July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony

I have to admit, I didn't follow the Casey Anthony trial at all. I really didn't understand why it deserved to be such a media circus, and didn't much care.

But now pretty much everyone wants to talk about the verdict and how wrong it was, I have a thought.

I don't know anything about the evidence, so it's not my business to guess whether she did it or not. (Even if she did do it, I don't believe she deserved to die for it because I believe the death penalty is both immoral and impractical, but that's another point.) The media's crazy focus on the case did the justice system a disservice. The Daily Beast says it better than I could, talking about the problems with the coverage.

But many of [reporters] failed to make the crucial distinction between when someone seems guilty as hell and whether prosecutors have proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt--especially in a death penalty trial. (Emphasis mine)

We don't send people to jail, or execute them, for things we think they probably did and also we just don't like them.

(Okay, well, we do, but Casey Anthony is white, so in this case we don't.)

Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather the justice system err on the side of the defendant, rather than being comfortable accidentally locking up innocent people. And so, no, I don't care that Casey Anthony got off, I think the court did its job.

And on top of that, this case was because it fit into a flawed, classist, racist narrative about motherhood that the mainstream media loves about the constant threat of bad mothers, who women with children must be constantly reminded of lest they think of having lives beyond their kids for just a second. Oh, don't get me started on that. I wrote a paper about this nonsense, I could go all day, or for at least 9 pages worth.

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