Have we abrogated our own reason and judgment for TV scripts?


The obligatory Casey Anthony post:

It’s simple… this defective human is guilty as Ted Kennedy, but I beliesve she walked free in large part because of what I call “CSI Transference Syndrome” which can be fatal to prosecutors’ major cases.

Jurors suffering from CTS believe that if there is no DNA, a magic carpet fiber, or a those oh-so interesting blood spatter patterns, they cannot find guilt even among those who have means, motive and opportunity to have committed the crime in question.

In the magical worlds of CSI (eventually I suspect there’ll be CSI-Bakersfield), police lab geeks become athletic, fast-shooting SWAT operators if they are not sultry brunettes in short skirts. They always have a perfect record of solving the case in 60 minutes minus commercials without expending shoe leather, facing repeated dead ends, false leads and the sleepless nights on which real detectives must rely.

One side of Anthony case is simple: “it was only a circumstantial case”, and the jury determined that the prosecution had not proven the charge, thus “not guilty.” That ends the case, but it also holds up a mirror into which we should all look.

What is our responsibility as participants in this very matter of life and death?

In real life most criminal cases are circumstantial… seldom is there an eye witness, matched finger prints, video tape, or the literal smoking gun.     

I find myself leaning here:  What was justice like before DNA tests, blood typing, ambient air testing, and 20 other singularly esoteric “facts” that show up in most major crime trials these days?

Without all the science to rely upon, a group of the defendant’s peers gathered to deliberate essentially one issue… is the defendant guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt?”; in other words, a doubt that would enter a reasonable person’s mind when judging the evidence against, and thus the fate of the accused.

Party Girl Casey AnthonyI fear that justice might have gone amiss here as a result of the jurors taking the easy way out, allowing reason to be sidelined for lack of a test tube to lead them through the most serious process in our system of laws. I think they phoned it in.

If the following comments by alternate juror Russell Huekler reflect the deliberation of the sitting jury, it would appear that CSI and similar entertainments, like Oprah have poisoned the jury pool. 

From the testimony, Huekler drew the conclusion that “it was probably a horrific accident” that Anthony and her father, George Anthony, covered up.

“Unfortunately it did snowball and got away from them,” Huekler said. “It was such a horrific accident that they didn’t know how to deal with it. The family appeared to be very dysfunctional and instead of admitting there was an accident, they chose to hide it, for whatever reason.”

Ironically the same media whores who flogged this case from the beginning and used the murder of a child to pad their personal ratings and thus incomes, will now race to obtain and probably pay for interviews with Anthony… just days after condemning her to the Seventh Level of Hell.

Regardless, one thing is certain; Caylee has been denied justice both legally and morally.

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About Gary Alexander

Volunteer coordinator for veterans support network in North Texas. Now retired from his private psychotherapy practice, I specialized in the diagnosis and treatment posttraumatic stress, working with victim assistance programs, veterans and the Veterans Administration for over 20 years. After being wounded in action in Vietnam, I was medically retired from the Marine Corps and know first hand many of the readjustment difficulties and psychological stresses experienced by today's OIF and OEF veterans. I am available, at minimal cost, to speak at your functions on several subjects including veterans issues, Vietnam, the Medal of Honor, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and critical incident debriefings.
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4 Responses to Have we abrogated our own reason and judgment for TV scripts?

  1. Diane Santos says:

    And don’t forget the jurors that failed to do their jobs, are now negotiating with a number of sources for upwards of $50k, to speak about what occurred during deliberations. That is so pathetic.

  2. I fear this may become much more widespread. If it happened with this case, how many other cases has it happened?

    I holler and complain a lot about the CSI effect with my own work clients — “zoom and enhance” — but that pales in comparison to what this jury decided.

    I won’t be the least bit surprised if Anthony is offed soon.

  3. Bob Mack says:

    Common sense & critical reasoning being at a premium these days, jurors routinely confuse ‘reasonable doubt’ with no doubt at all. Except for the ones that want to rubber stamp anything the prosecutor hands ’em. BTW, kudos to Gov. Perry & the Great State of Texas for defying the Obamunists & finally removing Humberto Leal Garcia from the gene pool.

  4. Like Ron White sez: “We have the death penalty… and we use it.”

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