sound bytes…like shallow water

Not guilty“…doesn’t mean “innocent.”

Merriam–Webster’s 11 th edition of the Collegi...

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According to Webster’s dictionary:

guilty adj., …1. having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong. 2. connected with or involving guilt. 3. having or showing guilt.

innocent …, adj. 1. free from moral wrong. 2. free from legal or specific wrong. 3. not involving evil intent. 4. not causing physical or moral injury. 5. without guile; ingenuous. –n. 6. an innocent person, as a child. 7. a simpleton or idiot.

NBC Nightly News broadcast

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So much of news reporting these days is riddled with “sound bytes.” Maybe it’s a sign of the times…quickie information “hot off the presses” for immediate public consumption. There’s an assumption that we don’t want to hear all the facts, analyze them for ourselves, and draw our own conclusions. Instead it’s surmised that we want someone else to do all the thinking, that we just want what they regurgitate. 


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 Terry Moran, host of ABC’s Nightline, asked juror #3, Jennifer Ford whether duct tape, a garbage bag, and a decomposing body weren’t evidence that Caylee Anthony‘s death was a homicide. Ford replied that, in fact, “not guilty doesn’t mean innocent.” At first I thought she might have a point. But after contemplating her answer further, I felt Ford was talking in sound bytes.


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Reading their dictionary meanings, I think we can agree that guilty means not innocent, and not guilty means innocent. Ford’s statement to the contrary doesn’t really make any sense. And her repeated defense of the verdict left me wondering if the jurors who acquitted Casey Anthony were incapable of deep, analytical thought, or if they just didn’t want to go there. Their decision insisted that all the evidence line up perfectly, so that no grey remain. Rather than delve into that murky mess and try to make sense of it, it was simpler to deal with what was “black and white.” No imagination necessary. No loose ends to tie up. Perhaps if they’d given more time to deliberating, I wouldn’t wonder if they just didn’t want to dive into the deep end and get “down and dirty.” It was easier, perhaps, to say that the prosecution didn’t work hard enough.

What They Want You To Hear (Episode 20)

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Sheer speculation, of course. But like everyonelse, I have my opinions.

…no more…no less…hugmamma.

4 thoughts on “sound bytes…like shallow water

  1. I’m going to avoid use of those words and say . . . I think that she was INVOLVED in her daughter’s disappearance and death.

    But I didn’t watch enough of the trial to say whether the prosecution met its burden of proof.


    • You’ve definitely retained your legal mindset. And I agree with you.

      I too didn’t watch the trial faithfully. Will just have to wait and see how Casey Anthony’s life plays out. Truly hope she changes course…

      thanks again…hugs. 🙂


  2. You’re correct about the general usage of the words . . . but in criminal prosecutions in the US, we are INNOCENT until PROVEN GUILTY. Without fingerprints and DNA evidence, the jury concluded that the prosecution did not PROVE Anthony GUILTY beyond a reasonable doubt.

    So Casey Anthony is “innocent” in a court of law . . . even if she is not innocent in fact.

    Loved this:

    There’s an assumption that we don’t want to hear all the facts, analyze them for ourselves, and draw our own conclusions. Instead it’s surmised that we want someone else to do all the thinking, that we just want what they regurgitate.

    So true! I’d rather have the facts and do my own thinking.


    • Thanks for visiting, and your comment. I did see that you had practiced law, so I definitely defer to your expert knowledge. Just wonder if the jurors could have spent more time deliberating. But perhaps no substantial evidence was a roadblock for them from the get-go.

      what’s your opinion of Casey Anthony’s guilt or innocence?


hugs for sharing some brief thoughts...and keeping them positive

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