California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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We are the Ones Who are Broken

The Casey Anthony trial did indeed prove that our system is broken.

The decision was not what showed us that.  Instead, it was our reaction to it and our failure to understand what the system represents.

The truth is that our system has only and will only ever be as broken as we are.

The reaction to the Casey Anthony trial serves as a sad indictment of precisely why our system is designed the way it is.

Had those whose negative reactions to the trial been in charge, Casey Anthony would have more than likely been hung and shot before the trial even began.

Stop and ask yourself how many people, including possibly yourself, who have strong reactions to trials of this nature skip out on jury duty every chance they get?

These are the choices we make that break our system every day, because our system is dependent upon our participation.

That doesn’t mean blind faith to all aspects of the system or agreement with a decision, simply acknowledgement that the true fault lies with the people who create and support the system.

Which again, is still entirely on us.

Take the example of Michelle Crowder, one of the many people who vehemently disagreed with the decision, stating her belief that Casey Anthony got away with murder.

Instead of simply complaining or raising a pitchfork in the air, she decided to confront a problem she saw in the system and the process during the trial.

She began a petition to pass “Caylee’s Law,” named after Caylee Anthony, so that parents who fail to report a missing child would be charged with a felony.

Agreement or disagreement with her idea isn’t the issue here, it is her choice to act based on the circumstances she viewed through the Casey Anthony trial to try to fill a gap that she believes matters.

That is how we fix ourselves and by extension our system.

We must face our own biases and tendency to devolve into a mob mentality, willing to strip people of their basic civil liberties, all because we disagree with a legal decision.

We must be willing to engage the system, not simply as mindless puppets, but as concerned and informed citizens, willing to engage in our civic duty on a jury.

Throwing our hands up in the air or reaching for a pitchfork does not solve a single problem in our society, it only shows how much we are willing to betray the legacy of our civic duty.

Aristotle has been credited with the saying, “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.”

When we blame the system without attempting to fix it or argue for heinous acts to be committed against a person who is found, in our court of law to be innocent, we separate ourselves from the concepts of law and justice.

In those moments we are the ones who are broken and until we acknowledge that and work to fix it, our system will always follow suit.

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California State University East Bay
We are the Ones Who are Broken