The Casey Anthony trial speaks volumes about how far away we’ve become a subjective culture. The trial is a media circus resulting in a sequestered jury, 12 peers spending the last month in hotel rooms, away from their families and lives, and hopefully safely away from the endless commentary about the case. Closing arguments begin today with deliberations set to begin tonight.
The facts in the case are few and far between. At some point in June or July of 2008, 2 year old Caylee went missing. However, this wasn’t discovered for a month while Casey Anthony partied her heart out. Then one day, grandma Cindy gets a call to come pick up her daughter’s abandoned car that reeked of death. Six months later, the toddler's body was found not far from her grandparent’s home where she and her mom lived as of the last time the little girl was seen alive. That, in a nutshell is all that is known. The trial itself has produced no other hard evidence, and the jury must decide, beyond a reasonable doubt, whether Casey Anthony planned and murdered her child.
Out of all the murder cases in progress around the country, this one has captured the attention of the Associated Press, CNN, CBS and ABC, all of which offer daily updates and commentary. All seem to parrot each other about the few salient points chewed apart and repeated endlessly. Everything that has ever come out of Casey’s mouth has been lies, Cindy doesn’t want to believe her daughter is capable of murder so manufactures her own list of lies in an attempt to prevent the death penalty, the prosecution doesn’t have anything beyond a circumstantial case backed by shaky forensics, and the defense has rolled and rolled with all the lies.
The Casey Anthony case is a mockery of the existing justice system and an insult to you and I. Here is this ridiculous parody of law playing out on the daily news for us, yet we have no say, no voice, in its process or outcome. In the end, a little girl is dead and no one will ever know how or why.
So, we are left with deciding for ourselves how important this case is to us, whether Casey Anthony killed her daughter, and how sure we feel about our legal system.
How important this case is to us as individuals, as a society and as a country is a question that needs to be asked. How or why a story “goes viral” is beyond my comprehension, and I often wonder why major media outlets invest so much effort in a case of a representative’s voyeurism, politicians’ love children, a rich man’s rape of a poor woman, or one out of thousands dead children. What is sorely lacking in all of this is an accepted level of morality across the board in this country. Murders, rapes and infidelity happen constantly. We are supposed to believe that they are fundamental wrongs, yet murder, rape and infidelity are common, daily things. That the mainstream media chooses these particular stories to run with only serve to belittle these moral wrongs, make them insignificant and unimportant, while all the while desensitizing us to the horrors that they really are.
I can bet the defense lawyers know whether or not Casey Anthony killed Caylee. But, we will never know. The photos and footage are all we have to go on, and since she did not testify, there is very little from which to work from. She presents herself day after day in conservative dress and serious demeanor. Compared to the photos of her prior to the trial, she is a good actor. Her lawyers are wrapped around her little finger, awaiting her beck and call, eager to jump at her slightest gestures. She appears intelligent enough to manufacture the expected emotional reactions at the right time, yet not genuine enough to keep up the façade. Her self-esteem is intact, she is confident and has seemed to resolve her grief over the death of her child completely. One thing’s for sure, Casey Anthony has shown no sense of responsibility whatsoever for her child, alive or dead.
The Casey Anthony trial itself is a mockery of the legal system. The prosecution’s case is circumstantial at best, and there is no defense to speak of. That the case was allowed to go to trial at all, then wrack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs, is a glaring example of waste, and it doesn’t end at the reading of the verdict. It is a proverbial money pit, yet monies for much of our country’s child protective system has been cut or run completely out in this horrendous economy. While this joke of a murder trial has been playing out, many more children are neglected, abused and killed across the country without a peep, and without a single step taken to help those children. Yes, it's a tragedy that Caylee Anthony died; but there are countless more that have and will suffer her same fate.
Casey Anthony has made a joke of us all. She has insulted us, declared our morality moot, and wiped our faces with our misplaced trust in our legal system. Are you as outraged as I am? Why not?