Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Question of Justice

In the aftermath of the Casey Anthony acquittal, a lot of people have questioned the verdict and whether or not justice was really served. Since there's often a thin line between justice and revenge, this question can be a hard one to answer.

Chris Hayes highlights this problem well:

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It may come as no surprise, but I'm actually against the death penalty. While I definitely think there are people who deserved to die, I don't think the death penalty adds anything to society other than the presumption that it does. It's seeming usefulness is actually the thing the death penalty is best at. While the death penalty has not shown to minimize crime, I'm sure there are some people who take comfort in watching criminals die. But I don't think comfort should be the basis of policy and at the end of the day I'm uncomfortable with the state having the power to kill it's own people.

Okay I didn't mean to debate the merits of capital punishment in this post, but I do think the fact the death penalty was on the table helped to sensationalize this case in a way that wasn't needed. And at the end of the day, reasonable doubt is there for a reason. Of course it's too bad only those with enough money to pay for a team of lawyers can make DNA evidence seem like some strange voodoo while innocent men are put to death for crimes they didn't commit, but that's besides the point. Reasonable doubt may be damn expensive, but it's also important.

Oh wow. I'm all ranty today aren't I?


  1. Also, not to be mean but I don't really care if you're for the death penalty. I'm only saying this because it's one of those arguments that goes round and round. We spent two days in my personal ethics class talking about the moral and philosophical dilemmas and people still refused to change their original stance. It just is what it is. So if you disagree, then fine but don't expect me to debate you over it. Deal?

  2. I'm also against the death penalty. What purpose does it serve? I'm sure many people will hand me a laundry list of purposes but I'm not in the mood to hear them. While people are loudly voicing their opposition to the not guilty verdict on the murder charge I'm more upset that she was found innocent on the neglect charge. Granted it was listed as "child neglect/abuse" but honestly who goes a month without reporting their 2 year old missing? Casey Anthony apparently. Maybe she didn't kill her daughter but my gut says she knows more than she's letting on.

    I do think that this might have had a different outcome if the prosecution had taken the death penalty off the table. But what's done is done. The media will feed off the outrage for a couple weeks before something or someone else grabs their attention. Maybe Lindsay Lohan will rear her head soon.

  3. It's good to be ranty sometimes. I like it.

    Was justice served in this case? Probably not. But as you & others have stated, there are just too many questions unanswered to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. I think a lot of the outrage comes from knowing that Anthony is definitely guilty of something, but not being able to pinpoint exactly what that is.

    I'm not familiar with Florida child abuse & neglect laws, but I agree with the comment above on that. With a child in her care, it's hard for me to fathom that she wouldn't be guilty of some form of abuse or neglect.

    Maddow's show last night regarding a separate death penalty case in Texas was incredible. It would great if a logical public debate over the issue was possible, because it is long overdue.

  4. I totally agree with you guys. How is that not neglect at the very least? It's a bit appalling that you can go an entire month without knowing where your child is and nobody gives a damn. Horrible.

    I'll have to look for the Maddow clip!


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