Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Defending the Defenseless

It is a case like Casey Anthony's that really makes me want to become a criminal defense attorney. It's not because I get my kicks defending "murderers, rapists, and drug dealers." I want to do it because it's a thankless job that needs to be done.

I count myself among the probably less than 1% of the population following this case since 2008 to believe that Casey was truly not guilty. And you know why that is? Because I still believe in our judicial system and that it is one of the best in the world. A lot of times people seem to take the phrase "innocent until proven guilty" for granted. Maybe you're accused of stealing a candy bar or cheating on your test. Maybe your sibling is crying that you hit them. But you stick to your guns in those instances and say, "Prove it!"

Yet here we are, less than 6 hours after a verdict came back in one of the must publicized stories since at least Scott Peterson—if not OJ Simpson himself—and everyone I know is flipping out that justice hasn't been served. Hey, here's an uncanny thought. Maybe she DIDN'T kill her daughter.

Casey didn't "pull a fast one on the system". She didn't even "get away with murder". Because in the eyes of the law, she is innocent. She always has been. The burden is not on her attorney Jose Baez to prove her innocence. The burden of proof has and always will lie with the state, or specifically in this case the District Attorney's office, to prove her guilt. That is why we a jury of her peers must find her guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt". If even a hint of doubt creeps into a juror's mind, that should be enough to find her NOT GUILTY.

Was Casey Anthony a bad mother? Yes, no arguments from me there. Was she a murderer? Fortunately that isn't our call to make.

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