ORLANDO, FL - JULY 5: Casey Anthony reacts to being found not guilty on murder charges as she stands next to her attorney Jose Baez at the Orange County Courthouse on July 5, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. Casey Anthony had been accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008 and was found not guilty of manslaughter in the first degree. (Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images)
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Why do we care about Casey Anthony?

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In case you hadn't heard, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of the most severe crimes charged against her in relation to the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Then again, if you have an Internet connection, a cell phone, a TV or walked around in a public area where people were speaking at an audible volume, you'd know that.

The amount of attention this case received is second to few news stories in recent memory. Many have compared it to the O.J. Simpson trial. Those in the Cincinnati-area would equate it to Ryan Widmer's three trials. Heck, this trial received a similar amount of buzz to that of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

While it isn't expected that the Anthony aftermath will carry such weight as Seal Team Six, it still makes you wonder: Why did we pay this trial so much attention?

When the bin Laden story broke, it elated feelings of pride, patriotism and positivism. The response from the general public and the amount of information that was not only available but consumed was astounding and inspiring.

The fact that a 25-year-old mom who three years ago would have blended in at any Floridian night club just as much as the next young and attractive female would conjure up a similar emotional response to the killing of the most wanted, most hated and most ruthless man in the world today is, to put it lightly, interesting.

Was this trial compelling? Of course, the amount of speculative detail could be found only in that of a John Grisham novel.

Was there lasting information? Heck yeah, there was a new twist in the trial every day, just like watching a new episode of CSI every week.

Was there relatability? If you're a parent, a daughter, a cousin, a sibling or have ever seen a child's face in your life, then you could relate to this trial just as you could to a character developed in a good movie.

The mass amount of outrage on social media was obvious, with hundreds of posts per minute on Twitter and status update after status update on Facebook.

"What is going on in Florida?" one woman wrote on Facebook.

"Wow. Unbelieveable." another wrote in reference to the verdicts.

These sentiments were echoed in the hours following the 2:15 p.m. Tuesday announcement by 12 jurors that Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder.

Some were unbiased about it: "It's the judicial system people. This is America."

Others weren't shocked: "Not surprised by the not-guilty verdicts…'Beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.'"

Whatever you thought of the verdicts, you paid attention.

The search for truth is a powerful thing in all walks of life, that much can be said with certainty. But now, after three years of speculation and two months of intense trial, just how does Casey Anthony's fate affect our everyday lives? Was all the hype worth the time spent and the attention paid?

One man made this comment on Facebook immediately following the verdict: "Now if people paid this much attention to the news all the time, imagine how much better things could be?"

He's got a point. How many of you understand the effects of the tax-hike being debated as part of U.S. budget deficit talks in Congress? The result of those talks affects each and every Americans' paycheck.

Or who can say they totally understand how the U.S. economy will change if the debt ceiling is raised?

But hear the word "rattlesnake" and the first thought is related to how Caylee Anthony's body was found.

Many see the coverage of this case as nothing more than a reality TV show, something that could equally be seen in primetime, but with much better fictionally enhanced HD crime scenes. If you think about it, this case might as well have replaced the Soap Operas on ABC with Nancy Grace as the villain; those shows are being canceled anyway.

There is one very good thing that comes to light in the coverage of this trial that shows how great this country is: The constant evaluation of truth and justice.

America has succeeded because of its ability to adapt and evolve, as evidence of the country's founding document and the amendments made to it that have formed the judicial system we have today with its ability to seek out justice.

Casey Anthony's verdict doesn't affect the lives of the majority of Americans, but the result of her case does remind the citizens of the United States the processes of law and that we are free and innocent until proven guilty, and it opens back up that forum of discussion and evaluation of those processes like a good living democracy should.

Whether you can justify the reason you paid attention to the Casey Anthony trial or not, you watched, you read and you listened.

Whether the verdict is justified in your eyes or not, it is part of what makes America's democracy what it is. Amanda Knox in Italy has not been so lucky. But then again, have you watched, read and listened to her trial?

 

 

What do you think? Why did you care or not care about Casey Anthony's trial? Leave a comment below or on our WCPO Facebook page

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