To a certain extent, I live in a cave when it comes to following the news, particularly when it comes to media coverage of sensational trials, which tends to drive me around the bend. Therefore, I seriously had never heard of the Casey Anthony trial even as recently as Sunday night. Therefore, I have no strong opinions on whether Casey Anthony is actually guilty of the crime with which she was charged, or whether the result of the trial was a good or bad thing for our society.
I gather, however, that many people are truly outraged at the fact that Casey Anthony is not going to jail, and I’m genuinely puzzled as to why. Let us suppose that everything the prosecution alleged about Casey Anthony is true – that she decided she didn’t want to be a mom anymore, killed her small child with chloroform, dumped her body unceremoniously in a swamp, and proceeded to go out partying for the next 30 days. While I agree that this is reprehensible behavior, our Supreme Court decided in 1973 that it was also constitutionally protected behavior, and that if mothers decide they want to kill their children in order to prevent an interruption in their nightlife, then the State can’t say “boo” about it one way or the other, so long as the child is in utero.
Thousands of mothers every day decide they’d rather party/go to school/whatever than be a mom, and so they hire a doctor to kill their baby with either sharp instruments or chemicals and then have them dropped in a trash can. Thousands a day. Hundreds of thousands (if not over a million) a year in this country alone. And the only difference between them and and Casey Anthony is that they realized that they didn’t want to be a mom before the child escaped the womb. None of them will ever face even the threat of prosecution, thanks to the Supreme Court.
It just seems harsh to me that we’d try to send Casey Anthony to jail for what amounts to lack of foresight.