For as long as I can remember, I’d love to argue (as my mom would call it—debate is a term I prefer). I would fight 'til the death over any issue, no matter how large, no matter how small. When people would ask my mother why I was so argumentative, she would explain: "Leslie hates injustice." She was right. I did and still do.
That’s why the verdict in the Casey Anthony case was such a hard pill, or verdict, for me to swallow yesterday.
It was always assumed that I would be an attorney, a criminal attorney for those dramatic arguments on the courtroom floor. But after a bit of soul searching, I felt I could not enter a field where I would have to fight to defend someone no matter how guilty, or prosecute someone no matter how innocent. It simply seemed unjust to me.
Nature and lack of forensics worked in Casey Anthony’s favor. If you can’t determine how a body died, how can you accuse its mother of homicide? And beyond a reasonable doubt? Although I think the defense team was a joke, they confused the jury so much that doubt prevailed, reasonable or otherwise.
One thing I love about this country is that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty; I find our system has it’s flaws, but yesterday the ability to have the presumption of innocence was proven and tested in the case of Casey Anthony. No matter how many tabloids, talking heads or websites were out there about this case before the courtroom doors opened, the jury was able to put aside any prejudgment, put aside their emotions, look at the evidence (or lack of), and as a body of 12 acting as one, come up with a verdict.
Like many of you, I was sickened, shocked, and outraged when I heard the verdict. Surely they could find something this woman was guilty of beyond a handful of misdemeanors! How about being guilty of not calling 911 when her child was missing during that 31 days? How about being guilty of partying rather than reading her baby girl a bedtime story? How about saying anything to get off, including accusing your own father of abuse? The list goes on, and it’s my heart, my emotions that are rendering judgment and a verdict against this woman, as did our nation.
And what message does this send to all the young girls who might have gotten pregnant before they wanted to and feel burdened by a baby when they’d rather get tattoos, party like rock stars, and sleep around? Will they think, hey, if I have a baby and kill it, I won’t go to jail, I’ll be on television(!!!), all eyes will be on me, I’ll get a book deal. As disgusting as that sounds, it will (if it hasn’t already) cross some young girl’s mind.
Do you know what sickens me more than the verdict? It’s what comes next. I’ll bet Casey Anthony gets a book deal and some big name will interview her on network television. Who will it be? Diane Sawyer? Barbara Walters? Will Oprah come out of retirement? It won't be Nancy Grace, who probably needed a sedative after hearing the verdict.
I’ll tell you one thing, Casey Anthony won’t be wearing the scarlet letter “M” for murderer, as most of us would like to see.
Whether she’s truly innocent or guilty of this crime, we’ll never know. Either way, Casey got what she wanted: freedom. And I personally believe she killed her daughter for it.