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Perspectives

Chris Jepson

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I said of Casey Anthony, “She’s not very smart, yet she got away with murder.” Casey Anthony is soon free not because she’s particularly smart, or even innocent, but because she couldn’t be proven guilty. And this upsets folks.

This is somewhat humorous to me. Justice is incidental to life. It is. We try to make sure justice is a societal value, but like everything else in modern life, justice is a subjective value. I find crimes against large numbers of people, crimes that affect society-at-large, more egregious than the rare crime of an infantile mother murdering her child. That may not sit well with some, but that’s my take on what it is we as a society should get “excited” about.

For example, I would have tried the former CEO of Countrywide, Angelo Mozilo, for corruption or fraud or just general crimes against humanity. If I were “emperor”, I would ask he be hanged if guilty. He and all the other corporate leaders who participated in business practices antithetical to the nation’s greater good. I would see them swing and say, “good riddance to bad trash.”

We’re in the worst economic downturn in 70 years, with identifiable corporate malfeasance, yet no one responsible swings from the yardarms. Is that a coincidence? Not in the least. Our laws (government) and our justice system are both tucked, so comfortably, in the back pocket — thank you very much — of corporate special interests. It encircles, too, our nation’s highest court.

I don’t fault corporations for wanting their “own sweet way.” If I were a corporate cheese and could increase/secure my wealth by inserting “special” clauses in federal/state laws or through judicial decree, hell, I’d do it in a nanosecond. If that were my value system and, oh, I’d patriotically wrap it all up nicely in the American flag of corporate capitalism. You know, “What’s good for General Motors is…” Jobs! Please, all genuflect now.

The American public plays its part nicely, too. While being repeatedly marginalized by special interests, we collectively sigh, assume the position, and say, please, could you do that just one more time. Only harder. Not only that, but we freely elect scoundrels to public office. Witness Florida’s last gubernatorial election. We elected either a complete boob who did not know how his corporation was profiting (corruptly/illegally) or he was complicit. Put that to a jury.

So Casey Anthony murdering Caylee, while undeniably tragic, doesn’t especially trip my button when she walks. I wrote in my chapbook on Sept. 12, 2009: “All it was, was that Casey couldn’t be bothered and the little darling’s death was an accident, don’t-cha see.” She wanted to go out and parteee and sometimes it’s hard to get a baby sitter and all, and, well, you know, imagine the rest. We do. We instinctively “feel” how it was sadly resolved.

America’s recent economic crimes are no accident. And to the degree that government policy (laws/legislators/ethics) and corporate malfeasance contributed to our nation’s economic setbacks, well, when those are vigorously investigated and prosecuted, I’ll have a different take on America’s justice system.

Who is it that is getting away with “murder” in America? And who is it that isn’t particularly smart? Hmmm? Not so good. Yet …

Good and hard is how H.L. Mencken said we Americans deserve it.

Ya think?

Jepson is a 24-year resident of Florida. He’s fiscally conservative, socially liberal, likes art and embraces diversity of opinion. Reach him at Jepson@MEDIAmerica.US