Burden of Proof- Should it be lower so Someone Like Casey Anthony Gets Convicted
Bill O’Reilly of Fox News “The O’Reilly Factor” says ” Dumb, beyond a reasonable doubt.” Seriously? What burden of proof should the State have to meet to deprive a person of life? Mr. O’Reilly asks “is the burden of proof too high? ” and claims that Casey Anthony’s attorney did not raise reasonable doubt as a defense, implying that the jury should not have followed that line of thinking. Fortunately, whether or not a defense attorney “raises” reasonable doubt, the American system of justice requires criminal juries to convict if and only if the State has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The Judge is required to instruct the jury and charge the jury with this very duty. To fail to do so would be a violation of due process and Constitutional rights afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment resulting in reversible error. [important]
Innocent People Could Be Convicted By the Media
Cases like the Caylee Anthony death are horrific, defying any description. But, if our system of justice makes an exception in cases like these, then you could be the next person charged with a crime and convicted because it looks like you are guilty. The police would be empowered to arrest you just because they believe you may have committed a crime, you behave like a guilty person. Is this the system we want? Just so a mom who looks like a partying lying “monster”. Should Casey Anthony be put to death because Bill O’Reilly and Nancy Grace thinks she is guilty?
Fortunately, whether Casey Anthony is innocent or not, our jury system worked- no one has to like the result, even the jurors. But, as juror number 3 has said you can not put someone to death if you can not even prove that the crime charged was even committed. The State of Florida, for whatever reason, failed to prove its case. Would anyone want to face the death penalty, be convicted and killed by lethal injection when the State can not even prove that a murder was committed? Or even face life in prison just because your behavior was bizarre and inexcusable?
Our System of Justice Must Remain in Line with the Constitution
No, our system of justice must remain in line with our Constitution to ensure that all who are charged with a crime are afforded a fair trial and due process of law. Else we risk becoming like the countries we decry for arresting and convicting, executing a person without a fair trial. Perhaps Mr. O’Reilly suggests that this is what we become that we be considered guilty until proven innocent. But, most Americans would prefer to be innocent until proven guilty – beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, be sure to retain a criminal defense attorney, to ensure that your Constitutional rights are protected, and that the State is required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.