J is for Justice. It seems like justice is hard to find. Many high profile cases that are followed closely on television leave many people feeling like justice isn't served. Cases like O. J. Simpson, George Zimmerman and Casey Anthony leave some people wondering; "where is the justice"?
During 2011 Americans were closely watching the murder trial of Casey Anthony. She was on trial for the murder of her young daughter Caylee. On July 5, 2011, the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of counts one through three regarding first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and aggravated child abuse, while finding her guilty on counts four through seven for providing false information to law enforcement.
Many people were outraged by the verdict. I remember reading Shawn Boonstra's comments concerning the Casey Anthony verdict. I was so in agreement with his thoughts as he expressed them that I adapted them for use here at An Arkie's Musings.
The most talked about news story of 2011 was that Casey Anthony was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008. One thing is clear: someone is guilty. Little girls don’t end up duct-taped and garbage-bagged in the woods all by themselves. Collective public outrage has been building in the days since the “not guilty” verdicts left the American public speechless.
I struggled with the verdict myself. As a grandfather of young girls, my blood almost literally boils over when I hear about people mistreating them. And the fact that the most likely perpetrator was acquitted is hard to take. She just looked so guilty. Her stories didn't add up. In the hours since the verdict was read by a court clerk who appeared as visibly troubled as the rest of us, I have begun to consider the possibilities.
One possibility, I don’t want to admit. Twelve jurors might, maybe, somehow, be right. It’s possible that the rest of us have been drawn by the scent of blood into a public feeding frenzy. Like most people, I honestly don’t think so, but I have no choice but to admit that it’s a possibility.
The more comforting thought is that Someone knows every last detail of the case. The Bible reminds us that real justice will have to wait for the final judgement. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 12:14 that we can rest in the knowledge that God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
I don’t like it, but the jury has spoken; the judge has agreed. I will make every effort to keep it from happening to someone else, and will guard my neighbor’s children like my own. I will also, to the best of my ability, share the only thing that can bring genuine hope in a cruelly twisted world – the redeeming, converting love of Jesus.
Someone is guilty of something: little girls don’t end up stashed in the woods by accident. If Caylee’s cruel death has stirred such emotion in our own sin-stained hearts, imagine the way it hurts the heart of Christ. I imagine myself to be incapable of such horrific sins, but I have caused my share of pain, for I am a sinner. I have never had to hide a body, but I am painfully aware that Jesus equates hatred with murder. By Jesus’ standards, I have murdered, stolen, failed to honor my parents, taken the Lord’s name in vain. So have you. More times that any of us would care to admit.
Now here’s what is really unfair. I am going to be acquitted. I’m going to be released from the wages of sin, (death), even though I certainly do not deserve it. My sins killed Jesus, but I won’t receive the ultimate wages of sin because Jesus was condemned for our sins, in which He had no part, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no part. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.
Now I’m not at all happy with the Casey Anthony verdict. It seems like somebody ought to pay for such a horrible atrocity. But I am also keenly aware that I myself am standing in heaven’s courtroom, with angels marveling at the fact that Jesus plans to take me into the kingdom after all the times I've broken God’s law. In Psalms 103:10 the Bible reminds us, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins,” nor punished us according to our iniquities.”
Was Casey Anthony undeserving of her verdict? Quite possibly. Maybe even probably. I know for a fact that I don’t deserve mine.
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I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled The Little Things - Devotionals from a small town, using articles from the column. I published the second book in the Devotionals from a small town series, titled In the Fog, in December 2017.