Anti-Casey lynch mob – i think a must read

Posted on July 9, 2011


Op-Ed: Anti-Casey lynch mob – WWW.THEDAILY.COM. Jill is my hero (one of many actually).  I didn’t know about the Nancy Grace stuff, but everything else is what i have (less eloquently) been saying:

The more disturbing downside is that media circuses like this one can lead many Americans to believe that criminals are given a pass, and that the standard for conviction should be “Do I think this defendant is a bad person?” rather than “Did the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this defendant committed the crimes with which he or she is charged?” That’s a bias people take with them into jury duty, in cases where the courtroom isn’t full of cameras and where putting the bad guy or gal away might feel more pressing than fairly evaluating the evidence.

Now, Americans across social media platforms are lamenting the not-guilty verdict, saying it made them lose faith in the criminal justice system. But what should actually offend us — what should shake our faith in the legal system — is that people who are less visible than Anthony are routinely convicted and sentenced to prison or even death on inadequate evidence, because the jury is sold on the idea that they are simply bad. Black and Latino defendants are disproportionately represented on death row. John Thompson spent 18 years in prison (14 of them on death row) for a murder he didn’t commit, after prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that would have established his innocence; the Supreme Court recently held that Thompson can’t sue the prosecutor’s office that railroaded him. Today, 15-year-old Rennie Gibbs stands accused of murdering her baby after she gave birth to a stillborn child when she was 36 weeks pregnant. Prosecutors discovered she used cocaine and, even though there is no evidence that the cocaine had anything to do with losing the pregnancy, charged her with “depraved-heart murder.” She faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.