The internet exploded in anger, prayer, and petitions after the not-guilty verdict reached by the Casey Anthony jury. “The O.J. trial of this century” was a common refrain, mixed with varying degrees of sadness, hysteria, and rage. From the outside, (which is where you are if you weren’t on the jury), the case against this little girl’s mother appears rock-solid. Of course from further outside, (which is where I am), the case against the media prostitution of our criminal justice system appears more than rock-solid.
The death of Caylee Anthony was, and remains, a tragedy; but it is a tragedy far more common than we the people want to accept. It is also a tragedy the side-effects of which could prove catastrophic to our way of life. Our criminal justice system is robbed of efficiency, balance, and fairness when it is invaded by the sensationalizing, ratings-driven media of 21st Century America. Victims are exploited, police and prosecuters are abused, and the rights of the accused are trampled. Regardless of one’s feelings about this particular case, the sum of the situation is threatening to all. What is needed is perspective, not to minimize Caylee, but to bring into the light the full scope of the problem.