The Casey Anthony verdict!
Maybe the jurors in Orlando were able to acquit Anthony of child abuse, the most defensible and best-documented charge that the prosecution had, because they didn’t see anything strange in a mother who partied like a cheap trick during the month that her baby was “missing.” Maybe they were so steeped in the culture of individuality and “tolerance” that they found it hard to be judgmental toward a randy mom who reminded them of their own children, or even their younger selves . . .
Or maybe they’d just forgotten what neglect and abuse look like because, after all, criticizing a woman for expressing her sexuality is so . . . Victorian.
But, more than an inability to understand complex legal theories, I think the reason the jury was unable to convict Anthony was that it just didn’t buy the prosecution premise that a woman who enters a hot-body contest while her child is lost has both the motive and propensity to kill her. In a society where people have the fundamental right to enjoy themselves – others be damned – an immature and self-obsessed mother is no more likely to murder an innocent baby than your run-of-the-mill reality-show hausfrau. And anyone who criticizes her for those acts of carefree self-expression is a judgmental prude.
That’s where individualism of the libertarian model has taken us. The idea that no one has the right to tell us how to live our lives (Legalize drugs! Ban motorcycle helmets! Don’t ban violent videos! Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!) has led us to a place where caring about No. 1 has become a secular religion, and turned all of those who preach restraint into heretics.
So it’s not surprising at all that Casey Anthony got off, even in the face of strong evidence and the absolute implausibility of alternatives.
The only thing surprising in all of this is that she was put on trial in the first place. Because, after all, it’s not a crime these days if girls just wanna have fun.
This is clearly one of the stupidest things about this case yet to be written. And there’s been a hell of a lot of competition.
But I actually agree with the author’s conclusion. As a libertarian, I believe every criminal defendant should be afforded the full slate of constitutional protections; that suspects should be considered innocent until proven guilty; that the government must always prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt; and that guilt should be determined by an independent jury weighing the evidence, not by public opinion polls or lynch mobs. If adhering to those standards is what resulted in the “not guilty” verdict, I’m fine with taking the “blame” for that.