Cropsey, Casey Anthony, Jumbled Thoughts

9 Jul

So this week’s verdict in the Casey Anthony trial made CNN commenter Nancy Grace’s head explode off of her shoulders. She got really pissed off (like a lot of people did) that Casey wasn’t going to fry or rot in jail or get eaten alive by rabid beavers for the death of her daughter. Hey, I get it: the chick probably just got away with murder, and kids dying sucks. Do I think she did it? Absolutely, and seeing her little smile at the sentencing the other day sort of made me wish I could go vigilante and stab her brain from afar.

However, and this is a big however, I think the jury made the right call. I actually feel kinda sorry for them, if I’m being honest. Did the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony did it? Nope. No body, no cause of death. Just a lot of lies and speculation, and I’m not sure I can get behind a legal system that puts someone in the gas chamber based upon gut feelings and assumptions. It must suck to have to release the best suspect of a murder for lack of evidence, but with all of the messed up details and conflicting stories, I’m not sure that jury could have come to a different conclusion based upon the evidence presented to them. Innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around, and I think Americans tend to /forget that/. (I personally suspected they’d pin her with manslaughter instead of first degree. When they didn’t I had to pick my jaw up off the floor, but hearing some of the jurors talk after the fact I can see why they didn’t).

Anyway, my opinion that the jury did the best job they could with the evidence provided was cemented last night when I watched the documentary Cropsey at the suggestion of the Davemonster (available now on NETFLIX STREAMING!) Back in the 80’s, seven mentally disabled kids and young adults went missing from Staten Island. Only one of their bodies was recovered, that of Jennifer Schweiger. They accused a man named Andre Rand – a physical therapist who’d worked in a local mental institution – of her murder, but because his trial consisted (quite literally) of a bunch of people saying he was creepy and he lived around the missing kid and no hard evidence, they couldn’t pin the death on him. They did manage to get him put away behind bars for kidnapping based upon witness testimony (“I saw a car that looked like Rand’s near Jennifer”) but they got nothing off of the little girl’s body itself.

Interestingly enough, that same tactic of EVERYONE BELIEVES HE KILLED THE OTHER SIX PEOPLE SO HE MUST HAVE got him another trial later on, that of Holly Ann Hughes. She went missing in 1981, Rand was tried for her kidnapping and death in 2001. Again, all the prosecution had were a bunch of people who came forward 20 years later (and had never ever spoken up before with any of this evidence, which I find a little suspect) to say YEAH HE’S CREEPY AND HE LIVED NEAR WHERE THIS KID WENT MISSING AND I SAW THIS. Again they nailed him with kidnapping but not murder. As he’d be 93 when he can first get paroled, it’s essentially a life sentence.

I should probably make it pretty clear right now I’m pro-death sentence. Do I want to go into the why of it and have a huge political debate? No, but I like to think I’m tough on criminals for doing their bad criminal thing. That being said I can see a lot of problems with nuking folks into oblivion based upon people saying someone’s creepy or smells funny or looks funny. Hivemind mentality is terrifying. People can be convinced of damn near anything when emotions run high (see the Salem Witch Trials) and if we just assume someone’s done wrong without knowing it for sure, well. That’s a slippery slope. One wrong conviction means some psycho hosebeast who IS guilty gets to continue plaguing society while someone else rots for it.

And really, I am not down with the psycho hosebeasts.

Also, watch Cropsey.

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2 Responses to “Cropsey, Casey Anthony, Jumbled Thoughts”

  1. CropseyLegend July 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Thanks for writing about Cropsey! Interesting to see a comparison between Cropsey and Casey Anthony…We linked to this post on our Twitter (@cropseylegend) and Facebook (http://on.fb.me/j3qBQn) to show our followers and fans your blog-post! Everyone reading should check out our pages!

  2. Mom July 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Maybe the legal system and the people in it need to get better/ be better. The trial was conducted like a carnival, the lawyers weren’t thorough, and sorely lacked in sound judgement and professionalism. I agree that the right verdict was reached, and it makes me sad to type that. They didn’t do a good job proving their case/ she was set free. That’s how it works. Primarily because this case was presided over by a second rate judge and a second rate collection of lawyers. Hold everyone in the legal system, from police to attorneys to judges, to a higher standard of professionalism, and you’ll get better results.
    And may God have mercy on that little child.

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