Our system of government and law is a messy, awful/wonderful thing, simultaneously wondrous and puzzling.
That was evident on Tuesday when a jury in Florida found Casey Anthony not guilty in the death of her toddler, Caylee.
Caylee was reported missing in June 2008 and her body was found a half-year later, according to Associated Press reports. The cause of death was never determined, but many folks locally and across the nation had followed the case and made up their minds over the mother's guilt.
Jurors saw it differently, returning guilty verdicts over lesser counts that Anthony had lied to lawmen.
The verdict drew outrage from our Facebook friends, who proceeded on a lively conversation line.
Here's what Rose Walters-Stagemeyer had to say: "SHOCKED,DISGUSTED AND JUST DOWN RIGHT SAD that poor Caylee did not get the justice she so deserved!!!"
And here's Michelle Strickland Autry's take: "saddened for the little girl b/c justice wasn't served for her and totally outraged with the jury and the whole judical system!!!!!"
Stephanie Reagin Mote expressed similar sentiments: "My heartfelt (condolences) to The Justice System. I was sorry to hear that part of you died today."
And then there was Brandon Mcdonald, who offered a voice of reason in an emotional conversation line: "We can all use common sense to know she is responsible for her child's death somehow but it was clear early on that the state had very little weak evidence to convict her. Although we may not be happy of the outcome, let's be glad we have a system that requires proof to send someone to prison for life. She will live such a tormented life she will wish she was in jail.
"Oh, and let's not blame the prosecutors, they can only present what evidence they have."
Emotions are understandable in such cases, but Brandon noted how the case reflects what's wondrous about the case, how our system, imperfect though it is, works.
Jurors did their job and gave their verdict.
We are a nation of laws. It is an imperfect system, yes, but again it is a magnificent manifestation of that founding principal of us all having an equal opportunity under the law. The mob is overruled. The overwhelming voice of public opinion will be heard, as is evident on our Facebook conversation line, but the law prevails.
The system works.
We should all be grateful.
Tharon Giddens is editor of The Covington News. Reach him at (678) 750-5011 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.