Thursday, July 7, 2011

Will Ryan court rejection keep people from going bonkers over Anthony?

Perhaps it was a good thing that a federal appeals court didn’t show any sympathy towards former Illinois Gov. George Ryan and rejected his appeal request on Wednesday.
RYAN: 728 more days 'til freedom?

Because I can just envision the outrage we’d be experiencing if Ryan had been given a break one day, only to have Casey Anthony come up for sentencing on Thursday.

ANTHONY IS THE 25-year-old woman who managed to get acquitted of criminal charges that claimed she killed her daughter (who was not yet 3 years old at the time of her death).

There are those in our society who want to believe she’s “guilty, guilty, guilty!” and want to see her suffer. Instead, all she was convicted of were a few misdemeanor charges that imply she wasn’t all that cooperative with police when they were investigating her daughter’s “disappearance.”

Which means that when she stands before a judge in Orlando, Fla., to receive her sentence, she most likely will learn that the nearly three years she served in a county jail awaiting trial is more than ample punishment.

She’s going to go free on Thursday. People will be “p-o ed.” At least they’ll be able to turn to Ryan and say he’s still being kept in prison; since I expect many of those who despise Ryan probably hate Anthony as well.

OF COURSE, RYAN is actually being held at a minimum-security work camp that is part of the federal correctional center at Terre Haute, Ind.

So perhaps they’ll complain that Ryan is being treated too nice – even though in the past week-and-a-half, he lost his wife and his latest round of legal appeals.
ANTHONY: Does Florida owe her time?

Admittedly, he can now take this case to the Supreme Court of the United States, but the nation’s high court has previously rejected Ryan on other legal issues and is not likely to be more sympathetic this time around.

I’ll be honest.

I DON’T COMPREHEND why some people have so little going for them in their lives that they can only feel joy at the misery of someone else. No matter how much they claim to be about “law and order” and respect for the rule of law, they always seem to be more interested in punishment.

Perhaps it’s because they envision themselves as the “punisher.” Which makes me wish they could be the “punish-ee” for a moment – particularly if the accusation was less-than-sound in evidence.

If it reads like I’m critical of the judicial system we have in this country, you’d be partially correct.

It has its flaws, but it also has its advantages in that it makes the presumption of innocence a primary factor. It puts the burden of proof on prosecutors who want to take away the freedom of an individual – which is the way it should be.

FOR THOSE PEOPLE who want to complain about Casey Anthony and the jury that could be so stupid as to fail to see her guilt and put her away in a death house, to count down the years, months and days until the state of Florida could conduct her execution, all I have to say is that it would have happened if prosecutors had done a more thorough job of presenting their case.

The criminal justice system has so many portions that provide advantages to the prosecution that a part of me is always a little pleased when the verdict turns out to be “not guilty.”

I’m also willing to give that Florida jury the benefit of the doubt, since they paid so much more attention to the details of the case than I did – largely because I was trying to avoid all those CNN-affiliated halfwits whose punditry and excessive analysis turned a ghastly criminal case ever so deadly dull.

Which also is the factor we have to take into account when it comes to George Ryan.

WHILE A PART of me questions the premises upon which criminal charges were brought against Ryan, I can’t deny that they resulted in a “guilty” verdict from a jury, and several appeals court rulings that have upheld the original jury’s decision.

Not that Wednesday’s ruling by a Court of Appeals panel in Chicago will stop the legal action. Ryan has the benefit of former Gov. James R. Thompson as his attorney, and Thompson seems determined to keep the legal fight going for as long as is humanly possible.

For all I know, Ryan could still have an appeal pending somewhere come that date in July 2013 when he is scheduled to be released because he will have served his prison sentence.

I’m sure some people will shake their heads and claim Ryan is being delusional, and should just accept his verdict as a reality that cannot be avoided.

WHICH IS ODD, because that is the same thing I plan to tell all those people who get all worked up in coming days/weeks/months/years over what happened to Anthony.

Accept the verdict. It happened. Get on with your life.


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