Many Kershaw County residents are no doubt keeping in their minds the most-used cliché in legal circles: you can never predict what a jury’s going to do. That certainly proved true again earlier this week, when 12 people found Casey Anthony not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. It was a case that had captured public opinion perhaps as no other had since the murder trial of O.J. Simpson many years ago. Both defendants were acquitted despite circumstantial evidence that seemed overwhelming. Both cases also spotlighted Americans’ fascination with the legal system and with high-profile crime cases.
The evidence against Anthony seemed both powerful and distasteful -- a mother who waited nearly a month before letting anyone know her small daughter had disappeared, a woman who changed her story, lied to police and then didn’t take the stand in her own defense. But as one juror put it, their verdict didn’t mean that Anthony was innocent; it meant instead that the state hadn’t proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Anthony had performed the ultimate foul deed of killing her own child.
Equally disconcerting is the fact that speculation already has begun on how many buckets of money Anthony will be paid for interviews, reality television appearances and other media frenzies. She can use what many consider her ill-gained fame to produce income for the lifestyle which she chooses to follow. Kershaw County residents will no doubt echo the feelings of others across the country that Anthony did what Simpson did -- got away with murder. But the jury didn’t agree with that, and it proves once that that oldest cliché is not to be dismissed. This will be a verdict that will be dissected intensely -- and will no doubt leave many disappointed.