By Steve Haney posted in In the News on Sunday, July 17, 2011
The burden on the government to prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt was previously highlighted by a case widely discussed in the news: the Casey Anthony trial. The verdict was extremely unpopular for obvious reasons. A young child died with her death covered-up by her mother. Why would a mother cover-up the death of her own child, unless she was involved in the death?
Very possibly because she was, most likely, directly involved in such a horrible crime. However, trial by media, trial by popular opinion, has thankfully not yet become the norm in this country. And finding a defendant guilty of a crime, any crime, still requires the government meet the burden it is given – proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
That burdern protects us all. Does anyone really want to see that burdern change? It is easy to take all of our freedoms and liberties for granted. That ease owes its thanks to the requirement that the government, our government, prove the accused guilty ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’.
Most of the anger on this verdict has focused on the jury. Really?? How about the prosecution strategy and the prosecution team.
The death pentalty is the ultimate punishment. This jury was death quailified, meaning it was aware that the government was seeking the execution of the accused. With so much now at stake due to the governments election, the jury wanted absolute certainity that the accused did what the government claimed. It takes “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” to an even higher level.
In the simplest of terms, the government got piggy and it got burned. This was not a black eye on the judicial system. It was, and is, proof that the system works as intended. At times bad people will get away with bad things. Civil liberties, civil freedoms. There is a reason we all take them for granted.