Enough about Casey Anthony

It’s time for America’s fixation on the Casey Anthony case to end.

The amount of press the case received may have been well deserved, but the continuing obsession has had negative consequences for our national discourse. The murder itself, of course, was horrendous; what happened to Caylee Anthony is painful to hear and it is unconscionable how someone could do this to an innocent child. Nevertheless, the corresponding circus around the trial and subsequent verdict is at best a lot of hot air and at worst a desecration of informed and civil conversation.

This case is not unique. Sadly, people commit horrible acts, including murder against children, more often that we would like to admit. The obsession with Caylee’s death overshadows all of the still open cases that could be solved. As much as Caylee’s death brings out great compassion and pain, the idea that there are hundreds of other children undergoing continuous abuse pains me just as much. The angry energy we show towards Casey could be much better served as positive energy directed towards enhancing victim’s services, providing proper foster care, and creating a sense of shared responsibility towards humanity. Our constant bickering about the case, our dissatisfaction with the verdict, and our general hatred put us in a vicious cycle.

Most abhorrent about our obsession, however, is its local and national impact. On the local level, some of the jurors in the case have had to leave their jobs, afraid of retaliation. They made a decision based on the law and in doing so, maintained high standards of rationality and reasonable doubt. Ensuring a rational legal system is far more important than impulsive justice. No one should receive death threats for doing their civic duty.

On the national level, this sensationalism has distracted us from other issues of great consequence. From human rights abuses to war to our own families, we are neglecting far more pressing issues than this one case of injustice. This may seem a bit general, but it is also the truth.

Anthony will face her conscience. In the meanwhile, it’s time for us to move on. We have bigger problems to deal with; let’s spend what little time we have on those.

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About Jonathan Rice

Fulbright Fellow, Pitzer College alum, and communicator passionate about telling stories that make an impact.

Posted on 07/18/2011, in Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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