“Not Guilty” Is Not the Same As “Innocent”

I’m not entirely sure I’m going to publish this post. I’ll finish it and see what happens.

I don’t watch the news, although I do pick up bits here and there when my husband has the TV on. So when posts about Casey Anthony started showing up on my Facebook feed, I didn’t know who she was. I didn’t even know if it was a “he” or a “she”. Finally, I did an online search. When I saw the article, I did remember hearing about it when Caylee disappeared. A child is missing for a month and no one in the family reports it? I’m not a lawyer or a cop, but it sounds like some kind of criminal neglect to me. But what do I know?

So I was surprised as everyone else when the verdict was “Not guilty,” not just for murder, but for neglect, as well. Jurors have since come forward saying that though they believed Anthony was guilty, the prosecutors did not present enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s what our justice system requires, folks.

I wasn’t going to blog about this; I haven’t even commented on Facebook. I was just going to hide until it all passed. Not because I don’t care, but because it’s done. There is nothing I can do about the verdict or anything that has to do with the Anthony family. (Also, I really don’t know much about it and I try not to sound like an idiot any more than necessary.) Then I heard a radio DJ say yesterday, after the article quoting the jurors came out, that she would have voted for a conviction anyway. I was floored. Yes, I’m disgusted by the verdict, but I’m one of those people who would rather see a guilty person go free than see an innocent person wrongly convicted. No, the justice system isn’t perfect, and guilty people do go free. Usually, there are large amounts of money involved. In those cases, we’re almost expecting it, but that doesn’t make it any more right.

I can’t comprehend a mother who would kill (or even just want to get rid of ) her child so she could party (or for any reason, really). Like many moms, I’ve had moments when I think about jumping off the Mommy-train. I could go where I want, when I want. I’d have a paying job, and the money would be mine to spend on myself. On weekends and vacations, I could sleep all day or read, get massages and manicures. I’d have time to work out whenever I wanted. But those moments are rare and don’t last long.

Everything I do with and for my kids, I do because I love them and I want to do what’s right by them. In reality, I’ve spent a total of two weekends away from my kids. Two days at a time is more than enough. How can a mother not ever want her child around at all? Even if Anthony didn’t kill her daughter, she didn’t seem to mind that Caylee was gone. I can’t even wrap my mind around that. So I’m not saying that I’m happy with the verdict. But the jurors did what they were supposed to, people. They looked at the evidence, or lack thereof, and did what they had sworn to do. If we start expecting jurors to vote their feelings (and I’m sure it happens) instead of looking at the evidence, we’re starting down a slippery slope with no end.