Presumed Guilty until Proven Innocent

Casey Anthony has been booked into the Orange ...

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She was dancing and partying while the whereabouts of her child remained a mystery. She chose to get a “beautiful life” tattoo on her arm while countless individuals searched for her beautiful daughter. She admitted lying to authorities and changed her story depending on how the wind blew but none of that behavior can prove guilt anymore that the photographs of her smiling with her baby or her comments to her father about his being the “best dad ever” can prove her innocence. On July 6, after less than two full days of deliberation, a jury of her peers found Casey Marie Anthony not guilty of any type of charges involving killing her daughter.

The nation gasped in shock when the verdict was read. It seemed inconceivable that a woman who allowed 31 days to lapse before she even reported her daughter missing not be held responsible. It felt like a slap in the face to allow justice for an innocent victim become a moot point. The public was outraged and unless you lived under a rock or in a third world county you probably had an opinion once that verdict was read if not long before.

In a sensationalized trial showcasing a  family whose videos looked just like any ordinary family enjoying their daughter and grand daughter accusations from illicit behavior, molestation and perjury were bantered about as though this was typical behavior. Many argued there should be a lottery selection for jurors without inquistions from either side when selecting who should sit on it. Others complained that the prosecution did not vigorously pursue the clues. People argued that Casey would not have developed the poor judgement or become the sociopath she seemed, had she not come from a dysfunctional family which supported this behavior.

Our tongues wagged and our hearts were heavy sometimes for a family who seemed a lot like our own families. Haven’t we all protected our children and wanted to believe they could never do wrong whether they were 2 or 22? Haven’t we all had our spirit crushed and felt worse than the child that needed us to punish him or her for a behavior we found disgusting or unacceptable? I would wager there is not a good parent around who would not go to bat to help a child. The difference is that some parents teach by example while others cover up by example and practicing what we preach delineates the difference between just a parent and a good parent. Anytime there is a death of a child, parents who love their children feel the weight of that loss. Parents who followed this trial begged for justice for little Caylee Anthony and justice meant different things to different people.

Good parents don’t report their child missing more than a month after a disappearance. Good parents don’t cook up stories about a child’s whereabouts and then change that story more than a few times. Good parents don’t blame innocent or non existent people for their own indiscretions. Good parents don’t cover up one mistake with another regardless of the cost.Intact families don’t accept excuses that seem implausible, tolerate blatant lying or condone poor judgement.Just as any parent knows  you will hope beyond hope your child is innocent of any wrong, anyone with a conscience knows that living in a personal hell can be as much a punishment as living in a jail cell.

In Isaiah 61:8, we are told, “For I, the LORD, love justice” and in Romans 12:19, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” 

Some Christians may not like the verdict, but in another country one might not even be given a chance to determine guilt or innocence. Our justice system may have its flaws, but at least we have a system that presents both sides. God loves justice but He promises revenge. We need to let true punishment reside with Him. It does not make it easier to understand only more acceptable if you are a Christian and believe that God will judge each of us according to his deeds on judgement day.

But there is another aspect we should consider when we hear the fate of Casey Anthony. While people may be outraged and disturbed thinking that a guilty person went free, there should be just as much outrage about the innocent people who have been convicted and served time on death row only to later be proved innocent The Innocence Project.

Lives are forever changed by single acts. In minutes our lives can change because of the actions of another. It happens in the court system and it happens in schools, hospitals, businesses, and families every day. We are not an island. Every act we do affects another.

It takes a bold Christian to leave these issues to God. Sometimes it takes unimaginable faith and hope to trust that in the end justice will prevail and it takes true Christian behavior to demand justice for those who are not guilty as well.

If you really want to offer Caylee Anthony her justice, don’t buy the books, watch the movies or participate in any of the monies that no doubt will be made from this case by the attorneys, families, friends or jurors. Work to support the The Innocence Projects

Raise a voice to give back a life to someone who never deserved to have it shortened by a prison sentence.Maybe you can’t bring back Caylee, but you can help someone who paid a price they never should have been charged, get back some change.

Let God deal with Casey, and turn your anger to what you CAN do about justice. If it doesn’t fit we must acquit…whether a glove or a life behind bars. Turn your anger and frustration to work in a positive way. We are not asked to seek revenge but to embrace justice. Sometimes guilty people are not punished and sometimes innocent people are. If you can acknowledge one positive from this, it is that we need to work for justice on both ends because in the end there will be a judgement day for each of us.

About Kathy Brunner

Author, Speaker, Fire-starter. Believe anyone can make their passion happen and create a life On Purpose and With Intention. I can show you how to re-invent your life to go from Burned Out to Fired Up. Are you ready to REALLY live your dreams?
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