Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Justice?

The shit has hit the fan with the Casey Anthony verdict.  Dust storms are covering Phoenix, people are camping in swamps, Twitter is full of anti-Anthony and anti jury sentiments, and Nancy Grace has somehow made it all about herself (again). 

Yet, amid the wailing and gnashing of teeth there is a question I would like addressed: Was it the correct verdict?

I want everyone to try something novel.  Let's pretend there has been no media coverage regarding Casey Anthony or her poor daughter.  Let's pretend we knew nothing about this the day the jury first settles into their seats and hears opening arguments.  We're starting with a blank slate. 

Ready?

The prosecution's case:  A young, selfish, probably narcissistic, single mother does the unthinkable by not reporting her adorable daughter missing for a month.  Police get involved and get strange, conflicting stories from both the mother and the grandparents of the missing girl.  In short, the entire family seems a bit damaged. 

Eventually the little girl's body is found, shoved in a trash bag and dumped in a swampy area by the side of a road.  Cause of death cannot be determined and there is no trace evidence on the body.  None. 

Obviously the mother and/or grandparents are involved and charges are filed. 

Defense's case:  They basically take the path of 'throwing as much shit against the wall and see what sticks' method of defending their client.  This includes accusations of abuse by the grandparents, a wild story about the accidental drowning of Caylee with Casey's father covering it up by disposing of the body, and something about Casey's brother being involved.  She has a brother, right?  Hell, it doesn't matter.

Since this is a court of law and you are on the jury, here is all you need to concentrate on:  Is there reasonable doubt in your mind that Casey Anthony murdered her daughter.  Above is what you have to work with as well as this, tidy list:

DNA evidence on body:  none

Cause of death:  unknown*

Trace evidence on Casey:  none

Actions of mother:  suspicious and highly questionable

Knowing nothing going in, do you convict?  Do you have reasonable doubt?

As much criticism the media is taking right now, mine is much more direct:  Why aren't they asking this question instead of focusing on everyone else's reaction?  Why wasn't anyone prepared for this 'shocking' verdict when the physical evidence was so lacking?  Why is nobody criticizing the prosecution for not building a better case before taking this to trial?

I said at lunch yesterday that if I were on this jury I would have found her not guilty.  This was before the actual verdict was read, so this shouldn't have been a shock to anyone.  Especially not the media members who are supposed to report the facts regarding ongoing trials and not be subjective in their coverage. 

If I had more eloquence or intelligence I would get into how this is the definitive moment that media has changed forever, but who fucking cares.  Everyone is pissed that a murderer is going free; that a little girl is left unspoken for (even if it seems everyone is this morning). 

I'm mourning something larger today.  For once again truth has been slaughtered; both by the trial and the media coverage.  We may now never know what happened to this adorable, tragic little girl.  We can all suppose and guess and theorize all we want, but - other than an out of the blue/death bed confession - we will never know what happened to Caylee.

Don't mistake this not guilty verdict for freedom for Casey, either.  She will now be living the life of OJ Simpson:  Out of jail, but far from free.  Tell me one place she could go that would welcome her.  Hell, even her own father, mother, and brother appear to have turned their backs on her.  After the accusations leveled at them, who can blame them? 

Enough of this.  I have to go to Hartford, which puts me in moods like this.  Carry on. 

* Doesn't the lack of fluid in Caylee's lungs disprove the defense's theory that she accidentally drowned?  If you had to pinpoint one flaw in the prosecution's case it was the inability to determine cause of death.  That would have been a game changer. 

Carry on.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

By The Numbers

Some stats from the past week.

0:  Amount of fun I had in Jacksonville last week.  The area is mind bogglingly huge.  According to one dude I spoke with, the Jacksonville area covers 82.7 square miles.  Much of that is littered with 'town centers' which is apparently the new term for 'strip malls'.  Not my favorite city. 

1:  Number of days I wore socks this past weekend.  This correlates with the number of days I wore underwear, as well.  Don't judge. 

2:  Number of cigars smoked.  The best being an Oliva while watching the fireworks from my back deck. 

4:  Amount of sleep in hours last night....  

