Shunned!

Posted on 12 July 2011



The media hype trailing the infamous court trial of Casey Anthony has left many of us almost as outraged as we were with the actual verdict.  Suspected of murdering her innocent two-year-old daughter, and judged by a jury of her peers, Ms. Anthony was awarded an acquittal. While we were indeed angered by this sentence, we did have ample warning.  For as the statue in Washington, DC proclaims, “What is past, is prologue.”   In this instance, “past” is defined as the O.J. Simpson trial, in which Mr. Simpson was acquitted of the charges of brutally murdering his former wife and her friend.


We can examine and find flaws within our legal system, flaws that led to Anthony’s and Simpson’s acquittal. We can therein lay blame for these and other heinous crimes that go unpunished.  But how do we start to fix this imperfect system, which also happens to be the fairest (most just) legal system in the world? I may just have the solution.  But first, let us have a look at those flaws.


Under U.S. law, a person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  The onus, therefore, rests with the prosecution to craft, from empirical evidence and the sworn statements of eyewitnesses, an airtight case.  Conversely, the sole responsibility of the defense attorney is to create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors.  If reasonable doubt can be shown, the accused walks away free.


Add to this the fact that U.S. has no blanket, Federal sentence for the crime of murder.  In some States, homicide is punishable by death.  In other States, the guilty parties live out their sentences behind bars, enjoying three squares a day, learning new trades, and “getting religion,” the latter of which often equates to a shorter sentence, contingent upon the inmate’s demonstration of good behavior (as if a murderer is capable of good behavior).  And, those States that still employ the death sentence have no guarantee that it will remain in place: with changes in the composition of state legislatures, legislators can vote “for” or “against” that death penalty.


In the instances of Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson, the defense won because the prosecution essentially handed them those cases on silver platters.  Both trials were conducted before all the facts were considered, thus creating that reasonable doubt leading to the acquittals.


The other problem, however, is the selection of an impartial jury.  How is it possible to select a jury that is impartial when the media is a.) given or secures access to key  information well in advance of the actual trial, and then b.) makes public that very information, in an effort to drum up ratings or readership?  Rampant, pre-trial media coverage is basically akin to jury tampering, a crime that carries a stiff sentence.  But, by flying under the flag of journalism (the right to free speech and freedom of the press), that crime is rendered null.  And, so is the justice of our justice system!


It has been rumored that broadcast media and newspapers have offered large sums of money to accused parties and their families in exchange for being the first news agency to air the sordid details.  If this is true, we have the accused feeding information that should never be leaked, to a media that, in all civic responsibility, should not leak it!   So, unless potential jurors avoid newspapers, radio, TV, the Internet, and no doubt, cell phones, there can be no fair, impartial jurors!  For as Ben Franklin once stated, “Neither a maidenhead nor a fortress will hold once they begin to parley.”


So, what is the solution?  How do we punish the Casey Anthony’s, the O.J. Simpson’s, and all those who are bound to follow in their footsteps, given the legal loopholes and precedents illustrated above?


The solution may lie, not so ironically, with a simpler and gentler society.  This society is found in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania; they are called The Pennsylvania Dutch (the Amish).  These deeply religious, self-sufficient people live off the land in a self-governing society.  That society lives by the Golden Rule of loving your neighbor as you would yourself.


When an individual in the Amish society breaks the rules, that person is tried fairly.  If found guilty, the individual is shunned by the group; basically, the person is ignored as if he or she has ceased to exist.  In the very elegant and non-violent solution of the wise Amish lies the answer of how to deal with Casey Anthony, O.J. Simpson, and their ilk.


Shunning would end the constant media barrage, for without viewers or readers, the case would carry no interest.  With no interest in the case, broadcast media and tabloids would withdraw their lucrative offers, denying accused criminals the benefit of becoming millionaires.  As Father Guido Sarducci would say, “It would make it difficult to pay for her sins.”


The aftermath of the Casey Anthony case has stirred up a hornet’s nest of hostility.  Despite stern warnings from high-ranking officials, the death threats to both Casey’s family and the jurors continue.  It is time for cooler heads to prevail.  It is time to turn to the logical, non-violent ways of the Amish as a means of dealing with criminals who slip through the legal cracks.


Related Post:


Beyond the Casey Anthony Case





This post was written by:

- who has written 267 posts on Write On New Jersey.


Contact the author

Leave a Reply

Site Sponsors

Site Sponsors

Site Sponsors










RSSLoading Feed...