Top Leaderboard, Site wide
August 30, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates


Committed Carbon Emissions Are Rising Fast






Truthdig Bazaar
Boom!

Boom!

Tom Brokaw

Why the Middle Ages Matter: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice

Why the Middle Ages Matter: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice

By Celia Chazelle (Editor), Simon Doubleday (Editor), Felice Lifshitz (Editor), Amy G. Remensnyder (Editor)

more items

 
Report

Casey Anthony and Why We Need to Fix Capital Punishment

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jul 16, 2011
AP / Red Huber, pool

Casey Anthony walks out of the Orange County, Fla., jail with her attorney, Jose Baez, early Sunday morning. She was acquitted of murder last week in the death of her daughter, Caylee.

By Bill Blum

… This is a man’s world
But it would be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.

                    —James Brown

In May 2010, long before Casey Anthony had become the protagonist in a national morality play and long before CNN Headline News hosts Jane Valez-Mitchell and Nancy Grace had assumed the role of a latter-day Greek chorus calling for her conviction, Anthony’s defense team brought a pretrial motion to remove the death penalty as an option in the case on grounds of gender discrimination.

Andrea Lyon, a DePaul University law school professor and a prominent critic of capital punishment, argued the motion. Lyon, who later withdrew from the defense reportedly for financial reasons, relied on the research and in-court testimony of University of New Mexico law professor Elizabeth Rapaport, a leading expert on the subject of women and the death penalty. Lyon contended that Anthony had been charged with capital murder not because of the facts of her child’s death but because women who kill loved ones are often exposed to a higher degree of punishment than men charged with similar offenses. Judge Belvin Perry Jr. denied the motion, finding no specific evidence of gender bias.

The remainder of the case descended into TV history, culminating in Anthony’s stunning acquittal on all homicide charges. As anyone with a pulse and an Internet connection knows, the outcome has prompted a round of post-trial retrospectives bordering on mass hysteria, ranging from Grace’s charge that the verdict sent the “devil dancing” to former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark’s analysis that the jury had been brainwashed. And now that Anthony has been released, the hysteria can be expected to continue at least for the next several news cycles.

But no matter where one stands on the verdict—and there are valid reasons to criticize it or to conclude, as did the jury, that the state of Florida had failed to meet its constitutional burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt—the question of whether our system of capital punishment is inherently marred by gender-based discrimination has been lost in all the noise. The short answer is that the system is fundamentally flawed, but in a contradictory manner that both unfairly benefits and unfairly burdens female offenders.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
To understand this paradox, it’s helpful to review a little legal history. Back in the heyday of capital punishment in the 1930s, when justice was swift, mercy was in short supply and an average of 167 inmates were executed annually, juries in most states were given unlimited discretion to decide whether a capital defendant upon conviction would live or die. Not surprisingly, the ultimate penalty was disproportionately imposed on the poor and racial minorities, especially black men and especially in homicide cases involving minority defendants and white victims.

Although the regime of unfettered discretion met its demise with the Supreme Court’s 1972 decision in Furman v. Georgia, the court stopped short of declaring the death penalty unconstitutional. Indeed, four years later, in Gregg v. Georgia, it endorsed the current system of “guided discretion,” which requires that death penalty statutes set forth objective criteria relating to the defendant’s character and criminal record, to help jurors and judges decide which offenders should be condemned and which spared. In the process, it was hoped, the otherwise arbitrary and capricious nature of capital punishment would be curbed, if not eliminated.

When it comes to race, the new system has proved to be an abject failure. According to the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center, since 1976 more than three-quarters of the murder victims in cases resulting in execution were white even though whites made up roughly only half of all victims. In California, one study has shown that those who killed white people were three times more likely to be sentenced to die than those who killed blacks and four times more likely than those who killed Latinos. In Texas, where there have been some 470 executions since 1976, there has been but one involving a white murderer and a black victim. (See “Death Penalty, Still Racist and Arbitrary,” an Op-Ed article published in The New York Times this month.)

