Wednesday, July 06, 2011

It's a System of Justice, Not Trial by Media

Yesterday in a highly publicized case, a mother was sent home a free woman and not charged with killing her child.

The media has been all over this particular trial. I don't know why, exactly, as I did not follow it at all except to see the headlines. However, I do know that each year, 300 children die at the hands of their parents. Many of those parents are convicted.

Some are not.

Why this case stood out and others don't is a mystery to me. Where is the outrage for these other kids?

Anyway, people all over my facebook page are indignant and calling the American justice system a failure.

They weren't at the hearing. They didn't hear the evidence. Really, their judgment and perception matters not the least, though the media would have them think otherwise.

However, it's called "reasonable doubt" and obviously the jurors had some doubt regarding the evidence that this mother murdered her child.

The legal system did not fail. It worked just like it is supposed to.

Would these folks rather see the mother found guilty and murdered in the gas chamber, only to find 10 years from now that the guilt lies with someone else?

Would they be outraged, then?

6 comments:

  1. I agree. Had I been a juror I don't think I could have found her guilty based on the evidence. That doesn't mean I don't wonder about her bizarre behavior and her guilty-looking actions. But you need cold, hard proof to convict someone of murder. This verdict actually means our justice system works.

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  2. Facebook is a mess with accusations based on what FB'ers have heard through the media. I'm pretty much not responding to any of their comments. I'd rather hear my friends talk about what they ate for dinner last night than all this media garbage about a mother, daughter and family they don't even know.

    Oh, and have I ever told you how much I detest Nancy Grace or whatever her name is on TV?

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  3. I did watch the entire trial. The "talking heads" had absolutely no effect on my perceptions. I believe she did get away with murder. I'll leave it at that...

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  4. Brilliant blog. I agree with you entirely. Finding someone guilty just because they don't conform to the narrow range of behaviour considered "normal" would not be just. It certainly is not evidence. The jury heard the factual evidence and had the enormous weight on their shoulders of deciding whether the case had been proved beyond a shadow of doubt. They performed their duty admirably.

    Over here, we had the makings of a similar case when an attractive (it helps when the victim is photogenic) young woman was tragically murdered and her landlord was subsequently arrested. Cue a trial in the media when the facts that he lived alone, was a retired teacher and had once dyed his hair blue were all produced as "evidence" that he was a psychopath and guilty. For days the papers were full of vicious articles by former pupils etc. all asserting that "sir" was "weird". The opinion of the man and woman on the street, reading this trash, was that he must have done it. Then he was released from custody and another man arrested who subsequently confessed.

    I am pleased to say the papers which conducted this trial by media are now being sued.

    The media in the current age, all driven by hunger for ratings in order to make money, have totally perverted the purpose of journalism. They shouldn't be allowed to pervert the course of justice too.

    At least the rug may at last have been pulled out from under Rupert Murdoch's seedy, corrosive empire now. But I wouldn't count on it. A lot of people in power are afraid of losing his favour (and that counts so much more than losing an ordinary person's vote).

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  5. Great post. I watched the entire trial, from jury selection to her sentencing this morning, and I believe she was guilty. BUT I also believe she got a fair trial, and when the death penalty is involved, that's what I care most about. More death will not bring that little girl back. I feel terrible for all the jurors who followed their consciences and get all this second guessing and name calling for their pains. The system worked, even if Nancy Grace didn't agree with the verdict.

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