Sorry, but Casey Anthony Verdict Was Totally Right
Dershowitz: Criminal trials are not about 'justice for the victim'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2011 11:53 AM CDT
Updated Jul 7, 2011 1:51 PM CDT
Casey Anthony and her attorney, Jose Baez, during her sentencing hearing in Orlando, Fla.,Thursday, July 7, 2011.   (AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool)
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(Newser) – Alan M. Dershowitz and Marcia Clark were on opposite sides of the OJ Simpson trial, and they're on opposite sides now: In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Dershowitz firmly states that "the system worked" when Casey Anthony was found not guilty. That's because, much as we all might want it to be, "a criminal trial is never about seeking justice for the victim." And, unlike the way it happens on TV shows, a criminal trial is also not about uncovering the real murderer. Rather, it's about one thing and one thing only: proving the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

"Even if it is 'likely' or 'probable' that a defendant committed the murder, he must be acquitted," Dershowitz continues. For that reason, "a legally proper result—acquittal in such a case—may not be the same as a morally just result." Even though that means, in this case, that "justice for Caylee" was not achieved, "the law has prevailed." But those protesting the verdict must remember that "not guilty" is not the same as "innocent." The bottom line: "The verdict in the Casey Anthony case reflected the lack of forensic evidence and heavy reliance on circumstantial inferences." (Click for Marcia Clark's view.)