When it comes to gender, the record is more ambiguous but no less arbitrary. Along with professor Rapaport, the leading researcher on women and the death penalty is Victor Streib, who until his retirement last year taught law at Ohio Northern University. Among other findings, Streib reports that since 1976, women have accounted for 10 percent of annual murder arrests but only for 2 percent of death sentences and a mere 1 percent of those actually executed. As of late 2010, there were 55 women on death row nationwide out of a total population of 3,261.

The numbers, Streib’s work suggests, support the conclusion that with one pivotal exception, when it comes to gender, the death penalty is a man’s world that arbitrarily discriminates against men and in favor of women. The exception, as Rapaport has chronicled, concerns domestic homicides. While nearly half the women on death row in the United States have killed family members or intimates, a mere 12 percent of condemned men in six states studied by Rapaport were domestic killers. And of the male domestic killers sent to death row, nearly half had killed after being left by a wife or girlfriend while more than two-thirds of the female domestic killers were condemned not for being jilted but for killing for pecuniary gain. “Here,” writes Rapaport, “is the most abhorred female domestic crime: Dependence turned to gall and greed; trust betrayed; love and duty mocked.”

Casey Anthony was a perfect fit for the paradigm. In connection with its gender-discrimination motion, the defense argued that the state of Florida originally had decided against seeking the death penalty but changed course only after learning that Anthony had licensed a set of photos and videos to ABC for $200,000, which she used to pay her legal expenses. Throw in Anthony’s alleged motive of wanting to shed her child to pursue a party lifestyle—the fabled bella vita—and a capital trial was all but inevitable.

But for a weak record based solely on circumstantial evidence and a sequestered jury that was insulated from media hype and vitriol, Anthony today might very well be the second woman currently on Florida’s death row instead of a newly freed celebrity. Eventually, as her notoriety fades, we may remember her as someone who escaped justice or as someone who was overcharged with capital murder by overzealous prosecutors. Or we may use her case as a long-overdue occasion to re-examine our system of capital punishment that treats whites differently from blacks and women differently from men.

No matter how much we tinker with it, the system is broken and beyond repair. It should be scrapped.


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Investment Fraud Lawyer, May 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

To say that the system is broken and cannot be fixed seems like quite a strong statement. As long as there are people out there who stand for justice and morality, I see hope. Some cleaning out is needed, but this is one huge system that almost doesn’t get audited. True, there is a glaring bias against minorities and there is gender discrimination, but that doesn’t mean every case has a negative outcome.

Report this

By avocado nutrition, September 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who else thinks capital punishment should be fixed?

Report this

By avocado nutrition facts, September 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is there such a thing as a “born” killer?  If you believe it, then its your own opinion

Report this

By Quotes About Life, September 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

I’m often to running a blog and i actually respect your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and keep checking for brand spanking new information.

Report this

By ardee, July 24, 2011 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

I think she is a sociopath, clear and simple.  And she murdered her child and got away with it.

Opinion duly noted, but trumped by a jury of her peers. That IS how it works after all.

Report this

By Maani, July 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Diamond:

Methinks you don’t read so good.  LOL.  “It’s a big mistake to think that some value judgement on the accused’s character or so-called ‘morality’ has any validity in a court of law. It doesn’t. A person can be a complete scumbag but that is irrelevant: the point is does the evidence show beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the crime they’ve been charged with.”  That’s EXACTLY what the “moral pygmy” was saying.

As for, “When you say Casey Anthony is not innocent you mean she is literally not innocent: she is, you believe, what used to be called a ‘loose woman’ and therefore capable of anything, including killing her child,” your presumption is breathtaking.  Yes, I believe that Anthony is capable of killing her child - and did so.  But my reasons have NOTHING to do with any notion of her being a “loose woman.”  I think she is a sociopath, clear and simple.  And she murdered her child and got away with it.

Peace.

