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It May Not Be Perfect …

July 5, 2011

Today’s non-guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony case has created a whirlwind of emotions. Some people are passionate that the legal system failed because this young lady killed her daughter and the jury should have found her guilty, and others are passionate that the prosecution failed because it didn’t prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Regardless of how you may feel about the case, today was a reminder for me that the United States of America continues to have the best legal system in the world.

 

We may not all agree with the decisions of a jury, but I continue to be proud to live in a country where we get to be judged by a jury of our peers. Some people describe a jury as the twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty. If I have a choice between those twelve people and some dictator determining my fate as judge and jury, I’ll choose a jury of my peers.

 

We may not all agree with the arguments put forth by attorneys, but I continue to be proud to live in a country where we all have an absolute right to counsel. It may not be perfect, but it beats a system where people never have a chance to defend themselves because they aren’t given access to legal representation or they can’t afford an attorney. Since the state of Florida is picking up the tab for her defense, I’m guessing we never would have been aware of the case if this had happened in some other countries around the world.

 

We may not all agree with the outcome of a case, but I continue to be proud to live in a country where we have a right to a public trial. It may not be perfect, but it beats a system where people are found guilty in a secret trial behind closed doors. If this had happened in some other countries around the world, you never would have heard the name Casey Anthony, much less had 24-hour access to information about the case that has allowed Americans to form an opinion about the case in the first place.

 

It’s easy to allow emotions to cloud our vision of what is right in our judicial system. I’m thrilled to live in a country where we get to have these emotion-filled conversations about court cases. But for those who criticize the legal system for the outcome of the Casey Anthony case, keep in mind that the same legal system that found her innocent is the same constitutionally-guaranteed legal system that will protect you if you are ever accused of a crime. It may not be perfect, but I will take that system over any other system in the world.

 

Clint Swindall

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