The country’s collective jaw dropped this week as a jury of her peers acquitted Casey Marie Anthony of all charges related to the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.  In the aftermath of what may prove to be the most polarizing verdict since OJ many Americans are left wondering not only at the extent to which our judicial system is broken, but also how little Caylee Anthony will ever find justice.

There are simple answer to each of these questions, though both are difficult to swallow: the system is irrevocably broken, and there will likely never be justice for Caylee.

To the people who say that the prosecution did not prove that Casey killed her daughter, I ask only this:  how are you able to so completely suspend your common sense and what you know to be true about human behavior?

Did the defense offer other “possible” scenarios to create reasonable doubt?  I do not believe it did.  I believe it definitely offered up alternate scenarios, but I would not define them as “possible” ones.

Common sense tells us that a child cannot accidentally drown in an above-ground pool and then “wash up” fifteen house down the road, wrapped in a blanket, in a laundry bag, with duct tape on her face…six months later.

It is unfortunate that we are a nation of avid CSI, Law & Order, and NCIS fans.  I believe that the Casey Anthony jury was waiting for that singular “Perry Mason” moment – when some expert whips out a vital piece of evidence at exactly the right moment, incontrovertibly tying the defendant to the crime.

The sad news is that the evidence in this case spent at least four months in a swamp, under water for at least part of that time, leaving little for the experts to work with.

What really disturbs me is that when juror #3 deigned to speak to the public, the main complaint was that “the prosecution didn’t prove how Caylee was killed.”

Is this how the jury decided to acquit Casey Anthony?

If a jury could only convict with “smoking gun” evidence, and never on circumstantial evidence, then our jails and prisons would not be bursting at the seams.  The same would hold true if, as one person insisted, all convictions based on circumstantial evidence were overturned on appeal.

Another blogger that I respect posted on how we as Christians would receive Casey Anthony in our churches on Sunday morning.  The comments on that post were largely positive and encouraging, with the main theme being that of love and acceptance and forgiveness, which is as it should be.

Sure, there were some negative comments, too, which were almost immediately vanquished by others admonishing the negative Nancies to remember that they are not without sin and that we never know the true heart of those sitting in our churches.  True…all true.

On one hand, our hearts are broken for the lost life of little Caylee Anthony; on the other, our hearts must surely break for the brokenness that obviously exists within the remaining members of the Anthony family.

I have no way of knowing Casey Anthony’s heart of hearts.  I do, however, know that my God views Casey Anthony’s life and soul to be just as valuable to His Kingdom as my own.  I also know that my Creator is a God of second chances and I have no doubt that he deems Casey to be just as worthy of another chance as he did me.

Does that sit well with me?  Honestly…no.

But I have to accept it, even though I also believe straight to the core of my being that Casey Anthony defied man’s laws and murdered her beautiful little girl – and then lied her ass off to cover it up – I have to accept it because I have accepted that same forgiveness and grace for myself.

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