Report this

By diamond, July 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

Dershowitz is a monster and a moral pygmy so you need to give me one good reason why I should respect his opinion. I doubt that the jury was given ‘weak’ instruction - why would they be? And where is the evidence that they were? And if the state failed to make its case, as you admit, why was that? Because clearly the evidence did not stack up and if it did not stack up the jury had to acquit, which is what they did. It’s a big mistake to think that some value judgement on the accused’s character or so-called ‘morality’ has any validity in a court of law. It doesn’t. A person can be a complete scumbag but that is irrelevant: the point is does the evidence show beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the crime they’ve been charged with. When you say Casey Anthony is not innocent you mean she is literally not innocent: she is, you believe, what used to be called a ‘loose woman’ and therefore capable of anything, including killing her child. Again, this is the illogic of a witch trial where guilt is taken for granted because, after all, the accused is a witch. This circular reasoning of ‘first the verdict, then the trial’ as Lewis Carroll put it in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is medieval, unjust and has no place in a modern legal system.

Report this

By Maani, July 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Diamond:

Im not sure which juror you heard interviewed, but the first three jurors who spoke out all said they they did NOT believe that she was innocent, but agreed that the State failed to make its case within the legal guidlines required.  In fact, at least two jurors said they were crying when they came to their decision BECAUSE they felt she was not innocent, but could not convict on the case as presented.

As well, as I noted, some of the top legal minds in the land all concurred that the jury instructions were “weak” with regard to the difference between “reasonable doubt” and “a reason to doubt,” particularly given that it was understood that this was an entirely circumstantial case.

Finally, I repeat that Dershowtiz was correct when he stated that our legal system is NOT based on “justice and truth” but on law and constitutional rights, and that, given this, the system “worked.”  That is not the same as saying that Anthony was innocent.

Peace.

Report this

By diamond, July 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

“My guess is that she is NOT innocent.”

And we’re supposed to believe your guess are we and not the people who sat through hours and hours of testimony from witnesses and evidence presented by experts? Knowing, as I do, the ‘punishment first’ culture of the United States and its obsession with sin and sinners I would ‘guess’ that if there had been any convincing evidence that Casey Anthony deliberately killed this child the jurors would have felt she should have been convicted. The police investigation was sloppy and discriminated against her because she was young, female, and a single mother. In other words they made the fatal error of assuming. Never assume. And they did. Even on the lesser charge of manslaughter, the juror I saw interviewed said that she didn’t find that charge proven either from the evidence she saw and heard. So it’s a stretch to say that you can guess she was not innocent of murder. You are making the same mistake as the police and assuming she’s guilty and that’s how the witch trials were conducted. The witch was guilty and the only question was would she repent and her soul be saved, even as her body was destroyed? I think history shows us where that kind of thinking leads.

Report this

By Maani, July 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Stephan:

You make two errors.  First, “Not Guilty” is NOT the same thing as “innocent.”  We do not know - may never know - whether Casey Anhtony is innoccent.  My guess is that she is NOT innocent.  This is because, as a number of legal pundits noted, the jury instructions were not clear on the difference between “reasonable doubt” (the legal yardstick) and “a reason to doubt,” which is, unfortunately, what many people THINK “reasonable doubt” means.

This leads to your second error.  Just because there was no “concrete” evidence (DNA profiles, etc.), there was enough circumstantial evidence to convict her.  Or do you not understand how a case can be decided ENTIRELY on circumstantial evidence?  If you do not, I suggest you read up on the Scott Peterson case.

All that said, the issue here is NOT “fixing capital punishment”: as others have suggested, capital punishment is barbaric, and the number of people (including some on death row) who were exonerated through DNA evidence - sometimes DECADES after their conviction - should cement that fact.

Rather, the issue - if one wants to see it that way - is what Alan Dershowitz noted: the legal system in the U.S. is NOT based on justice and truth; it is based on law and constitutional rights.  He was not making a moral or ethical statement; he was simply stating the facts.

If we would rather have a legal system based on truth and justice, that is one thing, and those who want that could lobby for it (futilely).  But as Dershowitz added, “Given this, the system worked.”

