive — those two words that mean the most are Reasonable Doubt. It is better that many guilty go free than that one innocent person be found guilty. Always. No matter who the defendent is. No matter what the crime is. Even the death of a precious little girl.

I’ve studiously avoided listening to much of the trial of Casey Anthony, but it was impossible not to hear a lot, particularly the “talking heads” on every news channel. What bothered me most about the case were two things: (1) She was overcharged (capital murder was not a reasonable charge, in my opinion); and (2) I had a lot of doubts about the scant — scant — evidence that the prosecutors were able to provide. This does NOT mean that I don’t think Casey Anthony is probably guilty. She probably is. But the prosecutors did not prove her guilt beyond ALL reasonable doubt.

How interesting that the jury verdict came in on the day after the most important holiday for every citizen of this nation. And that that holiday is named “Independence Day,” which means — to me — this nation’s founding, so radical at its conception, meant that every citizen deserves the same rights as every other citizen.

I haven’t heard from any of the jurors yet, and we may never hear from them. But there were 12 citizens, just like you and me, who came together and found insufficient evidence to charge the defendant with either capital murder or manslaughter. That is, quite simply, huge.

And I suspect that being in that courtroom every day is a very different experience from watching it on television, particularly with the constant opining from the “talking heads.” One day, a neighbor came over and she asked me to turn to the HLN channel. There was Nancy Grace, who has to be one of the most odious personalities on television. I am sure that Ms. Grace is seething at the moment. But I’ll make sure to avoid listening to her. Leave that to her fans, although I am astonished that anyone would elect to view her show. But, were Nancy Grace charged with a serious crime and I were a juror for her case, I would have to set aside ANY personal feelings I have about her as a person, and make the difficult effort to solely consider the evidence. That is difficult to do. And Casey Anthony was certainly an unappealing defendant in many, many ways. So it is especially remarkable that the jurors set aside any negative impressions that they must have had about her.

The point is that being a juror, in the courtroom, is a very different experience. Most of all, there is a monumental burden in being a juror, particularly in a capital case. I have no doubt that those 12 people gave the case their very best attention and consideration.

Enough from me. I just wanted to say that — whether or not we agree with the jury — the system worked. And thank god for this system that we American citizens are so fortunate to enjoy.

  • Anonymous

    Casey Anthony will be released from jail on July 13.

    “Say What You Will…It Feels So Good”

  • Anonymous

    ABC News has admitted that it paid accused murderer Casey Anthony $200,000 in exchange for exclusive rights to video and photos. The network denies that the payments also included agreements for interviews. -snip- From: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/als-morning-meeting/101509/abcs-payment-to-casey-anthony-raises-questions-about-ethics-checkbook-journalism/

  • BINKY

    Breaking news!  Jane Valez Mitchell spoke to Tim Miller, Equusearch, who explained that they’re exploring the possibility of suing Casey and the Anthonys to recover the money they spent looking for a missing child.  Jose said in court, “there was never a missing child.”  Also, Zanny’s lawyer was on and explained that they’re pursuing their lawsuit against Casey!  The IRS is after her too.  WOW!  

    • Ferd_Berfle

      That is entirely proper as she led them on a wild goose chase. Preponderance of evidence applies in civil cases.

