Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Thoughts - The Anthony Case

While I've followed nearly every minute of the Caylee Anthony murder case - from the early weeks when Florida was looking for a missing child; to the news of bizarre Internet searches for neck breaking and chemicals on the Anthony's home computer; to numerous arrests, interviews and document dumps; to the false sightings and short-lived hopes; to the final, tragic discovery of Caylee's destroyed body - I haven't commented on the case here. I didn't want this blog to become another site monitoring to the case...there are plenty of them out there. And I didn't want this to be a place for the blood thirsty to prey upon. (I hear that anger and I do understand it. I do. I don't embrace it, but when I think about frightened, abused and violated children, I totally understand the anger and desire to even the score. I could go with those feelings, but I won't allow myself to.)

As the February 1, 2010 deadline for the defense quickly approaches in Casey Anthony's trial, I keep wondering what could possibly be up her attorneys' sleeves.

Andrea Lyon - and any defense attorney, really - has such a difficult, challenging job, but the reward is that they daily have the opportunity to use our laws to fairly create positive change in this world.

Because of my belief system, I can't support the death penalty (and please don't criticize me for turn, I will respect your beliefs.) I fear it has the potential to reduce us to the level of those who commit the crimes we're punishing. While an understandable initial reaction to something so painful and devastating is to end the life of the person responsible, further thinking and prayer may lead us to the conclusion that we should be as merciful as the G*d our own government praises. For those guilty of the worst crimes, I believe that mercy should include a true life sentence (no parole.)

In the Anthony case, I would feel so much better if I thought Lyon wasn't fighting for Casey's innocence, but instead for her existence. Because honestly? If all the stories Casey told were true, then there would be a photograph of the Zenaida she claims kidnapped and killed Caylee. Right there. Common sense. Casey was an avid photographer, snapping pictures of her friends and family, and especially her daughter. Thousands of pictures posted on her MySpace page, documenting her life - the parties, her child, her friends, nightclubs...every element. "Zanny" babysat Caylee for more than two years and there is not a single photograph of this person for police to use in an investigation? I don't believe doesn't make sense. It's the one element from this case where you can see something that had been the norm is abruptly absent, and when you're considering human nature, you've got to pay special attention to those details that loudly deviate from those norms. It is extremely unlikely that if a Zanny existed, there would not be a single photograph of Zanny cuddling Caylee, pushing her on the swings at Blanchard Park, or hugging Casey at a nightclub with friends after work. And if there is no Zanny, then there is another, completely different explanation for what happened on that hot summer day in June. Casey knows that story and she isn't telling us.

At this point, the lies have gone too far for Casey to come clean and say, "I didn't mean to do it, but I did it, and here is how it happened...and I didn't tell the truth in the beginning because I was scared out of my mind and I was in shock." Had she said that more than a year ago, she would not be facing the death penalty now. She may have even been graced with forgiveness. There would have been mental health professionals to back up her explanation, had she told the truth. But that time has passed.

What is troubling me, beyond the reality that humans are such vulnerable, temporary creatures...beings that can be maliciously manipulated, tortured and destroyed, especially in youth...and that there are such unqualified parents in this world...what is troubling me is how our justice system is so phenomenally beautiful and horrifically flawed at the same time.

Because maybe how I view that system is also how I perceive the world. Some days, that perception feels heavier than others. And I guess that is what is bothering me...

Watch the news to see what Jose Baez comes up with for February 1. I may or may not blog about it here, but it was just on my mind today...

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