Peace.

Report this

By diamond, July 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

“I am pleased that there were thoughtful women on the jury, but it is my observation, especially in the recent Strauss-Kahn case, that deep emotional issues in women blind them to reason.”

Really? Well my first reaction to the Strauss-Kahn business was to say one word: Sarkozy. Strauss-Kahn was going to run (and may still) against Sarkozy for the presidency of France and Sarkozy has already used smear and innuendo to hobble another rival for the job, namely Dominique Villepan, a member of his own party. Strauss-Kahn is a socialist and he was set up to hound him out of his job as IMF chief and to smear him in his run for the presidency of France. You see? I wasn’t blinded to reason because I’m well-read and well-educated, while the women who watch horrifying harridans like Nancy Grace probably are not but fortunately for Casey Anthony the women on the jury were not of the calibre of, say, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann and actually had a brain cell between them. All women are not the same, any more than all men are. To believe otherwise is to be a sexist. The media spends a lot of time and money keeping women stupid and turning them against each other so they don’t act against those who want them stupid. That’s simply a fact of life.

Report this

By johncp, July 19, 2011 at 2:06 am Link to this comment

Is there such a thing as a “born” killer?  If you believe that it’s possible, show me the evidence.  I’m making a plea much more than a challenge.  Let’s assume that killers are not born killers.  Let’s suppose that numerous “external” factors (upbringing, environment) are causitive of such horrible outcomes.  Why, then, would you favor Capital punishment?  In fact, if killers are “born that way,” why would you hold such an individual “responsible” for being naturally disposed to do such things?  If you protest that such a person, ultimately, has a “choice” in the matter, where is the evidence for such a notion?  You can be permitted, I suppose, to believe in what we call “free will” under most circumstances, but I certainly would not allow you to take for granted such theorizing, when we’re consideriing putting someone to death, based on such beliefs.  I believe that the responsibility of the law, is to gather and investigate the evidence, to find the person guilty or innocent of a crime, and if the crime is of such a particularly vicious degree of violence, that it sends shivvers down our spines, then law should isolate and imprison people inclined to such violence, to safeguard the surrounding society.  But to severely punish and brutalize the victimizers, is loathsome and inhuman.  Capital punishment, in fact, all severe punishments, should stop, not because the victimizer doesn’t deserve it, in the minds of many people, but because it de-humanizes and degrades “us.”

Report this

By The Prisoner, July 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The death penalty is wrong whether its applied to a black man or a white woman, it is wrong as it kills another human being.  But arguing that our criminal justice system is sexist is tantamount to arguing that the Sharia Law system is sexist, because it authorizes ‘honor killings’.  This is not that type of issue. 

Brutality is brutality, no matter what the source and so it is with oppression.  When you take away a person’s humanity you make them into an animal and then you are upset when they act like an animal.  Clean that up and you will clean up the anger and hatred in this society.  You will find that not all of us are a—holes.

This case was never better than a manslaughter at best. And among all the teeth-gnashing and second guessing, I have yet to hear one person ask; if the State hadn’t gone after Murder One would the jury have convicted Casey of Murder Two?  The jury was well aware of the death penalty, in this type of case it is discussed from day one.  In no other types of criminal trials is punishment mentioned. 

So you have an eight woman/ four man jury, some parents, some not, you have an attractive young white woman (sorry, but I find her attractive).  So what is the jury going to come up with? Do they really want to kill someone they identify with?  Of course, not. How many of us fantasize about offing our kids or siblings or co-workers?  We all do it, we don’t act on it because our anger subsides.  But when we meet someone like Casey Anthony who may or may not have fulfilled our darkest fantasies; what do we think?  What do we admit to?  What do we feel? 

Be honest with yourselves and you will see that I am right.  Death to the Death Penalty.  Peace.