  • Anonymous

    What I didn’t say last night was, this case has been sensationalized; as we all know sadly this is not the only case where a child has more than likely been killed by their family. Every single day in our country children are subjected to horrors too sickening to recount, some actually survive. Sad to say this case is more common than many see. That makes it even harder to accept the jury judgement, I would think.
     To me, that is also a major issue in the sensationalizing-as now we have a new standard for what a rotten mother is. Agreed lying about where the child is for a month is the obvious act of a selfish human being trying to cover their own ass, as well as those involved who would lie and cover for her. Getting a tattoo is not, getting pregnant out of wedlock is not-at least is isn’t according to the crap on television day in and day out this is more the standard of life for our young parents. Irresponsibility is an acceptable way of life, all the way down from those on high. Lying is as common and probably more frequent than the truth being told. Speech is constantly manipulated to make you vote, a certain way, purchase a certain way, and yes believe in specifics about evidence in a certain way. What someone else states as fact often is opinion, even those who are deemed experts can and do lie, for the paycheck they are promised. I am not saying that happened here, I am saying that it happens everywhere, all the time. 
     It is also rare in anytime to find a parent that will out their own child for committing such an act, but knowingly impeding a case with no regard to what is happening to this child that is missing sent out a red flag that those who got in the way, were not worried about that, as they already knew what happened to this child-where is the prior concern?  Last, it is maybe a hard distinction to make at this early point, but I will say it anyway, this does have everything to do with our Constitution, which either we uphold in whole, or pick it down to the bones where it no longer functions. We cannot have a single case allow itself to be come more important than the standard that has been from the beginning our law; and if we do as a majority see fit to change the way we handle a criminal case, or any case/law for that matter, that will be what has to be, a majority of agreement where the laws are changed. What benefit does the jury get for the verdict they delivered? I imagine when their identities are known, some idiots will pass on death threats. And like the man seen in the photo with his big message for Casey, by flipping her off, all I can see is, this man looks stupid to me. If he wants to help and get justice then pressure that damned D.A.’s office in Orlanda to keep at finding out the truth for this little girl, because no one has, yet. 

  • Ferd_Berfle
    • Anonymous

      Excellent commentary by Boortz, thanks!

  • Ferd_Berfle

    Honestly, I think the MSM is using this verdict to divert attention away from the issues that affect everyone, e.g., the economy. The phrase, “never let a crisis go to waste” comes immediately to mind and the MSM is going to milk this for what it is worth, 24 hours a day, seven days a week until people’s ears damn well bleed and they fall over from sheer exhaustion. And then we’re going to get a hopperful of new laws that won’t be enforced, joining the current ones that aren’t enforced and the politicians will pat themselves on the back for a job well done that wasn’t even a job at all but just more empty damn promises. And the electorate will be lulled back to sleep.

    WAKE UP

  • Anonymous

    Fla. Legislator Proposes Caylee’s Law

    WFOR-TV,
    [Miami, FL],
    by Staff   
    7/6/2011
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla.
    (CBSMiami.com)

    – The outrage over the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony trial has reached the Florida Legislature. Wednesday, Representative Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, introduced what is beingcalled,
    “Caylee’s Law,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. The law
    would make it a felony for a parent or legal guardian to fail to timely report a missing child in cases where the parent knew or should have known that the child…..

    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2011/07/06/fla-legislator-proposes-caylees-law/
    was possibly in danger, the Sentinel reported.

  • Anonymous

    Casey Anthony Writes About Wanting More Babies

    ABC News,
    by Emily Friedman   
    7/6/2011

    On the eve of her sentencing that could set her free for the first time in nearly three years, a look back at Casey Anthony’s
    jailhouse letters show that the 25-year-old may have more children upon her release. “I had a dream not too long ago that I was pregnant,” wrote Casey Anthony in one of more than 50 letters she sent to fellow inmate Robyn Adams between 2008 and 2009 when the two were housed in the Orlando County Jail in
    Florida. “It was like having Cays all over again,” she wrote, referring to her dead daughter…..

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/casey-anthony-children/story?id=14009375

  • Anonymous

    I STILL try to turn this stuff off at every opportunity. Now they are wasting airtime speculating on her future.
    My husband says this reminds him of an old joke:

    Guy in the bottom bunk in a train hears the guy in the top moaning, “I’m so thirsty. Boy am I thirsty.” over and over.
    Fed up he gets the guy some water.
    The guy in the bottom gets back in his bunk to hear the guy above moaning again, “Was I thirsty. Boy, was I thirsty,” over and over.

