I didn’t watch any of the Casey Anthony trial but certainly have noticed the reactions since the verdict. From the details I have read about regarding the facts of the case, nobody would question the tragedy of the situation. Through all of the commentary and legal questions remains the sad tragedy of a young life prematurely ended. Through all of the tragedy is the dysfunction of a family.
Since the trial, there has been outrage regarding the verdict. I read where jurors are being threatened and taunted to the point where they don’t feel safe and can’t go home. The outrage from the verdict has been directed by some towards the jurors and the result is intimidation and harassment.
We, as a nation, have to tread lightly as we judge and react to situations like this as our very freedom is at stake. The choice of a few to direct their anger towards individual jury members undermines the core of our liberty. Think about this type of behavior played out. If jurors can’t serve without a fear of personal consequences if they find someone not guilty then the burden of proof will, in effect, shift. The jury will quite possibly begin to look for reasons to convict and this would eliminate the presumption of innocence.
If those threats take root in the consciousness of future jurors and their mindset is then shifted towards a burden on the defense to prove innocence, then our freedom is compromised. The standard for a truly free society is that the government has to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that they are justified in limiting the freedom of any single member of that society. The price for that standard is that there is a possibility of the guilty walking free when the government doesn’t prove their guilt.
At its core, the judgment and outrage is rooted in arrogance. To sit back and decide right and wrong without the advantage of full disclosure of all relevant facts takes on a burden which is out-of-order. The conclusions drawn by anyone other than the judge and/or jury are drawn without the responsibility of the position. The refusal to yield to the fact finder for the sake of the preservation of freedom is an attack on freedom for not only the accused but also the accuser.
Tragedy demands justice and the cry of our hearts unite in that Truth. What is just, however, can’t be arbitrary and democratic nor can it be shortsighted. Justice will prevail even if not in a courtroom and even if not immediately. Our willingness to accept the inevitability of Justice and to resist the temptation of responding in anger to exact control which is out-of-order indicates our maturity and faith. Our humility in honoring those that serve as Judge or jury is a core necessity in the privileges we enjoy in our freedom.