I am local to this story, for three years I have heard almost daily reports. Little Caylee's face will forever be etched in my brain. Just about the same age as my youngest, my heart was crushed when it was announced she was missing, then again later when they found her body.
I judged her mother, unable to understand how someone doesn't report her child missing for 31 days, all the while partying it up and smiling.
I was ready for the trial to start, so this could all be over. I found myself glued to the tv watching pretty much the entire trial. Waiting...for some form of proof from either side of what happened. Maybe a glimpse into the mind of a woman who potentially killed her small child. Morbid, I know, but I think all mothers wonder, HOW THE HELL DOES THAT HAPPEN?
The problem was proof never came. While I couldn't stand listening to her pompous ass of a lawyer, he was poking small holes of reasonable doubt into the state's case and the state's case was weak to start. They had nothing. No cause of death, no DNA, no finger prints, NOTHING to prove how or when she died.
I felt a sense of trepidation when they announced the verdict was ready. As much as the mob mentality in the court of public opinion had seeped into my brain, I couldn't say that the state had shown those jurors enough to convict her. IF she was found guilty, it was not formed from evidence, and that would have been a failure on our systems part. Still, jurors are human and it would be very hard to be in their place and manage to be completely objective.
When three not guilty verdicts were read back to back. I felt conflicted. In my mind the system worked. The state failed to meet the burden of proof. Plain and simple. However, there will be no justice for that little girl now. Her mother, whether she killed her or not, didn't report her missing for a month, and no one will ever know what happened to her.
This is how our systems works. Like it or not. It is meant to protect the innocent and sometimes it means that even if WE think a person is guilty as sin, the courts will not agree.
*Have to edit to add:
NO the jury could not have convicted her of child neglect, abuse, improper disposal of a body, or failure to report a death, because those were NOT charges brought up by the state. The state chose to pursue felony murder/death penalty charges. This is not the jury's fault. They had seven charges to consider, four of which were lying to the police, the other 3 were all murder charges. THAT IS IT.
Adding even more, if these jurors decide to never reveal themselves, that is their right. They blood hungry media and public want the names to be made public so that they can relentlessly attack them and make them the focus of public anger. SUUURE sign me up for jury duty.