Tuesday, July 05, 2011

No Justice for Caylee, yet

Let's see if I get this straight. Casey Anthony is guilty of repeatedly lying to investigators,  but she's not guilty of  the only logical reason she had to lie. O.K., when O.J. gets out of prison maybe they can cooperate in the search for the real killers.

This is the kind of news story I follow through headlines. Lurid murders & murder trials are a  media tradition, they sell, they've always sold. They sold newspapers, now they sell cable TV shows & websites. Like millions of others, I'm a consumer of murder  mystery books & detective TV series, & in every book & show the murder is solved & the murderer brought to justice one way or another. Sometimes I latch on to a local crime & follow it  through. A few days ago, the respected owner of small grocery in Plainfield NJ was murdered in his store.  I predicted that one would be solved within days. It was obviously a planned robbery & only criminals from the city, probably the neighborhood, would know the store well enough to rob it in daylight while wearing masks. The store had six security cameras. But the motive may have been a targeted  murder disguised as a robbery. The store owner openly "disrespected" gangs & refused to allow any loitering or drug dealing around his business. The alleged murderer, 18 years old, was a member if a local gang. I'm hoping the trial clears that up. Plainfield is a city with great assets: good housing stock; historical buildings, churches & large victorian era homes; a nicely concentrated downtown retail district; nearby affluent towns. But for decades it's been afflicted with the worst gang infestation in Union County, perhaps the worst in the state for a city its size. So a city that ought to be a cultural center with fine restaurants & stores & a stronger middle class has just floundered along year after year because the gang problem has so completely stained the city's rep.


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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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