It’s equal parts strange and sad that it took something as troubling as the Casey Anthony trial to drag my lazy bones out of the sludge and back onto the page. I just finished reading Alice Sebold’s “The Almost Moon” yesterday in which an almost lynch mob takes place so the subject is still lingering with me today. In the good old days, lynch mobs used to have to be present to do their dirty work, that is, to exact revenge upon someone they believed to be guilty of some crime. Today lynch mobs have moved into the 21st century and have taken their “power in numbers” tactics to the internet.
For weeks, people have been riveted by the Casey Anthony trial. The coverage has been plentiful and it’s been a popular topic of conversation around the water cooler. All of us seem to have an opinion and each of us feels entitled to said opinion because, well, we’ve all been watching the live play by play on t.v. or reading about it on the internet. Today the verdict was in. Each of us, a vested interest in the outcome since after all, we’ve spent weeks listening to highly incriminating evidence. And the jury found the woman that (so many people believed to have) murdered her own daughter…not guilty. What? How could that be? Because the jurors did their job, that’s how. They listened carefully to the evidence presented to them and to the judge’s instructions and they made a difficult decision, a decision that a lot of people were going to be unhappy with, a decision they probably weren’t happy making.
So now my favorite social networking site feels like a war zone and has me replaying this song over and over in my head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slKNd22GGaQ There’s a very angry virtual lynch mob running rampant, egging each other on, spewing hateful words, casting stones, and I find myself compelled to defend a woman that I don’t personally care for. Perhaps it would’ve been a different story for me had this not been a capital punishment case and someone’s very life in peril. But whatever the reasons are, I find myself feeling very proud of that jury for taking this case seriously, for doing their job, and for not treating it like a popularity contest. I find myself equally saddened by people’s reactions to the verdict and for the anger they are displaying towards the jury. It is a modern day lynch mob and it makes me sad. All I know is that if it was me or someone I love on trial, I’d want to feel like a fair trial, one in which the prosecution was required to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and in which I was innocent until proven guilty, was possible. I’d rather err on the side of not ever locking up or legally murdering an innocent person because I do believe that what goes around, comes around…eventually.
And you know, who’s to say something good can’t come from something so bad? I’m sure I’m not the only parent out there that holds her kiddo a little tighter and loves her a little more every time I read about a tragic case such as this. I choose love. Hope I always do.