Jury nullification sets the devil, Casey Anthony, free

By Sinclere Lee

Atlanta (BNW) — The feelings of outrage are palpable considering the acquittal of Casey Anthony for the murder of her 2-year old daughter Caylee. The outrage over this outrage is overwhelming in that most people because of new media are expressing their contempt for the acquittal on line. The fact of the matter was not just her acquittal but jury nullification of an obvious crime.

“Casey continues to laugh and will soon live the good life thanks to you. She will make millions and have more then you and I in a lifetime, due to the book signings and movie and appearance deals. That makes me sick. The jurors that are getting paid vacations to Disney World and asking for 5 figures sums for there story. Everyone in this case gains to make a profit off of this little girl’s death. This is vial. May this family all rot in the swamp that Caylee was found in. And to the jurors that are looking for a profit shame on you. I hope you choke on your money,” one person wrote.

“So it isn't a crime to duct tape your child's mouth and nose so that he/she cannot breathe?”

“This is a cop out. They didn't have to find her guilty of first-degree. There were other options, and they just didn't care and wanted to go home. Don't come on here and say they are sad - they let a murderer go free, and they have to live with themselves. I only wish I had been on that jury, and there are many, many others that would have, also. This jury dropped the ball big time, and they know it,” another said.

“One cannot help but conclude that the prosecution "overcharged this case”. Bringing the death penalty in, and charging capital murder in a case like this without the more definitive evidence of murder, motive, and method, must have put the jury on notice. That an acquittal was a safer option.... The fault in this seems to have rested with the prosecution,” this person said.

In trying to put a face on the behavior of the jury in this case — well, you can find evidence of that kind of behavior in the annals of American jurisprudence — they call it jury nullification.

Jury nullification occurs in a trial when a jury reaches a verdict contrary to the evidence in the case. Or fail to follow instructions as to the law. A jury verdict contrary to the evidence in a particular case is not new in America. However, if a pattern of acquittals develops in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offence, it can have the de facto effect of invalidating the statute. A pattern of jury nullification may indicate public opposition to an unwanted legislative enactment like with civil rights laws.

For example, in the South a white man has never been convicted of killing a Black man, and a Black man has never been acquitted of killing a white man. This extreme example of jury nullification is because of racism, and the enactment of civil rights legislation that the South hated; the result, was to use the courts system for overturning the laws.

In March 17, 2005 Robert Blake was the benefactor of jury nullification. After the evidence showed he shot his wife, Blake walked out of court a free man after a jury acquitted him of the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, his wife of six months and the mother of his 4-year-old daughter.

Who can ever forget the O. J. Simpson murder case? It was a criminal trial held in Los Angeles from January 29 to October 3, 1995, O. J. was tried on two counts of murder following the June 1994 deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. The case has been described as the most publicized criminal trial in American history, but Simpson was acquitted and walked out of court a free man.

In O. J.'s second trial we saw jury nullification at work again. In September 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, and charged with numerous felonies, including armed robbery and kidnapping. The evidence showed that O. J. was only attempting to get back stolen sports memorabilia that belonged to him, but the jury saw it otherwise, and wanted to punish him the murders he got away with in his past trial. In 2008 he was found guilty and sentenced to 33 years imprisonment, with a minimum of 9 years without parole. He is currently serving his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada.

Usually, the jury has a nefarious reason for nullifying a case of obvious guilt. In the South it was hatred of the rights granted to Black people doing the civil rights era. In the O. J. case it was Black people's payback to whites for years of experiencing a racist criminal justice system in America that always made Blacks the victims. In the Robert Bleak case, I think the jury was just too dumb to do the right thing. As for as Casey Anthony jury nullification case, I think the jury all-the-way through the trial saw dollar signs and a chance for fame and fortune. Money for future movie rights, books deals, and five figure paydays for interviews from a public gone mad over sensation.

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