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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 8, 2011 / 6 Tamuz, 5771

When ‘reality’ leaves justice undone

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Rarely has a criminal trial and its verdict broken so many hearts or showered so much abuse on everyone connected to a case. The jury that found Casey Anthony "not guilty" of killing her beautiful little daughter has invited calumny from nearly everybody.

Caylee Anthony, who would have been 3 next month, was the picture of perfect innocence, her unlived life taken away by a villain unmoved by the decencies and instincts that guide the rest of us -- rich, poor, male, female, bright, slow-witted and everyone else. Most of the abuse is aimed at the Florida jury. How could 12 good men and true (plus women, too) have been so dense, so unfeeling, so indifferent to "justice for little Caylee"?

The jury could have made a dreadful mistake. Juries sometimes do that. Only G0d (and maybe a few ambitious prosecutors) knows how many innocent men have gone to the gallows, the firing squad or the electric chair, or have ridden the poisoned needle to eternity. But it's possible, if not probable, that such outrage is misplaced. If those who feed such public outrage -- prosecutors, lawyers, reporters and above all those charged with editing news accounts in newspapers and television broadcasts -- would do a better job of educating as well as commentating, the public could be more selective, and thus more effective, with its outrage.

So what happened to the case against Casey Anthony, by all accounts a young woman whose airy head was filled only with cotton, hay and straw so as not to interfere with her mindless pursuit of pleasure? Nothing out of the ordinary: the jurors waited for the prosecution to present the evidence that she was guilty, guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the prosecutors never quite did. They apparently thought the crime was so heinous, the circumstances so obvious to a sympathetic juror eager to avenge a horrific crime against a little girl, that proving the case was not even necessary.

"A criminal trial is neither a whodunit nor a multiple choice test," says Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and sometime attorney for high-profile defendants who can afford him, in the Wall Street Journal. "[A trial] is not even a criminal investigation to determine who among various possible suspects might be responsible for a terrible tragedy. In a murder trial, the state, with all of its power, accuses a [person] of being the perpetrator of a dastardly act against a victim. The state must prove that accusation by admissible evidence beyond a reasonable doubt."

That's the high standard lawyers have held to since the founding of the republic. The public has lately become so addicted to "reality" shows that it expects real life to conform to the structure of events marching across the little screen in the corner of the living room. First the murder, then the arrest, then the trial, and three minutes after the last commercial break we get the verdict. An acquittal is invariably followed by a celebration of a finding of "innocent." In real life, the newspapers and television newscasts usually call it that.

But juries in America can't render verdicts of "innocent" because the law does not empower juries to render such verdicts. "Not guilty" does not mean "innocent," and newspapers, for example, were once meticulous in preserving this distinction. "Innocent" is two spaces shorter than "not guilty" and thus a great boon to headline writers, who on deadline regard even one space as a jewel beyond price. (I've been there myself.) Thus a precious distinction died.

Casey Anthony was found not guilty, but hardly innocent. This is the distinction that, though often misunderstood, is the bulwark, rampart and glory of the Anglo-Saxon law successfully implanted on these shores. Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in California v. O.J. Simpson, learned to her considerable pain something about a failed prosecution. She thinks the failure of the prosecution of Casey Anthony is similar to what happened in the trial of O.J. Simpson: "The jury didn't necessarily believe Casey was innocent but weren't convinced enough of her guilt to bring in a conviction."

Because television's reality shows nearly always solve the crime, there's keen disappointment when a jury returns a verdict of not guilty. But media "reality" is not always real life. A criminal trial is not a search for truth, nor even for justice for the victim no matter how much we crave to see that justice done and a bad guy dispatched for punishment. "A criminal trial," observes Prof. Dershowitz, "searches only for proof beyond a reasonable doubt." May it ever be thus.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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