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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Ripple Effect

I expect to pass through life but once.  If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.
William Penn
If I could turn back time.......1958?
A five year old me and Mom.
Good Morning from Harmony Acres, ya'll.  It's a cool morning (84 degrees is cool for summer in Oklahoma).  I've already hauled the trash, mowed some on the yard, given Maggie a bath. I had everything set up outside to paint on my kitchen cabinet doors.  However; between my lingering bronchitis and never ending allergy attacks, that project has been moved inside the house for the day.  Yes, I know that paint fumes in the house aren't safe but my left brained, right handed logic says go for it.

Warning: Graphic Description Follows 
I was going to tell you about my cucumber salad, my kitchen cabinet doors and other mundane things occurring at Harmony Acres.  However; after the "not guilty" verdict in the Casey Anthony trial, I want to address the criminal justice system in our country. 

It is probably safe to say the 90% of the people in our country think she caused the death of her child and lied and partied for 31 days  knowing the child was dead in a swamp (with three pieces of duct tape placed over the mouth and nose holding the little skull together) 15 houses down from where she resided with her parents.  The other 10% are "reasonable doubt" defense lawyers.  I found this verdict deeply disturbing and egregious on so many levels!

As a mother, I would gladly lay down my life for my daughter (as would have my mother and every mother I know) so the actions of Casey Anthony escape my understanding.  Actually, it is beyond my comprehension!  We watched a family that should have lived at "dysfunction junction" come apart on live television (we all have some type of dysfunction but rarely do we have it broadcast live around the world). 

These are the facts as I understand them (apparently, the jury was watching a different trial than I was):
  1. Caylee Anthony (almost three years old) was last seen in the company of her mother, Casey Anthony.
  2. For one month no one saw Caylee while her mother partied and got a new tattoo (Beautiful Life).
  3. When Cindy (Casey's mother) tracked her down in July, Casey claimed the babysitter kidnapped Caylee (when in fact, the child was decomposing in a swampy area).
  4. Casey's car had been towed and when her parents reclaimed the car, the trunk had the distinctive odor of human decomposition in it.
  5. Casey continued to lie to everyone and did everything possible to prevent the remains of her child from being found (6 months later, the skeletonized remains were located by a meter reader in an area that had been under water.  most of the unusable  forensic evidence had been destroyed).
  6. Casey continued to lie about Caylee's death until in opening statements her lawyer stated that Caylee died on June 16th in an accidental drowning in the family swimming pool (there was no evidence of this, or anything else he claimed in opening statements, presented at the trial ).
She was tried by a jury of her peers (I have reasonable doubt about the "peer" part. who were these people?) and found not guilty of any charges related to the death of her child.  Apparently, common sense took a vacation.  The circumstantial evidence in this trial was overwhelming.  According to the verdict, no one killed Caylee.  So why isn't she still in the loving arms of her grandparents? 

I can understand her lawyers wanting to celebrate their unlikely victory, but I feel so public a display (champagne toast in a restaurant close to the courthouse) was inappropriate to say the least.  I am disgusted by their actions during the trial and afterward.  How can there be such a celebration when a child is dead?  Does no one remember the reason for this trial?

The ripple effect of this case will continue for years to come.  It seems that almost everyone whose lives intersected with Casey Anthony are in some way forever changed (and not for the better).  If she had only taken responsibility for whatever may have happened, in all likelihood, her family would have welcomed her back with open arms.  Instead, she told terrible lies that will always haunt and hurt her family.  She has destroyed much.  There is a very real possibility that she will walk out of that courthouse tomorrow a free woman.  How will she live in a world that believes she got away with murdering her child? 

Whether you believe in God (reap what you sow), Karma (as she has planted, so does she harvest) or just good old common sense (what goes around comes around), there is a reckoning.  She may be legally exonerated but she is not morally exonerated!  Time will take care of this!  The ripple effect!  If you ever think that one life cannot impact others, take a look at this case.  The ripple effect!  Law enforcement, hundreds and hundreds of people who traveled hundreds of miles to help search for a live missing child, her family, jurors, lawyers, the judge and countless others who were vested in finding this child.  At the end of the day, there are many unanswered questions and no answers, which disturb all of us. How could this have happened?

Our legal system, such as it is, worked but truth and justice were not present in that courtroom in my humble opinion.  Something is broke and I am saddened by this! 

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