The skeletal remains of Casey Anthony’s beautiful daughter Caylee were discovered on December 11, 2008, almost five months after the toddler was reported missing by her grandmother...Casey failed to report it. During that time, Casey continued to live a party lifestyle, going to bars and clubs and even getting a "good life" tattoo. She was indicted on charges of first degree murder and faced the death penalty. She entered a plea of not guilty, and on July 5, 2011, the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of murder and other felony charges.
Some people have been supportive of the mother, but the majority of Americans are angered by this verdict and outraged that Casey Anthony has walked free.
One reason this case hit home with me is my own beautiful five-month old daughter who my wife Denise and I dote on everyday. We came into parenthood at mid-life and our little miracle awes us everyday. We take pride in her small steps of sitting on her own and eating strained peas for the first time. We admire her wide-eyed wonder at everything from the buzzing beehive of activity at the shopping center to the quiet thrill of seeing her own reflection in the mirror. She’s amazing and we are so fortunate.
Which brings me back to Casey Anthony. I have to ask the obvious, how could anyone spend all those weeks going wild with fun while your child is missing? For most of us, our hearts would be breaking wide-open. Life wouldn’t be worth living until our daughter was found.
Every time Caylee’s face flickered on a newscast, my heart reached out to the little girl. It would have before I had my daughter, but now that she's the central part of my life, tears come to my eyes for Caylee. Life shouldn't end at two.
I do what I always do when something like this bothers me. I turn to writing and my two protagonists make up the two sides of my thinking. Gideon Miles, the cool level-headed marshal, would accept the verdict because we live in a country where the law allows Casey to be tried by a group of her peers. He would shake his head in disbelief at the innocent verdict, but, he would think of the words of William Blackstone, "It's better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man be wrongly convicted." Miles might even entertain the notion she could be innocent.
Then there is the outlaw marshal, Cash Laramie. A man tired of the guilty walking free. Of the innocent living in fear. He'd bide his time, and then, like a dark knight whose thirst in his soul can only be quenched by righting a wrong, he'd exact a revenge. But he wouldn’t call it vengeance, he would call it justice.
The beauty of being a writer is it can be very therapeutic. When something like this trial gets under my skin and then embeds itself in my head, I have to shake it off by either calling out the injustice or righting the wrong. I’m not sure which marshal—Cash or Miles—will step forward in my next story, but one of them will...and there will be a day of reckoning on the printed page.