In regards to Casey Anthony, the dismay over today’s verdict may come from a place of sincerity and grief but I question its value. Three years of media sensationalism and emotion-based cries for Casey’s conviction have served no one; least of all her poor daughter.
I commend the jury for doing what it was commissioned to do; without bias and with great courage. They do not hear everything that we as a public hear and they are, thankfully, bound by the law and constitution. They can not make a decision based on what seems most likely. Each charge holds its own requirements for a guilty verdict and those requirements, particularly on the first-degree murder charge, were not met by the prosecution. the requirement to be convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” in a criminal case is a precious piece of judicial system. They made the decision they saw as necessary and I thank them for their service.
Of course I was furious to learn about the death of an innocent child. The anger we have all felt is righteous and comes from an innate desire to love and protect children. Our country must demand that protection for every child. Why do wait for the media to pick and choose which child was precious enough? Who are we reserving our outrage and concern for?
For the near 500,000 in our foster care system?
For the children who are the subject of the 3 million reports of child abuse made every year in the United States?
For the almost five children who die every day as a result of child abuse. (More than three out of four are under the age of 4)?
Let’s round the coverage of this case to an exact 3 years. That’s 1,095 days. If 5 kids died from child abuse each day we are looking at the loss of 5,475 children. The Caylee Anthony story is a heartbreaking one but it not the shocking tale of uncommon abuse we’d like to pretend it is. Your grief at her death can be fodder for some heated facebook debate or it can be the motivation to do something.
You could prevent future deaths by choosing to intervene when you witness abuse, support a non-profit, take in a child in need of shelter and love, volunteer in a community center, mentor… Give all that outrage a purpose or it will simply become silenced until the next “shocking” death.