From The Morton Blog

What Is Casey Anthony Saga REALLY About?

How do we treat this exotic creature?

By , Editor
Without question, the objective and emotional core of the story is the tragic, horrifying death of a two year-old Florida girl under circumstances well beyond suspicious. SOMEONE caused the death of Caylee Anthony, who would have been six yesterday. SOMEONE stuffed her lifeless body into a garbage bag and dragged it into the woods with an unspeakable callousness.

Otherwise, no one would give a rat's ass about mildly attractive, vapid, pathologically lying, party girl Casey Anthony.

But from a broader perspective, the Anthony story now is about the social compact. How do we treat a member of society accused of the horiffic crime of killing her own child, but one found "not guilty" of the crime in a court of law? In theory, we are to treat those found "not guilty" as though they are "innocent," which is not the same thing. "Innocent" means you didn't do it; "not guilty" means simply that the prosecution was not able to convince a jury of the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. And the story now is about this distinction.

We, as a society, have decided we would rather err on the side of freeing a certain percentage of guilty parties in favor of imprisoning a similar percentage of innocent parties. The burden of proof lies with the state, and "beyond reasonable doubt" is a high hurdle. This is a decision that yields occasionally, apparently, outrageous results: as with OJ, as with Casey Anthony.

So now we have this exotic social outlier, whose notoriety is a potential economic engine, with vast resentment stored in the body politic because she appears to be suffering no consequence regarding the death of her child; and to add insult to societal injury, is in fact living a life of luxury as a DIRECT result of her presumed crime.

That's why we are outraged. That's why we are still interested.

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Eric Olsen is a career media professional and serial entrepreneur who has written influentially on a vast array of topics for periodicals, books, TV, radio, and the Internet. Olsen founded and published award winning online magazine and oversaw creation of the original content organization…

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