Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Not Guilty Verdict.

Disclaimer: This is not meant to start a debate. But I came across this article. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, and you may agree or disagree. Just thought it was interesting. It made me think and just wanted to throw it out there.

Justice, Judgmentalism and the Casey Anthony Verdict

Her “not guilty” verdict made a lot of people mad. But before we vent any more anger we may need an attitude check.
Where were you on July 5 when the Casey Anthony verdict was released? Just before the 2:15 p.m. announcement, I was in a restaurant in Orlando with my family—and our waitress was so anxious to hear the outcome of the trial that she brought up the topic after we ordered our lunch. Not since the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial have Americans invested so much emotional energy in a courtroom drama.
Because I live near Orlando where the trial was held, I’ve grown weary of the never-ending local news coverage, which included stories on how much Casey was allowed to spend on toiletries every week at the Orange County jail and how long out-of-town visitors waited in line to get tickets to the trial. I remember when 2-year-old Caylee Anthony went missing in 2008. I remember when her decomposed remains were found six months later in some woods near her home. I listened to the blur of reports about duct tape, the suspicious odor in the trunk of the car, the chloroform, and her mother’s partying habits.
“Before you spend any more time analyzing the evidence, complaining about the jury or judging Casey’s motives, ask God to touch her. Could God have actually been involved in this unexpected verdict to give Casey more time to discover Him?”
People became engrossed in the case of the so-called Tot Mom. Many became armchair prosecutors. Some of them flew to Orlando to get a seat in the courtroom. Millions more followed every detail of the trial through Nancy Grace, Dateline and other news programs. Many amateur crime solvers were convinced Casey killed her little daughter—and they were ready to hand her a death sentence.
After the verdict was read on Tuesday, many Americans were shocked—mostly because Casey’s lies during the lengthy ordeal destroyed her credibility. Thousands of angry Twitterers formed a virtual lynch mob. Their words were harsh, exemplified by these tweets from people who referenced God:
• “The jury may have found her ‘not guilty,’ but she'll get what’s coming to her. God will make sure of that!”
• “Casey, you didn't win. You have a dead daughter, a guilty conscience, a society that hates you and a date with God.”
• “Dear Casey Anthony, God will deal with you. Good luck finding a lawyer that will help you lie to Him.”
Maybe I’m in the minority, but it disturbs me when I hear Christians spewing vindictive statements about God’s judgment in anybody’s direction—especially toward a woman who has just been pronounced not guilty in an American courtroom. Yes, I feel horrible for little Caylee, whose life was stolen from her. Yes, I think Casey’s story seemed to be full of holes. And no, I don’t believe the not guilty verdict brought the kind of “closure” Casey’s parents claim to have now. We’re not any closer to solving the mystery of her death.
But in the end, people who follow Christ should not be grabbing pitchforks and demanding vigilante justice just because a trial didn’t turn out the way we thought it should. Our response should be tempered with redemption. I’d recommend the following:
Thank God for His mercy toward you. Every one of us deserves a guilty verdict from God because of our sins (see Romans 3:23), but in His perfect love He engineered a way to satisfy justice and yet grant us full pardon. If you truly know the forgiveness of Christ, you cannot cold-heartedly desire revenge for others. Our attitude should be guided by Ephesians 4:32 (NASB): “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you."
Pray for Casey Anthony and her family. Before you spend any more time analyzing the evidence, complaining about the jury or judging Casey’s motives, ask God to touch her. Do you believe He loves her? Could God have actually been involved in this unexpected verdict to give Casey more time to discover Him? Pray that Casey and her parents will come to know His salvation in a personal way. (P.S. This whole thing has reminded me that I’ve not spent too much time praying for O.J. Simpson, either.)
Pray for the children who are abused every day and don’t get news coverage. According to the organization Child Help, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. Almost five children die every day in the United States as a result of child abuse, and more than three out of four are like Caylee Anthony—under the age of 4.
If Christians become more aggressive in addressing child abuse in all its forms—and channel our righteous anger in a positive direction—Caylee’s death will not have been in vain.
J. Lee Grady is contributing editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His most recent book is 10 Lies Men Believe (Charisma House).


I'm not trying to throw a "What would Jesus Do?" at you. I believe in my heart Casey was guilty as sin. But I would think we could all agree Casey and her family need our prayers.  And like a friend said to me today, we aren't Jesus, we can't be like Jesus, and that's why we NEED Jesus.


Melissa said...

I also posted about this article this morning on twitter. Convicting!

Meg said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Convicting is absolutely right!

I've been reading for a while, but this is my first time commenting!

Jess said...

My coworker and I were talking about this earlier today.

For everyone who says that "Casey will get hers in the end" or that "God will be her ultimate judge and juror"....... we really have no right to say what Casey's end fate will be. If she repents for her wrongdoings (whether that be killing her daughter or just being a crappy mom), then God will forgive her. Really, we should all hope for that.

I feel awful for that little girl. However, I truly believe she's playing with angels in Heaven. That is the one thing in this horrile mess in which I AM thankful.

Jenny said...

Thank you Lauren for sharing this! This is the truth!

Happy Wednesday! =)

ty said...

This is great. Absolute conviction. I'm a defense minded law student, and the way people have been behaving under the guise of the internet is just awful.

Jen said...

A friend just tweeted this article, and I agree 100%. In fact, I'm glad it's getting shared around...

I didn't follow the trial that closely (on principle, because I had issues with the circus it became... but that's another story. :)), so I never felt qualified to have an opinion. But the hatred and anger and joking flying around on Twitter! It made me sick.

So yeah, I agree with this article. Check your heart before you throw things onto the Internet. I'm tired of Christians looking like jerks on the Internet.

Thanks for sharing! :)

Jen said...

Also, I used "on the Internet" twice. haha. badly written comments ftw. =)

Linds said...

I'm new to your blog... I think Jenna (from Jenna's Journey) told me about you... anyways...

totally agree with all of this. I think that we are SO quick to cast a stone when our emotions get in the way and we think we know the right/wrong way of things. I sometimes have to take a step back and realize that God, in His infinite wisdom, knows the truth. And that's all that matters in the end.

Sunshinemeg said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I am one to lead with my emotions and sometimes I need to take a step back and think about all of the angles. Great post.

heather @ mrs. southern bride said...

Can I just say Thank You for posting this? Much needed!

Arielle said...

Such a good article! New follower! :) Maybe you'll have time to check my blog out too!

Lula Bee said...

Exactly!! Thanks for posting!