Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Assigning blame: A person is smart, people are dumb

If you are involved with any kind of social media, then yesterday afternoon, you likely saw the crush of opinions on the Casey Anthony verdict.

I knew of the case, but I didn't follow it at all and really wasn't aware of any details of the case. Even as a bit of a news junkie, the media around it smacked of sensationalism and I just didn't care to hear about it.

Much of the public's outcry over the verdict is aimed at jury. (For a very good piece on thoughts on the jury, please check out craAAKKer). It's misguided and stupid to do so. Out of all of the parties involved in this case, the jury is the last group that deserves any blame. They took what was presented to them and within the guidelines provided by the judge came to a unanimous decision.

Think about this for a moment, 12 people who don't know each other except for the time they've spent over the past weeks, reviewed the material presented to them and unanimously agreed to acquit Casey Anthony on murder and manslaughter charges in less then a day. You have to appreciate how difficult it is to get 12 people to agree on anything, much less in trying to balance justice for a 2 year old child against the life of it's accused mother. Think it's easy? take something that's obviously not as serious and try to come to a decision with 11 of your friends (or strangers). Maybe decide on a vacation spot and dates for everyone to go together or whether man actually landed on the moon.

If there is blame to assign in relation to the case. It has to be laid on the prosecution and law enforcement. Ultimately it's their failure, not the jurors. We sometimes become so caught up in having to blame someone, that we forget who is ultimately responsible (I blame the current political climate for fostering this, but that's another post). This isn't to say that the prosecution or law enforcement could have done anything more, but it is to say that the failure in this instance rests with them.

So remember, when you get upset about this verdict, what you know and what the jurors were presented with are two completely different things, in addition to that, their responsibility was in ensuring that guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt and they ultimately decided it wasn't.

The larger the group of people, the stupider they are as a whole. Take an issue to 1 person (or 12 in this case) and they are able to apply reasoning to something that a massive group cannot.

There is no doubt there was no justice for Caylee Anthony and there likely never will be, that doesn't mean we have to ignore the facts of something though, because we want it to be right. Doing so would be disastrous.

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