  • Orange Bowl Observer

    The evidence was botched.  The medical examiner failed to admit she was unqualified to assess children’s skeletal remains. She is too busy making a name for herself on Discovery to admit she needed a specialist forensic anthropologist. (there are only 4 or 5 in the country that are qualified to assess child skeletons)

    The prosecution went to trial with bad data.  Had the tape been on the skull dead or alive while it still had skin there is NO WAY it didn’t have actionable DNA evidence.

    The forensics in this case stank and the local Floridian handlers there of, boogered it so bad that they in fact destroyed evidence so that the Federal examiners could not help.

    The prosecution should have cut the woman loose and built a credible case. Now she is free to go and cannot be re-charged.

    It takes TIME and care to gather and assess forensic evidence–this is not CSI where the machine pops out an answer in 2 minutes it takes months to isolate and identify DNA evidence.  This case was rushed to judgment and the woman condemned by the TV pundits. Just as they picked Obama to be president and rushed to judgement without sufficient investigation.  The media wants to drive the story not report it.  It is a damned shame.

    This case rested on bad evidence and to add insult to injury that precious little child was used as a tool to make others famous and build their careers–from the ME to the Prosecuter to the Defense team. 

    The travesty in all of this is too many people were looking out for their interests and not doing their job.

    The media ought to be all over the ME  trying to understand why she didn’t open the skull to determin for certain the cause of death–the defense pathologist did–there was blunt force trauma consistent with a blow to the head–maybe an accident maybe otherwise.

    The media and the pundits will rail against the “justice” system and pronounce Casey guilt and themselves right in spite of the stupid jurors.

    Truth is the jurors got it right–there was no clear, undeniable proof.

    The fault lies in the investigation and the rush to make the evidence fit their story instead of following the evidence even if it takes years.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Orange Bowl, well said, and clear.

    • Ferd_Berfle

      An excellent summation concerning those with whom people should be angry. The jurors had to work within this mess.

    • Anonymous

      Jon Benet Ramsey redux….it seems.

      “Say What You Will…It Feels So Good”
      http://www.saywhatyouwill.proboards.com

    • Domd

      She was in jail for +/-3 years before her trial.

  • Anonymous

    Casey leaves Orlando, moves to Naples, FL, and runs for School Board.

    “Let them say what they will, so long as they spell my name correctly!” – anonymous rich guy

  • Anonymous

    I predict the following Arc of the Casey Anthony story:

    She becomes the “hot ride” at all the big-league meat racks from Kissimmee to Sanford for a time.

    She will find a willing ghost writer for her memoirs. It will NOT be Ann Rule. Someone like Joe McGinnis is more her style.

    At least one cover of “People” magazine.

    If she starts working out gym now, religiously, a possible photo spread in PLAYBOY. Not the centerfold, but enough pics that she is photographed attending six of Heff’s parties. Softball, give-and-take interview which reveals, after major league tease, absolutely nada.

    Guest Editorship at NEGLIGENT MOTHER magazine, provided my ex-wife, the Publisher, will hire her. 

    Barbara Wa-Wa interview.

    Wide rumor that she is Warren Beatty’s (or Justin Timberlake’s) latest “Strange.”

    At least three more arrests, probably for bad checks, DUI or misdemeanor Possession of Controlled Substance.

    Three stints at Rehab. Rehab throws HER out, rather than her leaving prematurely, because she doesn’t Pay Up.

    Big Noise over Movie Rights, which culminate in a Pile o’ Crap made-for-TV movie that goes “Direct to Lifetime,” wherein she is portrayed by Victoria Hamel (Farrah Fawcett being unavailable).

    EXTRA BONUS POINTS: If Tim Matheson plays Lee Anthony, Peter Riegert portrays George Anthony and Marion Ross is Cindy Anthony.  

    • Anonymous

      What a true portrayal of our media culture.

      • Anonymous

        I regret that I have no connections to the Travel Industry, as a good stack of ducats could be made off the howling-for-blood mobs selling them a “Nancy Grace ‘You KNOW the Bitch Did It!’” cruise, starring Trailerella herself in all of her Macon bad make-up splendor.

        Wouldn’t have to hawk THOSE tickets on Kayak, wouldja?