Thinking Through the Casey Anthony Verdict

I’m going to be honest: I’ve not spent a lot of time following the Casey Anthony Trial. I’ve had other things going on that needed more of my attention, such as wrestling with a lawnmower that seems to not want to work properly, and adjusting to my pastoral responsibilities.

However, it is not difficult to know what took place during the trial, which seems to have received more attention than any recent trial since the O.J. Simpson murder trial, or even the outcome. A jury of 12 found Anthony not guilty of killing her two-year old daughter, but did find her guilty of not telling the truth to the police regarding the whereabouts of her daughter. It was announced, today, that Anthony would be free on Wednesday.

This has left many claiming that justice was not served, and that someone who was clearly guilty is being set free. Even more, death threats have been reported in regards to the whole Anthony family, which leaves one to wonder what kind of freedom Anthony will have when she is released from prison.

In the days since the not guilty verdict, a shocked viewing public has vowed for “justice to be served,” and a hopeful desire that “karma” catches up with Anthony. The frustration is understandable – a young child was murdered, and the courts have found not guilty the person many believed was the killer.

But, is seeking revenge healthy, and is it the right response, especially for Christians?

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus calls disciples (those who would desire to follow in his footsteps) to care for the prisoner. It would seem that Jesus is calling for believers not to seek revenge, but to pray for people to be rehabilitated. But, walking with the prisoner – even someone like Anthony – is difficult, seeking revenge and attacking someone is easy. What lasting good would come from someone harming or even seeking their own form a rogue justice?

The more difficult challenge is to walk beside someone like Anthony and be a guide, or a mentor, who will help her to get her life back in order. The doors of our hearts should never be closed to seeing someone being transformed into the image of God and the desires God has for their life, even someone who was accused of murder. This isn’t for everyone, I can assure you of that, but we are all called to pray for the lost, pray for the murderer, and pray for the accused, that they may be restored and renewed.

That is my honest hope for Casey Anthony. I do pray that she finds peace in her life, and gets her life in order. She is a troubled young woman, who needs a lot of role models and strong supporters in her life. I fear that will not happen, and she will be left alone in this dark world to fend for herself, and to get her own life in order.

Regardless if we believe she killed her daughter or not, this is something that we should all hope comes out of this case.

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