Report this

By omygodnotagain, July 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

I am pleased that there were thoughtful women on the jury, but it is my observation, especially in the recent Strauss-Kahn case, that deep emotional issues in women blind them to reason. More often than not (and this is just observation) it is tied to personal fears or situations that led to resentment. In this case Anthony was a party girl, the dread of every girlfriend and wife, the woman who admits sex is a recreational past-time and has no issues with saying yes to rakish attached guys. That in my judgement is what got Nancy Grace and the droves of other screaming Bansheess knickers in a twist

Report this

By diamond, July 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Well you could be right, Kerryrose, except that I’m a woman too and a mother. That doesn’t mean I’m automatically prone to hysteria and believe every bit of garbage broadcast by the mainstream media. She had a trial and the jury found her not guilty. Many of them were women and many of them were mothers. The juror I heard interviewed was a woman but somehow she still managed to be intelligent, diligent and very objective. You don’t lose your mind just because you have children. That’s just an old wives’ tale, if you’ll pardon the expression. You should simply face the fact that the rabid mainstream media was on a witch hunt and played the public for fools. The jury did their job and did it well and they should be congratulated, not vilified.

Report this

By M L, July 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Government does not have a right to take a life. The government executes the poor, mentally ill, and sometimes the innocent. 80 percent of inmates are not sociopaths and are often remorseful for their non violent crimes. Only sociopaths/psychopaths without a conscience or remorse and could kill or harm again should receive life without parole.

Report this

By stephanpickering, July 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Shalom & Boker tov…
DaveZx3: you are in need of a colonic shower (I won’t
ask who coaches you in using polysyllabic English). I
see in your words not compassion, but an inordinate
amount of whining. Ms Anthony is INNOCENT…and that
fact is what is driving your Jew-baiting bigotry
toward me. You have my commiseration. I believe that
Ms Anthony’s daughter drowned—likely an accident.
I believe, judging by what Ms Anthony own attorneys
have iterated, that Ms Anthony has been grieving for
3+ years. You, DaveZx3, for all of your posturing,
are more interested in being Crusader Rabbit.
Brakhot v’tefillot…blessings & prayers on your goy
idolatries…
STEPHAN PICKERING / Chofetz Chayim ben-Avraham

Report this
DavidByron's avatar

By DavidByron, July 18, 2011 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Men executed 100 times more?

A clear case of sexism against women.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 18, 2011 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

MK77—Could be sexism is more complicated than racism.  Race generally maps to economic and social class, but gender doesn’t, or at least nowhere near as much.

Report this

By MK77, July 18, 2011 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

“…when it comes to gender, the death penalty is a man’s world that arbitrarily discriminates against men and in favor of women.”

If American society is half as “patriarchal” as feminist propagandists would have everyone believe, then how does one explain the above-mentioned discrimination against men?

One would think that in a patriarchal system men would be treated better than women, not worse.

Report this
kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, July 18, 2011 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

diamond

Methinks you protest too much.  I never said that because Casey did not report her daughter missing until her mother found out proved her guilt.

This rabid and unequivocal defense of her by men, not a single woman (who knows that loving moms would report a daughter missing immediately) tells me that you have a different agenda.

Report this

By DaveZx3, July 18, 2011 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

By stephanpickering, July 17 at 3:59 pm

“I believe that the Queens of Grief Porn,
like those who lit the torches at Loudon, are
reflective of cryptofascist ‘justice’ seeking tea
party vigilantes (who use Wite-Out on their computer
screens, and move their lips while reading the new
issue of READERS’ DISGUST). They want to torture and
murder Casey Anthony—all on colour cameras with
stereophonic sound, to be sure.”
———————————

There are ample doses of bigotry and hatred in the above words Mr. Pickering.  Is that reflective of all Torah Jews?  I know it is not. 

Those of us who see ‘justice’ as related to the victim, and ‘guilt/innocence’ as related to the defendant, may wish to seek justice in the name of the innocent 2 year old, brutalized and murdered by someone, obviously. 

Your reference to “cryptofascist ‘justice’ seeking tea
party vigilantes” is not only technically incorrect, but insulting to those of us who hope justice can eventually be served in the name of the little girl. 

