I see something dangerous here. I see that the 24/7 cable channels have hijacked our judicial system, whipping everyone into a frenzy, turning the social media murder trial of Casey Anthony into what seems reminiscence of a gladiator sport, causing grown men and women to fist-fight to get a seat in a courtroom already overcrowded by the media, causing jurors to go into hiding, fearing for their lives.
“Do you know they are threatening to fillet one juror?" Judge Belvin Perry told the attorney for one of the media houses seeking the release of the names of the jurors.
Could it be that the media caused the jury in the Casey Anthony case to find her not guilty? Could it be that the media caused the state attorney to make this case a death-penalty case, when, by most accounts, it was not a death-penalty case?
I wonder whether Casey was arrested prematurely. Could the police not have tapped her phone or trailed her? If she is the killer that so many people believe her to be, the likelihood is that she would have tripped up at some point and may have even confessed.
What difference would a year or two have made if that time would have allowed prosecutors to shore up their case and allow them to get a conviction? Time was on their side. Casey did not seem to have the money or the desire to flee to another country.
Instead, the police moved in quickly to mete out their version of justice, possibly allowing an alleged murderer to walk free.
Why did the media choose this case as the anointed one, when, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report, an average of 2,185 children are reported missing each day?
As is typically the case when certain children are killed, the powers-that-be have now decided to take this case and turn it into something positive. They will turn the spot where her body was found into a beautiful park for kids.
Honorably, they will pass Caylee’s law. There is a bill afoot that would make it a felony for a parent, guardian or other adult in charge of a child 12 years old or younger to not report the child's disappearance within 48 hours. The bill also would apply to a caregiver who knowingly fails to report a child's death or the location of a child's body within two hours of learning such information. It’s what happens after reports like this are made that concerns me.
I know something we can do right here in our community and it is called justice for Rilya Wilson.
On Oct. 11, the Rilya Wilson case comes to trial. Like the Casey Anthony case, the state attorney was asking for the death penalty “but not anymore,” says Sally Weintraub, the assistant state attorney assigned to this case.
Rilya, a little black girl born to a drug-addicted mother, who landed in the foster care system, has been missing since Jan. 18, 2001. Her caretaker, Geralyn Graham, is charged with allegedly murdering her.
Let us seek justice for Rilya. The mainstream media may not be there but we as a community can.
Lorna Owens is a criminal defense attorney and an adjunct professor at Florida International University. She hosts And the Women Gather on TeleAmerica and is a legal analyst for the Nancy Grace Show on CNN and for In Session. She is also author of Everyday Grace Everyday Miracle.
Photo: Lorna Owens