Saturday, August 25, 2012

Knee-jerk reaction bill becomes law, creating more attention than she’s worth

Call it ironic. Call it cute, except that I doubt Gov. Pat Quinn has the sense of humor to deliberately do what he did on Friday.
Now a reality in Illinois

For among the dozens of bills passed by the General Assembly this spring that he signed into law on Friday was the one that creates an Illinois version of “Caylee’s Law.” This on the very day that the nitwits of our society are getting all worked up because of the fact that down in Florida, Casey Anthony has managed to complete her probation.

SHE’S A FREE woman. She no longer has to report her presence to the state. And worse yet, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported that the state has consistently respected the fact that there are people in our society screwy enough to want to go after her.

Which means Florida won’t give up the address at which she’s living. Our lynch-mob sensibilities will NOT be fulfilled.

So we’re going to have to accept the fact that Anthony’s criminal case isn’t going to give us anything – other than a law named for her young daughter whom Casey was acquitted of charges that she was responsible for her death.

If one believes the evidence that came out during her trial, it says that Casey no longer wanted to be a mother. Therefore, she put duct tape on her daughter’s mouth, dumped the body in a nearby swamp, then spent the next month pretending that there was a chance her daughter was still alive somewhere – just missing.

THE JURY DIDN’T believe it. So she was acquitted.

In fact, the only reason she has spent the past year on probation in Florida is because prosecutors got her on an unrelated case involving check fraud (ie., bad checks).

That probation period ended at the end of Thursday. Friday really was the first day of the rest of her life. And we still don’t know where she is.

Although personally, I don’t really care. Her trial didn’t interest me back when it took place, no matter how much CNN’s Nancy Grace tried to hype it into the most inhumane of crimes. Personally, I have been amused by the HBO drama “The Newsroom,” which features a cable news network that was trying to show its superiority by deliberately ignoring the whole Anthony affair (but then gave in when a sniveling succophant started whining about ratings declines).

WHICH GOES A long way toward explaining why television news feels like such a sinkhole at times, because there are broadcast news operations that think in just such a manner.

Too many people felt the need to pile onto the whole mess.

Including our beloved political people in Illinois; who this spring were incapable of doing anything to resolve the problems related to the proper funding of pension programs.

But they were more than capable of coming up with a version of “Caylee’s Law,” which is supposed to ensure that nothing even remotely resembling the alleged behavior of Casey Anthony could occur in the Land of Lincoln.

UNDER THIS NEW law, which will take effect Jan. 1, it becomes a felony to fail to report the death of a child within 24 hours – if the kid is under 13. If the kid is younger than 2, it becomes a felony to wait more than an hour to report the death. It’s not even original to Illinois. It was a knee-jerk reaction by many Legislatures.

If such a law had been in effect in Florida, Anthony could have been found “guilty” of that offense alone and been sent to do time in a state corrections facility.

Except that such laws ignore the fact that the cases of a Casey Anthony “case” are so bizarre that crafting laws to deal specifically with them results in merely clogging up the state statutes with measures that will never be used again.

That measure, passed unanimously by the Illinois House of Representatives and overwhelmingly by the state Senate, was about nothing more than political people trying to make themselves appear to be “tougher” than they ever could be in their real lives.

WHICH ALSO MEANS that the people who got all worked up over her criminal case can feel something positive came out of it – other than higher ratings for the television outlets that felt compelled to give us every single second of the melodrama.

Personally, I could have done without it then, and I didn’t need the reminder from Quinn’s approval of the bill now.

Because in my “fantasy” world, the now-26-year-old Anthony becomes a complete anonymity whom we have to pay no more attention to for the rest of her potentially lengthy life.

Somehow, I suspect that would hurt her more to her ego than any of the physical blows that some blood-thirsty types in our society fantasize about administering to her – should they ever encounter her in the streets.


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