To End All Evil

More

Erm, Marcia Clark on the Casey Anthony verdict:


Sick, shaken, in disbelief. As I listened to the verdicts in the Casey Anthony case, acquitting her of the homicide of her baby girl, I relived what I felt back when court clerk Deirdre Robertson read the verdicts in the Simpson case. But this case is different. The verdict far more shocking. 

Why? Because Casey Anthony was no celebrity. She never wowed the nation with her athletic prowess, shilled in countless car commercials, or entertained in film comedies. There were no racial issues, no violent Rodney King citywide riot just two years earlier. 

Because of those factors, many predicted from the very start in the Simpson case--in fact, long before we even began to pick a jury--that it would be impossible to secure a conviction.

Leaving the analysis aside, I'm always amazed that people are surprised by a not guilty verdict. For all of my railing against prosecutorial misconduct, the job of a prosecutor strikes me as really, really, really difficult. This is rather obvious, but the fact of the thing is that the burden of proof is on the state, not the accused. The American justice system, by its very nature, guarantees that people who perpetuate horrendous evil will, with some regularity, go free.

I'm totally fine with that. It's always struck me as clear-eyed, realistic and deeply moral. Human justice has limits. It can not purge the world of evil.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In