Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Preeeeetty Sure Casey Anthony Is Actually Guilty

Dudes? This Casey Anthony verdict today was totally whack. I’ll admit right off the bat that I didn’t really invest myself too heavily in the case. It turned into more of a story for TMZ than a heartbreaking culmination of an innocent child being murdered. Too many “expert opinions” on seemingly unimportant details flooded my news feed and saturated the interwebs. Luckily, it was not me - or ANY of us for that matter - who was on the jury and had to be responsible for determining the fate of a person. Personally, I would have convicted her just because she didn’t cry enough for my liking, or she always looked like she never showered and wore, on more than one occasion, a scrunchie. What can I say? I’m fickle like that.

The fact is that it became an entertainment show rather than an incredibly tragic event with still no conclusion. Now, I’m usually all for the sensationalizing of important topics that go over my head. Sometimes it’s easier for me to understand something like, oh I don’t know, insider trading when Martha Stewart ends up in solitary because of it. Then everyone’s talking about it, defining it, putting in perspective, explaining why it’s bad. And then I can be all “Oh yes, I have an opinion on that” at parties. Am I the only one who gets their tips on the stock market from People magazine?

But in this case, it became some crazy frenzy. All this Casey Anthony trial did, for me at least, was show just how unjust the legal system can feel. On the one hand, I know several undesirable people who have gotten away with something they shouldn’t have. But on the other hand, we’ve probably all known a truly good person who gets trapped by the very thing meant to protect us. Maybe it’s because of money (or, more specifically, lack thereof), or past mistakes, or whatever ace the other side has up their sleeves (“Sorry, Pharon, but once in middle school you traded your friend your ice cream sandwich in exchange for her pudding, which just goes to show that you are incapable of assessing value, and therefore, we cannot justify a financial settlement in your case against Angelina Jolie for ruining your life with her banal movies.”) It just seems so backwards that something as important as a LAW can be stretched and pulled and contorted and manipulated so much. And the winner is sometimes just the person with the best lawyer, whether they are right or wrong.

Listen, I’m not going to go all lecture-y on you guys. But I remember learning this quote from, um, I think it was a documentary I saw on BBC once. “The law is reason free from passion” Fact: Fine, I learned this quote from Legally Blonde which doesn’t make it any less true. But then our whole mentality about our justice system is so wrought with drama and passion and sensationalism and impulse and personal convention that we can’t decipher where our own aspirations and beliefs end and the true nature of the law begins.

I hate that a system that is designed to be, by definition, just and fair can feel so totally bunk. I hate that people sue companies or people just to win acclaim or money or a lifetime supply of McDonald‘s coffee. I hate that people can manipulate the whole institution just for some free press. It makes it a joke. It makes it a weapon instead of a tool. And now with the media’s involvement, ANY legal battle can get a catchy nickname and it’s own graphic if it‘s a slow enough news day. Any legal nightmare can be exploited into journalistic catnip. How is that fair?

Personally, I think this Casey Anthony chick is guilty, and not just of a bad sense of style. Truth be told, it sounded pretty black and white to me. But thankfully I’m not the one who had to do the judging. It’s just such a shame that the truth, whatever it is, was buried under legalese, lies, and the giant load of mundane “details” that served no purpose other than to obscure the facts. Top all that with the media working the public into a hot mess of judicial indulgence and you've got yourself another O.J. Simpson case all over again. Thanks, but no thanks.

Also? Now all the news channels are going to go back to focusing on political mudslinging and miracle drugs and "the 5 things that can kill you in your refrigerator". And that's just cruel and unusual punishment.


grandmaman said...

I am still sulking over the verdicts. I refuse to read or listen to any comments about it! Her big smile after the verdict put me over the edge!

Pharon Square said...

I agree, Grandmaman. That poor child (Caylee) has been exploited and for what? I couldn't believe that smile on her face either. How smug! What a travesty...