Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Casey Anthony, the Constitution, and the Cross
I watched, like most people in America, the verdict come down on Casey Anthony yesterday: not guilty. Technically, I saw it after the fact on one of the many news sites that had the video in full. But that didn't blunt my surprise or the surprise of many around the country. Not guilty? Wow. I honestly thought they had her pegged based on what little I knew about the case. Granted, the jury returned guilty on the lying to a police officer counts, but she's off on the Murder 1 and Manslaughter charges. I saw on the same site the tweet of the day from Ashton Kutcher: "Even OJ is upset at the outcome of this trial." I digress...
But it's a victory in some senses. The Constitution presumes innocence before the law (though obviously not before the media). It also ensures, as appropriate, trial by a jury of peers. And the statutes throughout the states, as I understand them, also put a high standard for the prosecution to reach: beyond a reasonable doubt. Meaning, if I'm in the jury room and I can see another way this might have gone down, my vote has to go in the "not guilty" column. If I cannot see any other way this might have conceivably happened, then and only then do I vote "guilty." Like it or not, agree or not, hack attorney or brilliant counsel, Baez and his crew defended Casey Anthony to the degree that doubt persisted in the jury room. I call that a victory for the constitutional form of government. What's more, if she is guilty but got off, she'll no doubt do something stupid again and get caught and then hopefully go to jail (speaking of OJ...). Call me a fan of the Constitution.
But also color me a huge, stunned, give-my-life-for-this fan of the cross of Jesus Christ.. There was a judge yesterday who had a person before him and he said the words, "You are judged not guilty." She may still be guilty, but she's judged not guilty. There is another Judge who has a person before Him. I know I'm guilty. No question about that one in my mind. But because of the sacrifice of Jesus, I hear Him say, "I declare you not guilty." Christ took my sin and my punishment. I go free because of Him. Far deeper than those words went into a questionable mother, they plunge into my guilty soul.
Not guilty. Because of Christ.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...