5:  ...because some numbnuts in neighborhood decided to light off this number of M80s at one thirty this morning.  I considered calling the cops but opted to scream out my window 'Cut the shit!  Some of us have to work today!'  Amazingly, no more fireworks were launched after that.  Sometimes policing ourselves is the best remedy. 

7:  Hours spent on my brother in law's boat Sunday.  Cruised Boston Harbor, anchored off one of the islands and swam around for a bit.  He then took out his portable grill and we had burgers, steak tips and chicken on the open seas.  Made both Wifey and I talk about getting our own boat.  We'll see.  Much saving to do if we consider that. 

10:  Number of hours I spent configuring my new iTouch.  Wifey bought it for me and didn't realize she only got me an 8 Gig version (I know, I'm an ingrate!).  My current iPod has 30 Gigs of which more than half is filled.  So I spent the weekend arranging playlists and deciding which albums I had to have on the new one.  Not sure I'm a fan, btw.  The iPod Classic is much easier to blindly switch songs or turn the volume up or down.  The iTouch you need to unlock every two minutes. It also has games, email, and other apps that I don't need nor want that take space away from actual music.  I do like the longer battery life, though, so I'll find a way to keep it around.   

11:  Hours leading up to the fireworks in which the boys were super excited.

12:  Minutes after the fireworks started they were already bored.  I'll ask again why they start so late.  Every year up until last year they started at 10 pm.  Maybe even sooner.  The Pops launch into the 1812 Overture and the fireworks kick off at the end of the song.  Now we have to wait another 30 - 45 minutes.  What gives?

14:  Number of summer days before I got sunburned.  Ironically, it was not on the boat.  I was smart enough to spray 50 SPF all over myself before heading out.  No, this happened while I was giving our cars the annual winter clean out.  Washing, vacuuming, etc.  Didn't realize how much time I spent in the sun and now I'm red as a well cooked lobster.  Let's just say my top doesn't have as much coverage as it used to.

15:  Work days left before I take my first summer vacation.  Unfortunately it will be to better myself through education which (hopefully) will land be a better job.  At least I'll be out of the office. 

16.5:  Number of hours I worked last Wednesday.  It culminated with me climbing into a ceiling to determine why a wireless access point wasn't working.  Oh, and the air conditioning in the building was shut down at 6 pm which meant it was approximately 125 degrees when I was doing this. 

21.1:  Inches of rain (exaggerated approximation) that fell in the three days I was in Florida.  Most of that was one hellacious thunderstorm that was so torrential, I could see it coming across the parking lot.  Just a wall of water advancing towards me as I considered my options: Chance it and hope I get to the car before it got to me or stay in the store and wait it out.  I chose to wait it out but had to sprint through it anyway as I realized it wasn't going to end anytime soon.  I started carrying an umbrella everywhere I went after that.  Even if the sun was shining so brightly I could barely see.

33:  Beers consumed since Friday afternoon.  Also the number of years I've been abusing my liver and kidneys.  Poor organ bastards. 

35:  Approximate number of times my boys heard the F word while I was listening to the Beastie Boys around them.  Whatever.  Can't protect them forever.  Chances are they've heard it many times from my mouth already. 

39:  Hours it took my boys to finish their first Captain Coolatta from Dunkin Donuts.  The things are so massive they won't even fit in a standard cup holder. 

50:  Hours of work I have to do this week.  That's not approximate, either.  That's a low ball estimate.  50 hours in four days.  No wonder I had 33 beers this past weekend. 

65:  Days left until school starts again.  I'm enjoying not having to make lunches and drag the boys out of bed.  Just having to worry about getting myself ready in the morning is like a vacation in and of itself. 

100:  Number of hours my 11 year old has spent playing Call of Duty: Black Ops since he got it for his birthday.  I must admit, it's thoroughly addicting. 

112:  Number of days since the NFL lockout began and - frankly - I'm starting to freak out.  Get this done, NFLers.  This is fucking ridiculous!!  Nine billion is the (rough) estimate in the amount of revenue you're bickering over.  There's plenty to go around. 

364:  Days that have passed since I was luxuriating on Grand Cayman.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do and sobbing to suppress. 


Today's distraction:  Statistical evidence on why I drink.  Not added is 'Because it's yummy'.