Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Trial By Jury in the Anglo-American System

The Casey Anthony trial is over and she was found not guilty. Lots of folks, convinced of her guilt, are angry that she will likely leave jail on Thursday, only convicted of the charge of lying to a police officer.

The prosecution had a major obstacle that the hysterical media rarely mentioned. They could never really prove that Caylee Anthony was murdered. They also had to convince a jury that the mother was cold, hateful, and murderous when those twelve people could also watch film after film of a mother obviously enjoying the presence of her child.

But most of all, they had to overcome the necessity of a burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In our justice system since the Middle Ages, a jury cannot judge innocence or guilt. That is left to God. All a jury can judge is the effectiveness of the prosecution's case. Did they, or did they not prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore, even if the think the person is guilty, they are not supposed to vote that way unless the prosecution proved its case.

This is our our system works and, despite its flaws, it is the best that humanity has ever come up with. Was Anthony guilty? Tough to say. But twelve jurors, who the media praised for paying close attention to the case, thought that the proof was simply not there. We certainly hope that the justice system was right in this case, but if not, that is still no reason for radical change.

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