Unfortunately, our criminal justice system doesn't allow for verdicts of "probably" or "who else?" or "are you kidding me?"
If so, little Caylee Anthony would have justice today. Her killer and any accomplice(s) would be destined to a life behind bars---until execution, as they do in Florida.
Instead, the jury in the most gripping, emotionally invested trial since that of O.J. Simpson rendered a decision that was a rejection of the prosecution's version of what happened.
This is because the prosecution, in the jury's eyes, failed to portray their version in that "beyond a reasonable doubt" way, which is a great threshold to have in place until it becomes inconvenient.
Perhaps we will never know what happened to Caylee, the precious little toddler who was discarded in a swamp like remnants of a picnic. But that won't protect her mother, the acquitted Casey, who now proceeds to live one of the most intriguing lives in recent memory.
What will happen to Casey? She's under real threat of violence. Hers is now a world where everyone---EVERYONE---will look at her cross-eyed. She may as well sew scarlet letters on all her blouses---"BK" for baby killer.
She may be acquitted, in a verdict that's as easy for the nation to swallow as a gallon of lye, but she's not exonerated. The grisly, tragic death of her daughter will follow her, forever.
Oh, Casey may make some dough off this enterprise. There might be a book, a movie, God knows what else. She's not guilty by law, so it's difficult to legally deny her any profits.
Casey Anthony's haul might be disgusting in its largesse, when all is said and done---and written. But she will forever be poor in character and in conscience. Unless she really is a sociopath, as some suspect.
Caylee Anthony: August 2005-June 2008
But even if she's guiltless in her soul, she's not about to live the life of an innocent person. She's 25 years old but her life might be over, for all intents and purposes. Who will hire her? Who will marry her? Who will have anything to do with her? Besides publishers and producers, that is.
It's little consolation, I know, for those of us aching to give Caylee her justice. But it's better than nothing. You're excused, in my book, if you choose to wish ill on Casey and those who may have helped her cover up Caylee's manner of death.
That's not very Christian, I know, but we aren't perfect people, either. We are prone to letting emotions get the best of us, especially when it comes to animals and kids and the elderly---the most defenseless among us.
You're going to hear it a lot in the next few days---Casey is going to be released from prison on July 13---that maybe her "not guilty" verdict was the worst thing that could happen to her, considering what her life on the outside is going to resemble.
Deep down we really don't believe that, but it is something to hold onto---that Casey Anthony will be a leper among us. Someone who will live a tortuous, lonely life.
It's not nice to wish a pox on another.
And little Caylee Anthony is dead.
So who do we go see about that?