Let’s Try All Sensational Criminal Cases on TV!

July 7th, 2011

By Dan Miller

Casey AnthonyThe jury system, and laws in general, can produce unpopular results and must therefore be changed.

The trial of Casey Anthony for the sensationally brutal murder of her young daughter Caylee has been much in the “news.” It began to play out on national television when she was reported missing three years ago, and continued through the trial. Many are outraged that the jury failed to convict Casey Anthony of murder. According to this report provided by ABC News:

Casey Anthony juror Jennifer Ford said that she and the other jurors cried and were “sick to our stomachs” after voting to acquit Casey Anthony of charges that she killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

“I did not say she was innocent,” said Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror No. 3. “I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be.”

It has been suggested that the system of trial by jury should be abolished. Michael Graham, the brilliant and completely rational author of the linked think piece, observed with all due modesty:

Any system too stupid to convict Casey Anthony cannot be trusted to decide if I live or die. And finding Anthony not guilty is an act of criminal stupidity.

I’ve been following the Anthony case the way most men not named “Geraldo” have: Watching the headlines and reading the recaps, but not feasting on the daily dish. I knew everything I needed to know when Casey’s lawyers announced her defense would be (I’m paraphrasing only slightly) “My precious 2-year-old daughter drowned, and I panicked and hid the body in the woods, wrapped in plastic and duct tape for six months.”

Next case!

I didn’t need more than that, but there was more. Much more. …

This, my friends, is the jury that awaits us all. Which is why, when my misdemeanoring finally catches up with me, I want to be judged by the bench.

I’d rather have my fate in the hands of a single corrupt, drunken hack from the Massachusetts judiciary than 12 yokels too dumb to get out of jury duty.

A good judge such as presented here:

… would be far better than stupid jurors! What could they possibly know; they can’t watch television as evidence is presented or even during their deliberations. Why should a bunch of such yokels be sitting in a jury box and getting paid handsome stipends just for being stupid and hence there and bored stiff? The whole system stinks. With brilliance such as demonstrated by Mr. Graham, there is no need to sift through evidence because what it means is obvious to anyone with half a brain who pays due attention to the media.

Indeed, the entire system of criminal injustice is stupid and hence produces stupid rather than just results. It all harks back to a ridiculous old document written by a bunch of yokels comparable to those who now sit on juries. It is referred to as the Constipation Constitution of the United States, the document superior to all others (except some treaties, some United Nations declarations, some acts of Congress, some executive orders, and some administrative agency actions) for the governance of the nation — just as abstinence is the superior and only valid means of avoiding the horrors of anthropomorphic climate change.

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7 Responses to “Let’s Try All Sensational Criminal Cases on TV!”

  1. larry ennis |

    The outcome of the Casey Anthony trial has left many people, myself included, asking how such an outcome could happen. In my opinion the number of unanswered questions cast a substantial doubt on the juries not guilty verdicts. Did our justice system work or was it in fact used to free a child murderer?
    The lead defense attorney began his clients trial by saying the child in question was a drowning victim and not a victim of foul play at the hands of his client. I can’t recall the attorney ever addressing the issue of why the tragedy didn’t end like so many other drowning accidents involving children. When I say ended, I’m referring the omission of any effort to have fire department or police at the scene of the accidental death. Could fear of an autopsy have promoted the neglect of calling for help. By the time the body was finally recovered there was little hope of determining the true cause of death. Ms Anthony has used the justice system to commit the prefect if not most gruesome crime in current times.

  2. Brian |

    The prosecution over-shot the landing. They should have gone for Manslaughter (or whatever the equivalent is in Florida to the Texas manslaughter statute).

  3. Brian |

    Larry, this trial, any trial really, hinged on reasonable doubt. We’ve all heard that term tossed about, but what does it mean? I suspect that far too many people don’t know what it really means anymore, as the use of “reasonable” has lamentably changed down through the years.

    A reasonable doubt is a doubt that is addressed adequately by the faculties of logic/reason.

    For example, if a prosecutor alleges that a defendant committed a crime at 123 Main Street in Houston at 1PM on 2 Jan 11, but the defendant received a speeding ticket in Dallas at 1PM on 2 Jan 11, we’ve derived a contradiction which raises a doubt as to the defendant’s guilt, a doubt arrived at through deductive reasoning. Criminal cases are rarely that clear-cut, but that’s what reasonable doubt is.

    Now, did the jury in this case have reasonable doubt? I don’t know because I wasn’t in the jury box, and I didn’t even follow this case. It’s horrible that a little girl died, but from where I type this, there are tragedies that abound every day. Was in injustice done here? Only Casey Anthony and God know.