These are not cryptofascist words.  They are words of people who have compassion for the little girl/victim, moreso than compassion for a mother who parties knowing her little girl has recently been murdered, and shows nothing but great happiness upon hearing of the verdict of her innocence. 

Do not confuse this compassion for the daughter as a blood lust for the execution of her technically innocent mother.  Though there are undoubtedly a very small minority who do like to see executions for executions sake, this fact, does not excuse your bigoted statement.

Those of us who survive daily on something other than politics, do not have to turn this tragic case into a political event.  We see it constantly within the scope of the brutalization of this little girl, and not as a sex discrimination issue, or as a referendum for the death penalty, or anything else.  Our mind is full of grief, not politics. 

I hope your intolerance of those who wish to see justice as separate and unrelated to whether or not the mother is guilty, is “not reflective of who, as a people, we should be”.

Compassion for the victim is not a crime.

Report this

By Rubiconski, July 18, 2011 at 12:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

boo hoo she is innocent go cry about it…..

Report this

By stephanpickering, July 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

Shalom & Erev tov, Kelly Rose…your deduction is NOT
proof of anything, NOTHING. Her incestuous father did
not report the drowning, nor the subsequent events.
Silence is not indicative of guilt. Try again. You have
been listening to the screeds of the Queen of Grief
Porn, unfortunately. Discussion of truths stops
prudently with Nancy Grace before their parallelism
becomes close enough to yield logical and probable
conclusions.
Stephan Pickering / Chofetz Chayim ben-Avraham

Report this

By MeHere, July 17, 2011 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Another trial where justice becomes the object of entertainment instead of an
opportunity to re-examine capital punishment.  Among the many reasons why
the death penalty should be abolished perhaps the strongest ones are:

- it violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (signed by the US)

- it is revenge more than justice

- pervasive flaws in the analysis of forensic evidence,   
  presentation of witness accounts, and gathering of physical
  evidence
 
- inequitable access to legal resources

- it contributes to the culture of violence

- it is irreversible

Report this

By Kookie, July 17, 2011 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I appreciate this thoughtful article about gender and the death penalty.  Lost in the
media hysteria was analysis of our flawed system.  Few mentioned how the prosecution
overcharged this case.  I was most disturbed by Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell
who fanned the flames of hatred.  Thank you for bringing reason to this controversy.

Report this

By diamond, July 17, 2011 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Kerryrose, she didn’t report this matter for 31 days because she was a fool. But being a fool should not attract the death penalty and if it did the congress would be instantly de-populated. The juror I saw interviewed said that not one person stepped forward to say under oath that Anthony was a bad mother, that she didn’t love her child or that she had ever abused or neglected her and there simply was no evidence that convinced her that the child’s death wasn’t an accident. Having had the benefit of hearing all the evidence including forensic evidence she made a decision that she couldn’t convict on what she had heard. The jury only took 10 hours to reach a verdict and that was because even on the first poll of the jury it was 10 ‘not guilty’ and 2 ‘guilty’ and the guilty votes quite quickly became not guilty votes. There was no epic struggle and no confusion. Having heard the evidence they came to a decision reasonably quickly that there just wasn’t a good enough case to send a young mother to a possible death sentence. Of course, what the repulsive talking heads in the media had to say was driven by ratings and money, not evidence, so they were not to be trusted and I never trusted them from the start.

Report this

By poodfreemon, July 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When asked, I say that I believe in capital punishment, where only the guilty
are executed. I did not mourn the death of Timothy McVeigh. I know exactly
where I was sitting when I received the news that the State of Florida has just
fried Ted Bundy. I am totally satisfied with the fact that Jeffrey Dahmer was
beaten to death in prison. Father Geogan didn’t last long in prison either.

Does that mean I want innocent people to be executed? No. Does that mean
that our system of capital punishment insures that a certain percentage of
innocent people will be executed? Yes.

