Not Guilty vs. Innocent

by James Emery White

The sordid trial of Casey Anthony is now over, with a verdict of “not guilty” issued by the seven women and five men of the jury.

Polls show that most observers of the trial – and my, did we as a nation observe – believe she was guilty, bearing at least some responsibility for her 2-year-old daughter’s death.

But she will never pay for that crime.

Even though it made them “sick to their stomach” (as one later reported), the jury determined that there wasn’t enough circumstantial evidence to get beyond “reasonable doubt.”

The verdict set off a rash of public comments that seemed to revolve around a very specific legal distinction:  not guilty doesn’t equal innocent.  Or perhaps more to the point, not being innocent doesn’t mean guilty.

I have no wish to throw my hat into the ring on the Casey Anthony affair.  I followed it along with everyone else, and yes, feel she more than likely bore some level of responsibility for her daughter’s death.

But I would like to throw out an idea.

This could be one of the more opportune theological teaching moments of our day…

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