Justice goes beyond “guilty” or “not guilty”

we have this terrible habit in the United States to look at those accused of a crime guilty until proven innocent, but the reality is all people on trial for whatever crime are innocent until proven guilty; whether Casey Anthony killed her daughter is not what I am talking about. The reality is that before the trial even started the our nation had her painted into a felon: an evil child killer–complete with fangs. And people’s comments (on Facebook) after her verdict showed how biased we were about her trial.

There is so much wrong with our justice system. So many problems that should be fixed. Jails are places of “punishment” and not reform; how could we have expected Anthony to come out a better person after serving time in our system (actually they wanted the death penalty, so she would not have come out)? We accuse and judge people before they have their fair trial. We give harsher sentencing to minorities: ethnic, racial, sexual, class, etc.

The whole thing is so wrong. It is when injustices happen in our justice system that I am truly grateful that I believe in Christ. Regardless of how the Anthony case came out, God is the final judge and jury (now obviously we don’t just let murderers and rapists run around doing what they want [most of the time]).

Casey Anthony is not the only person to get off with a questionable verdict recently; Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF former Chief, was recently found not guilty on sexual assault charges against an African immigrant hotel maid in New York. Why are we not outraged about this? Because Strauss-Kahn had enough money to hide this case and the plaintiff was not “important” enough for the press to care about her. And, unlike Anthony who will probably waste the rest of her life in squalor with DCFS down her throat the second she has another child, Strauss-Kahn has political hopes: he wants to be the president of France.

It is a lot scarier to me that a man accused of sexual assault (and now, rape) has the potential to be the president of France than it is for me to think a mother got off on charges of murdering her own child (yes, it breaks my heart, and makes me sad, but we weren’t going to help her anyway, we were going to crucify her).

My point is our justice system comes down to your worth in society. If you are “someone” and you “count” then the justice system works for you, but if you are disenfranchised, broken, or “less than” the justice system, which you should count on, does not work for you but against you.

It is so sad that Caylee Anthony never got to ride a bike, kiss a boy, go to prom, or any of the other things children, young women, and women do in this country. It breaks my heart. But look at the family Caylee came from: her mother accused her uncle and father of sexual assault, she had no father, there was a string of men in and out of her life… There are Caylee’s everywhere. And if we only notice them when they die, and only after a month of them being missing, then how are we protecting them or giving them justice? I don’t know if Casey was guilty or innocent, I only know what I heard on the “Today” Show, read in “People”, and was exploited by media. I was not on that jury and I did not have to render a verdict.

I like to believe that in some way the justice system worked today, but I don’t know if I do. We cannot change the verdict today (seriously, check your constitution), but we can change what happens tomorrow. Caylee is dead and the outcome of this case didn’t change that fact. It also doesn’t change the fact that there are thousands of children just like Caylee who cannot be saved because we don’t do what we should. Every new group of foster parents loses half after a year; so if there are 100 foster families, only 50 will be left after that first year. The demand is too great for our meager supply of foster families. Not to mention that we do not provide enough parenting classes for young parents, single parents, and parents from different cultures. I am just surprised at the reactions of my peers and wonder how involved they now are in helping save the other “Caylee’s” of the world.

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One thought on “Justice goes beyond “guilty” or “not guilty”

  1. I completely agree with this. I have only heard bits of the story and am really glad I was away from a computer for my entire weekend, because I have heard and seen today people complaining and outraged. I’m not saying she’s innocent, but the people on the jury thought she was. I think it’s fine to have your own opinion about the matter, but please don’t try to pretend like you actually know she was guilty. I mean, come on…innocent until proven guilty. I wish people believed in other people, and we could give others the benefit of the doubt. I’m not perfect, and I wouldn’t lie and say I don’t judge people, but this is pretty sad…

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