One of the only absolute truths to exist in the justice system today is that it is flawed. It relies on human emotion, on human reasoning, and human thought to decide on the fate of others for crimes committed. Many people yesterday were wrought with emotion for the 2 year old, Caylee Anthony and the fact that who they believed to be her murderer, her own mother, was not found guilty. I know that my facebook certainly blew up with status’s such as, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Even my status read, “Remember, these idiots on the jury are the same ones that couldn’t vote. Just sayin, go Florida!”
It’s not fair – I wasn’t on that jury, I am only going on what the obviously biased media has presented me. Casey Anthony could truly be innocent of the charges presented to her, and we could all be wrong… but I want to take you back to another case involving a murder of a child, a mother, and a case that was built entirely on flimsy circumstantial evidence where the outcome was totally different… let’s travel back to Christmas Eve, 2002…
Laci Peterson and her unborn child have gone missing. The father, Scott Pederson is suspect number one. A massive media hunt ensues, and eventually he is brought to trail on the charges that he killed his wife, and his unborn son. I won’t recount everything that happened, but I can tell you the cliffnotes version:
- The medical examiner could not conclusively say if Laci Peterson’s death was a homicide.
- There was not a single witness which placed Scott Peterson with his wife’s body.
- There is not a single shred of forensic evidence that she was killed, or her body was stored anywhere besides a single hair between some pliers, which is not uncommon to find hair of your wife on your tools. (Zack would be screwed, I shed so much hair it’s probably all over his tool set.)
- The murder weapon was never recovered.
What the prosecution did have in Scott Peterson’s case was the fact that he was having an adulterous affair and lied about it – and they presented this as motive. In addition, they found the body near an area where Scott Peterson was fishing that day, months later. (Just saying, Scott’s alibi was widely published in the media – anyone could have dumped the body near where he was that day.) Also introduced at trial by the defense was the fact that another pregnant woman went missing shortly after Laci and was found in much the same manner. Die she tie into the Laci story? It was never fully investigated.
Let’s take a step back and look at the hard evidence that was presented in Casey Anthony’s trial:
- Computer searches on the Anthony’s computer including how to use chloroform.
- Chloroform residue found in Anthony’s car.
- A hair of Caylee in the trunk, which, same with the hair of Laci I would disregard because it would be plausible that one hair would be in the trunk.
Then, you have the lying she did to the police, the lying she did on tapes to her father, the lavish party lifestyle she led shortly after she claimed her daughter drowned in the pool. In my book, the woman seemed to lie just as much as Scott Peterson did and there was slightly more hard evidence against her.
Both juries were instructed to decide the case based on what the prosecution laid before them. They were instructed that they were to decide the fate of the defends based on the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. This means that there can be no doubt in a reasonable persons mind that this person is guilty.
Casey Anthony is probably going to be released at sentencing.
Scott Peterson is currently sitting on death row.
How could two cases that are so similar be judged so differently?
It’s simple. Human emotion. A jury is more likely to convict a philandering husband for murdering his wife than they are a mother for murdering her child. People as a whole are not ready to accept that this 22 year old mother could be so cold, so calculating, as to kill her child to go party. Yet, they fully accept, with just as little true evidence, that Peterson killed his wife to be with his mistress.
If Casey Anthony is innocent… and the jury got it right… isn’t it more than possible that Scott Peterson is too? Alternately, since a jury sent Peterson to death row, shouldn’t Anthony be judged by the same standards? At the very least, shouldn’t we adjust the way we think about cases and the way we look at criminal trials to ensure that there isn’t this kind of disparity between the verdicts handed down?
What are your thoughts?