  4. Tom Carter |

    I think “reasonable doubt” is a bit like what Justice Potter Stewart said about hard-core pornography — it’s hard to define, but “I know it when I see it.”

    After hearing a couple of the jurors discuss it, I understand how they reached their decisions. The prosecution couldn’t prove how the child died; in effect, they couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a murder had even happened. If they had been able to prove that the crime occurred, it’s doubtful that they could have proved that the mother did it.

    There are some facile comparisons being made between this case and the O.J. Simpson case. However, the prosecution’s evidence against Simpson was much more compelling and, in my mind, well beyond a reasonable doubt. That case was about race, politics, a clown of a judge, disorganized prosecutors, and very effective defense attorneys. O.J. Simpson is a murder who got off; Casey Anthony may be a murderer, but it wasn’t proved, and she can’t ever be tried for it again.

  5. Dan Miller |


    I pretty much agree. However, before the jury retire to deliberate, they receive extensive instructions from the judge. Those instructions deal with, along with lots of other stuff, the meaning of reasonable doubt. Prosecution and defense get to argue different instructions to the judge before he gives his to the jury.

    I don’t know what the judge’s instructions were as to reasonable doubt or as to anything else, and I wasn’t in the jury box either. And that’s pretty much what the article is about. The media reports I have seen focused on some matters apparently not in evidence at the trial and the rules of evidence, binding on the judge, exclude some material from jury consideration but not from media consideration. Sometimes, the result is “wrong.” However, my satirical suggestions would make matters far worse, no better than lynch mob “justice.”

  6. Peter Gutierrez |

    First I think Casey got away with murder. She was the beneficiary of a stupid jury who could not distinguish between reasonable doubt and not a shadow of a doubt. Shame. One question that does not seem to get media play is this: If her case was tried, hypothetically, by 100 different juries what would have been the outcomes or percentage split between guilty and not guilty verdicts of the murder? My guess is a clear majority would have found her guilt of culpability beyond the misdemeanor lies for which she received four years less time served. Some key points:
    * Unethical claims of sexual child abuse by the father and brother made by the defense never should have been admitted by the judge without first determining if the defense had any proof of those claims … after the baseless accusations were planted by the defense the judge’s jury instructions were ineffectual .. in our society ..the accusation of “child Abuse ” alone is illogically and unfairly tantamount to a proof. Damage already done and some juror post trial comments suggest a misguided sympathy for Casey premised on the erroneous belief she was a victim of child abuse .. seeing her as a sympathetic victim of a dysfunctional family and connecting those pseudo-psychology “dots”, as some did, to reach a position that Casey needed help not punishment
    * The lack of evidence establishing the precise cause and manner of death does was not essential to a guilty finding. A baby bagged in plastic, tape covered mouth, and buried rules out “accident” unless jurors were so brain dead and logic challenged to think it could have been an accidental drowning ( no evidence ” and then a cover-up … Accidents are usually not covered up ( for what purpose ? ) but immediately reported to paramedics and cops. That is what normal guilt free non-murders do who love their kids TEN MINUTES AFTER THEY GO MISSING.
    * Casey’s failure to report her child missing for 31 days ( actually granny did ) with extravagant lies sabotaged the investigation … in locating the body, and allowed extensive decomposition to occur which erased any potential hard evidence of the cause and manner of death … predicable behavior of an innocent Casey … NO, strong irrefutable proof of motive so Casey could be free of her parenting responsibilities to drink and party.
    * So this stupid and clueless jury rejected the reasonable conclusion that the baby’s death was not an accident but a victim of “foul Play” …no reasonable doubt here. A homicide not an accident.
    * So again, Casey becomes the benefactor of her own lies in misguiding police which greatly contributed to a lack of forensics when the body was eventually located
    * What the heck were the cops doing that it took so long to find the baby’s body when buried in the immediate vicinity of where Casey was living with her folks and child?? Cops blew it too.

    While we have the best system of justice with many protections, this case was not even close to call … A sociopathic liar and killer, inept law enforcement, and a stupid jury that lacked the courage and mental acuity to grasp and apply the law … If Casey did not murder her child , then who did? Given more time I don’t doubt her defense would have offered up aliens or the Easter Bunny …a very sad day for justice in America. If not an anomalous aberration we should consider some changes

  7. Brian |

    Peter, she may well have gotten away with murder. As I said, only she and God know the answer.

    All I can say is “Thank God we have a 5th amendment” to protect us from having to repeatedly answer for possible crimes, so we’ll never know what the next 99 juries might have decided in this case.

    It is a fact of life that with any given jury, 6 of them are probably going to have an IQ of less than 100. This is a “problem” without a solution.

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