Limitations of the Criminal Justice System

Casey Anthony–guilty or not guilty? The jury says not, but millions of avid followers of her trial disagree. Therein lies a hint of the limitations of the criminal justice system. I have no opinion one way or another. I chose not to pay close attention to media coverage, knowing full well the limitations of the media too. As most people know, especially those who watch the plethora of lawyer shows on TV, conviction in a criminal trial requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutors present what evidence they can find, subject to the rules of procedure and judicial discretion. In Anthony’s case, there were a number of unknowns:

  • How did she die?
  • When did she die?
  • Where did she die?

What became apparent, and what Casey Anthony was convicted of, were a series of lies regarding the disappearance and the whereabouts of her daughter. While these suggested, strongly perhaps, her involvement in her daughter’s death, they were not conclusive in proving her guilt. It’s that simple. Did she in fact kill her daughter? Perhaps. But with the evidence available to prosecutors, no one can say for sure. Where the laws of Florida and other states in America fall short, the law of cause effect will always come through. From the Buddhist perspective, whatever (if anything) Casey Anthony had to do with the death of  her daughter, will be reflected in her karma. Perhaps that supplies little solace to those who would prefer the judicial system provide immediate justice. Nonetheless, no one can escape the effects of the causes  they make, whether those effects are quickly or readily apparent to others.