Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama
I don't think jury's always get it right. I'm an attorney - if I ever actually practice law I will be trying to convince juries and judges of MY CLIENTS perspective to "win" or whatever. The prosecutor in this case did a bad job of that - but I don't think he had enough evidence to proceed with the charges that he did.
One of the things I learned in law school, is that whether we like it or not, juries have the power to nullify the law. On one hand, it sucks b/c they aren't following the law. On the other, the alternative is not to use juries, which we can't do b/c of the way our constitution is written. And I don't believe there is a better alternative to having a jury.
What type of law are you looking to practice?
I do think there is something to be said for professional juries, but I do not see that change occurring in this country anytime soon (if ever!).
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I posted about this, and it seems to have disappeared, so I'll summarize.
What, exactly, is "Caylee's Law" supposed to accomplish? I don't see how it offers any extra protection for kids and can see some situations in which it might make things worse. Is it just that people think if this law had existed already, Casey would be in jail?
I won't speak for the 1,000,000+ that have signed the petition, but for me, no, that isn't the reason I support this law. The reality is, Casey is already a convicted felon and she will be released in a week or so. Further, there is nothing to suggest the sentencing period for violating Caylee's Law would exceed 18 months or a hefty fine. Neither of those punishments were (likely) going to prevent Casey from leaving jail next week.
That said, I don't know what each state will include or what, if any of it, would pass, but currently Florida is looking to include "failure to report your child missing (within 24 hours) when you knew s/he was likely in danger" in Caylee's Law. Another portion will deal with reporting a child as deceased within one hour. In my opinion and with the frequency of family homicide, this law is important because you have situations where parents do not assist law enforcement in a missing child case or aren't reporting their child as deceased within a reasonable time frame. When that happens, it clearly makes it difficult to proceed, specifically if you have no solid evidence. Further, it would allow law enforcement officers to charge the person immediately and there can be benefits to that. Being charged can also get suspects to speak more freely (Elisa Baker is an example of that), especially if you are still working on the details of the disappearance or death. That isn't to say that law enforcement doesn't currently charge suspects with other crimes (Casey Anthony, John Skelton*, and Elisa Baker are all examples of that), but sometimes, you just can't charge a suspect with a crime (Melinda Duckett is an example of this, though she committed suicide). There are many reasons why I believe this is an important law, but the above explains some of them. Sadly, there are just too many cases where parents (and/or caretakers) murder their children.
I can understand how some people feel this would "clog the system" or somehow convict innocent people due to extenuating circumstances, but I do not believe those cases are the norm. I also do not believe there will be a flood of cases with this charge included, though I'm open to being proven wrong.
(*I do not know that he would or could have been charged under Caylee's Law because the bodies of the children involved were never found and his ex-wife is the one that reported them missing.)
Edited to add more sensitive language.
Edited by Mulvah - 7/11/11 at 4:30pm