Neal Boortz: Anthony verdict a lesson in liberty

Someone sent me an e-mail, said that I needed to do something about the lynch mob that was forming in Orlando.

Apparently there are 12 people down there who have incurred the wrath of a sizable number of people.

Lynch mob? Hardly, but people are perturbed to be sure. The overwhelming majority of people seem to think that the jury in the Casey Anthony murder trial let that woman get away with murder, and they may well be right. It should be noted, though, that most of the people who are upset with the verdict rendered by this jury would jump through their own — ahhh — let’s just say nostrils in order to avoid jury duty.

Maybe Anthony was involved in her daughter’s death. The jury didn’t say she wasn’t. The finding wasn’t “innocent.” It was “not guilty.” The prosecutors simply didn’t prove their case. In some Scottish courts the jury has the option of issuing a finding of not proven.

This was a not proven.

I’m upset as well, but try to understand what really happened here. The immense power of the state was thwarted by the people. Thank goodness we can still do that.

The state of Florida wanted to take Anthony’s miserable life — and it was stopped from doing so by a dozen common, ordinary and usually powerless private citizens. We had a nursing student, a salesman, a high school dropout (like Anthony), a caregiver for an elderly stroke victim — ordinary people who stood between Anthony and the power of the state. These people were able to tell the state “Back off. You didn’t do your job. You haven’t proved guilt. So turn this woman loose and leave her alone!”

In our society the government — the state — has one exclusive power forbidden to everyone else. The government, and only the government, can use deadly force to deprive a citizen of life, liberty and property. History has brought us dynasties, caliphates, dictatorships theocracies and monarchies. In all of those societies criminals could and would be punished at the whim of a king, an Imam, or some simple dictator. Not so in our country. Here we have 12 ordinary citizens with the ability to stop the immense power of government in its tracks. Try that in Iran or China.

Frankly, I think there is as much of a reason to celebrate this verdict as there is to be outraged by it. What, after all, is our alternative? Do you want appointees or employees of the state to be the last line of defense between you and a government determined to take your liberty or your life?

The jury was told that they had to eliminate every reasonable hypothesis concerning the manner and cause of death in order to convict Anthony of murder. They were not able to do so.

Anthony waited a full month before notifying her parents that Caylee was missing. What does that prove? Just that Anthony is a miserable mother and a liar. And Anthony didn’t really work at Universal Studios as an event planner as she told both her parents and the cops. OK, she’s a liar.

Back off the rhetoric about the jury. At least these people served. I would suggest that unless you heard every second of testimony and reviewed every item placed in evidence, you were not as prepared to render a verdict as they were. You’re upset? Vent that on the prosecutors who, it seems, over-charged Anthony. Maybe you can write an angry letter to the police who didn’t do a thorough search the first time they were called to the location where Caylee’s body was eventually found.

If you’re ever wrongly accused of a crime you don’t want capable citizens to remember the anger focused on the Casey Anthony jury and say no thanks to their summons. You may need 12 people just like these someday.

Listen to Neal Boortz live from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on AM 750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

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