Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The mills of the gods ...

Caylee Anthony's mother, Casey, was acquitted Tuesday of charges she murdered her two-year-old daughter.

There have been some interesting reactions out there in the hours after Casey Anthony was acquitted Tuesday by a Florida jury of charges she murdered her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee --- The nation reportedly is shocked, stunned and outraged. The nation? All of it? Really?

I haven’t been following either the case or the trial closely; surprise was my personal best.

It seems probable that Ms. Anthony did kill her little girl --- and I just figured, based on all those crime-solving forensic shows that were popular when I last had limited access to television, that high-tech slueths would come up with the magic thread, hair or speck of incriminating dust to prove it.

But they didn’t --- the body wasn’t found soon enough and we probably believe too much of what we see on TV.

Prosecutors couldn’t come up with enough hard evidence to convince a jury of Anthony’s guilt beyond “reasonable doubt.” The best they could do was prove that she was a liar and a manipulator, and she was convicted on those minor counts.

Beyond that, the jurors were selected in an area some distance from where the killing occurred and were sequestered during the trial --- they couldn’t know how much we wanted that guilty verdict or that some in the media already had moved beyond “guilty” and were debating the appropriateness of the death penalty.

The jurors had to rely on evidence. Thank goodness that’s still the case.

One of my Facebook friends reminded us of consolation available in the old-fashioned but none the less relevant belief that Caylee “is in the arms of Jesus and no one will ever hurt her again.”

The logical extension of that sentiment requires faith that, if guilty, justice will prevail --- even though the instant gratification a jury’s “guilty” verdict would have provided was not forthcoming.

This idea isn’t new or specifically Christian. A modern expression of what apparently is an ancient Greek thought holds that although “the mills of the gods grind slowly, they grind exceedingly small.”

I’m  not sure many of us have either the patience or faith to embrace the idea, however, to allow the mills to grind and to move beyond disappointment in the verdict to think a little about what lessons our disappointment and the verdict may incorporate.

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