Kerryrose is correct to remind us that Casey Anthony waited 31 days to report
her little girl missing. This is the fact that Casey must face if she is to further
make a spectacle of herself, but with full disclosure this time, aided and
abetted by the spectacle-hungry media and the spectacle-hungry populace.

I challenge all of you to wait 31 days before reporting a heart attack, before
reporting major blood splatter in your best friend’s living room. I challenge
you to wait 31 days before reporting a home invasion during which your dog
was shot dead. I challenge you to wait 31 days to report the fact that your 14-
year-old daughter is missing. Is Casey Anthony culpable? She is culpable in
spades, and we all know it.

If “31 Days” is not the title of Casey Anthony’s book and the follow-up movie,
you will know you are getting the watered-down version of Casey’s story. If
the script focuses only on the hour-by-hour content of those 31 days, we the
livid populace might have a chance to learn something about the nature of the
truth.

I say that our uneven justice system is inevitably flawed because it is
populated by human beings. A justice system designed and applied by human
beings is going to be horribly flawed, biased, racist and corrupt. The Casey
Anthony epic has proven once again that we do not accept ourselves for who
we are, “constantly agitated, appetant organisms.”

Report this
kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, July 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

stephanpinkering

Your rabid defense of Anthony is admirable (if not strange), but you completely forgot to mention the most damning fact:  Anthony did not report her toddler missing for 31 days.

Report this

By stephanpickering, July 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Shalom & Boker tov:
Your thoughtful piece needs to be amended with a few
observations. Ms Anthony is INNOCENT, and she did NOT
murder nor abuse her daughter. There is NO evidence,
NONE: no DNA profiles, no fingerprints, no
eyewitnesses, no audiovisual records, NOTHING. As a
biological researcher, I found the pseudoscience of
‘smell’ introduced as ‘evidence’ is ludicrous, and,
vis-a-vis, civil liberties quite dangerous. Ms
Anthony, to be sure, liked to party, have sex with
her lovers, and she lied to the police presumably.
None of these is indicative of pre-meditated murder.
Moreover, I believe that the Queens of Grief Porn,
like those who lit the torches at Loudon, are
reflective of cryptofascist ‘justice’ seeking tea
party vigilantes (who use Wite-Out on their computer
screens, and move their lips while reading the new
issue of READERS’ DISGUST). They want to torture and
murder Casey Anthony—all on colour cameras with
stereophonic sound, to be sure.
To Ms Anthony, Jose Baez, Cheney Mason, Dorothy Clay
Sims: Tzeth’a LeShalom VeShuvh’a LeShalom…go in
peace, return in peace. To Ms Anthony, as a Torah
Jew, I apologize for the sexist murderous screeds
being hurled at you; they bring shame upon
themselves, and are not reflective of who, as a
people, we should be. Brakhot v’tefillot/blessings
and prayers to you.
STEPHAN PICKERING / Chofetz Chayim ben-Avraham

Report this

By Rodney, July 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If we make the death penalty illegal then we take
politics out of it. Politicans like the Bush boys and
Rick Perry have made their careers frying people like
chicken. It make them look tough on crime. Even if the
person is mentally retarded or may be innocent. They
don’t care. Especially if they are black or Hispanic.
We need to finally abolish the death penalty because
when you take an eye for an eye,everyone becomes blind.

Report this

By ardee, July 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

That the introduction of DNA evidence has found hundreds of those convicted for violent crimes to be actually innocent should make any sane person question the death penalty, at least until the system is revised and made proof against the inequities now present in it.

The brouhaha against the verdict brought in that case frankly makes me sick and makes me question the intelligence of many of my fellow citizens as well. Where is the outrage when some poor black man, given a pro bono lawyer who works half heartedly at best and urges his client to cops a plea as quickly as possible, is convicted of a crime he did not commit?

Is Casey Anthony a good and decent person? I do not know, not having met her. Is the verdict the correct one, again, I haven’t a clue. But neither do these folks screaming about her being a child murderer either.

The jury has ruled, the system is certainly broken but not because of the Anthony verdict. No, it has been broken forever in fact.

Report this
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook