Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Justice Served vs. Justice Done

More than a few people have surprised me with their defense of the jury's not-guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony trial.  Actually, it's the nature of their defense that has surprised me.
It's one thing to say simply that the government failed to meet the "beyond a reasonable doubt" legal threshold necessary to convict someone of a crime.  But then, in order to buttress what is undeniably a broadly unpopular position, to start sounding off about how there was no evidence that Ms. Anthony was a bad mother (as if failing to report a missing child was a normal maternal instinct), that in fact all the photos and home movies presented showed her to be a good mother (as if it were even possible to film an absent mother or likelt to film an unhappy event), that the family was dysfunctional (No!  Really!), that the father and the brother had molested her (that one asserted without any supporting evidence), etc., etc., etc..

I would like to ask any of those who have surprised me with their various defenses of the verdict, whether, the law aside, they in fact think Ms. Anthony had anything to do with the death of her child?  If they insist they simply don't, or can't, know, then I think they are guilty of being deliberately obtuse.

Look, the lady got a fair, jury trial, with the presumption of innocence, an opportunity to face and question her accusers, etc.  Justice was served.

But justice served is not the same thing as justice done.  If an innocent man is found guilty or (and just as importantly) a guilty man is acquitted, then justice is not done, even if both received a fair trial.  The society that is established largely upon the pursuit of justice is thereby wounded.  And wounds produce anger and outrage of the sort we are witnessing across the country precisely because of this unjust verdict.

I can concede that the government failed to make its case and at the same time know that Ms. Anthony was involved in some way in the death of her child.

I know it in the same way I know that Bill Clinton inhaled.  I know it because I am not a fool.


  1. This case reminds me a little bit of the O.J. Simpson case. Only a little though, Caylee was a helpless little girl, there is the difference.

  2. A big difference. The evidence in O.J.'s trial was without-a-doubt incriminating.