First and Final Word on Casey Anthony

The only thing I have ever said, or will ever say, on the subject of the Casey Anthony trial: I endorse this post in its entirety:

I have neither interest nor opinion on the Casey Anthony acquittal. No offense to those who followed the trial. It is interesting. We all love a “truth-is-stranger-than-fiction” tale….

I do have an opinion on the reaction to the acquittal, though. The word that best describes this reaction: visceral. On Facebook, folks are lamenting how stupid we Americans are, or at least twelve particular Americans, and how broken our system is, and how really terribly awfully difficult it was to watch that terrible awful woman’s reaction to the verdict that frees her.

I’m thinking: why are you watching then? Why does her reaction matter to you? Who can judge a human’s reaction to the announcement of her fate? …

Trouble is, the system is set up to err on the side of letting the guilty free. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is a stiff standard. … I repeat, the system is set up to err on the side of letting the guilty free. It stinks, sometimes. The murderer gets away with it, sometimes. That fact is proof that the system is still working.

We should be more alarmed about an unchecked prosecuting government than an unhinged partying woman who may have killed her own child.

Cold? Maybe. But it’s cold comfort for the innocent whom the state still managed to wrongfully convict, even under the “reasonable doubt” standard.

Which is worse? The guilty going free, or the innocent getting convicted? As a liberty lover with a healthy suspicion of state power, I say: the innocent getting convicted.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, ,
Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.


  1. Mithras says:

    Hear, hear.

  2. RWVNRAL says:

    Sadly, we live in a time where people merely yawn and roll their eyes whenever a man is released from prison after 20 years of wrongful imprisonment. Where there should be true outrage, there is hardly even a blush. If the system is broken at all, it is in the fact that so many defendants are muscled into pleas by prosecutors who haven’t applied an ounce of discretion during the entirety of their careers. It is in the fact that we imprison more people per capita than any regime since the Roman Empire. It is in the fact that we punish some categories of crime unmercifully while coddling defendants who serve the interests of law enforcement. It is in the fact that the PEOPLE cannot lie to defend themselves and that GOVERNMENT AGENTS can lie with absolute protection from liability. It is in the fact that there are separate standards of legal representation between rich and poor. There is much upon which we can and should improve. If anything at all, the outcome of the Anthony trial evinces a dim and tiny hope that our system is not totally corrupted by the overwhelming power of the state/media/cultural zeitgeist of a Vicitm’s Justice System.

  3. Linda says:

    Say, thanks for the link and the compliment! I think I’ll take a look around your place . . .