Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Judge and Jury

At about 2:20 p.m. yesterday, Twitter and Facebook lit up with comments about the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial.

In case you've been living under a rock for the last month, Casey Anthony was accused of murdering her adorable two-year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008. Then there were pictures of Casey partying it up while her daughter was missing, computer searches for "chloroform" from Casey's computer (which, by the way, there's now a search for "chloroform" on my computer because I needed to check the spelling), and something about a stinky car trunk. I don't even want to explain that part. It's too gross.

Casey Anthony was acquitted of the murder charges. And the manslaughter charges. And everyone's upset about it.

Except me.

Well, I'm a little upset that there's not an answer for that toddler's death. But whether or not Casey Anthony is to blame is apparently not an open-and-shut case. In a criminal trial, the jurors can only give a "guilty" verdict if they believe the accused is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. If there is any doubt, they have to say "not guilty." The rules will be different in the civil case scheduled for August, but for this particular trial, those are the rules.

And you know what? I wasn't on that jury. I wasn't in that room, listening to that testimony. I have my opinions, sure, but I'm 99% positive I don't have all the evidence. Actually, I'm pretty sure no one in that courtroom had all the evidence, either. I'm not upset about the way the jurors decided. That would have been a hard jury to be on. I don't envy them.

And I'd better not be one of them. I have jury duty next week. Yikes.

We can feel outraged by injustice. We can feel heartbroken by the wrongful death of a child. If we weren't then—well, then we'd all be sociopaths. But in the end, God's the one who's going to deal with all of it. He's got all the answers and knows the truth. We can be confident in the fact that he is a just God. Those jurors did what they had to do, and I'm actually sorry about all the horrible things they had to hear and see over the course of this trial.

But it wasn't me. I wasn't on the jury. And I'm certainly not a judge. So I'll leave this to God and pray that justice is served on behalf of that little girl, knowing that it will be—sooner or later.


  1. Amen to that. We MUST leave things to God and not pretend we are judge and jury...not only in this instance but in life when things don't appear as we like it.

  2. Great post sister! Everything you said was spot on! Justice according to our system was served . . .God's justice is another thing AND that's eternal. Although we don't know all the answers, God does . . . and we can rest assured that justice will be served, in the end, for the precious girl who is now in the arms of Jesus.

  3. I had the same thought when I heard the not guilty verdict. Clearly the court of public opinion had already convicted her. But we were not privy to all that the jury was. My prayers are with the jurors as well. Their lives had to be permanently marked with all they saw and heard.

  4. I did not get emotionally involved in this case, but I can certainly understand the emotion behind it. Our city was rocked by a horrible child rape and murder about 18 months ago and her killer is still waiting trial, in fact he has not even been formally indicted yet and folks are in an uproar...Shaniya Davis was 5 years old and assaulted and murdered. It rocked me personally to my core because she was the same age and spitting image of my daughter. I mean, seriously, she felt like my baby. She was discarded in the woods like trash. I had never gotten so emotionally wrapped up in a case, and I dread the trial, whenever that is. There is no earthly justice able to satisfy what that man did to that little girl. On top of that, the mother who is accused of selling her to the man, and is CURRENTLY OUT ON BAIL! Ugh.

    Anyway, I can certainly understand the outrage and flurry of emotion. And yet, I know the jury has a tough time of it too. Like you said, they have to go by the evidence. And the case against her (Casey) was admittedly more circumstantial than substantiated. In other words, we'll never really know. Just because she was acquitted doesn't mean she isn't guilty, and she'll be marked for way or the other she's going to live with the shadow of guilt. As believers we can only take comfort in the fact that that little girl, along with sweet Shaniya, are walking with Jesus right now, perhaps even playing together, and have no memories of the horrible way they left us.

  5. I agree with you. I was disappointed with the verdict as I watched the news coverage for about 45 minutes, and then I decided that God is the final judge. He is just, and this is not the end of the matter. He sees it all and knows who is responsible for the murder. One day He will right all wrongs.

  6. Yes, I was really upset at first yesterday. Because even if she didn't actually pull the trigger so to speak, she is clearly guilty of negligence and involved to some degree. But it's not my job to judge and sentence her. It's not even the court system, really. It's God she will have to answer to.

  7. I'm with you sister. My first issue with the public outcry is that there are little children killed all the time, but it took a beautiful little white girl with a beautiful white momma for it to make the news the way it has. And then, your point about only seeing what the media presented. TV does not always present the whole story.


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