Like many Americans, I have been following the Casey Anthony case since it began. Crimes against children always strike a chord with me, especially now that I have a daughter of my own. I don’t have any sympathy for people who harm or neglect or treat children poorly. If you can hurt a child on purpose or without remorse, I believe you are capable of committing any number of heinous atrocities, and I have very little hope for you to change.

Sometimes in life, things happen that make you lose a little faith in humanity, and today was one of those days. I know I may be a little shortsighted with my views here, since I was neither there when the crime took place, nor in the actual courtroom when all of the evidence was presented, but I always go with my gut and, so far, my instincts have never steered me wrong. I have to say, I believe the jurors made a big mistake on this one.

If you are not guilty, there is no reason to lie or be deceitful. I think that alone should have been enough to guarantee Casey Anthony would not walk away a free woman. Unfortunately, the justice system in this country is so flawed that it allows sadistic career criminals to live out their lives eating three square meals a day and continuing their education on the taxpayers’ dimes. And apparently it is also a system that allows somone like Casey Anthony to get off scott free after brutally murdering her little girl, while all of us sit watching in awe and wondering how the hell something like that can happen.

At least when O.J. Simpson was acquitted, it made some sort of horrifying sense. I mean, the man was a celebrity, and we all know how difficult the justice system is on celebrities–just ask Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan or Martha Stewart or Michael Vick if you need proof of that. Perhaps that is what shocked me the most about Casey Anthony’s acquittal today–she didn’t have any celebrity status to lean on. Well, unless you count the fact that she has become rather famous since the case broke and went to trial. So, maybe we have our news media to thank for turning the case into a circus and for making this smug-faced sociopath into a star.

Okay, I have to stop now, before I really go on a tirade. Perhaps there will be more of my thoughts on this later, but for now, it’s just too raw of a nerve for me to let my thoughts continue to spill forth uncensored. Steven and I heard the verdict as we stopped at a 7-11 to gas up the van before we left Colorado, and it was a long ride home for me to think (and stew) about the outcome of the trial.

I will say this though…

While I did lose a little faith in our justice system and my fellow human beings today (namely the jurors and the Defense team on the case), I do still strongly believe that, as a whole, the purpose of our lives here on earth is to learn as much as we can and to try to be the best possible people we can be. And I also believe that everything happens for a reason.

Am I disappointed (and even downright angry) at the outcome of this case? Hell yes! But, I also think that perhaps there is a bigger lesson to be learned from today’s bogus acquittal, a lesson that may not be immediately evident, but that is there all the same. In the meantime, we can be sad for a little girl whose life was cut short far too soon, and we can make a conscious effort to hug our own children a little tighter, to appreciate our parents and our loved ones a little more, and to wake tomorrow finding ways to make the world a better place for those around us. As Ghandi said, we must be the change we want to see in the world. If you ask me, now would be a great time to start.

Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all of the people who are as disappointed as I am, and who are ready to start seeing things get better. Let’s be the change.

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