My porch light is off tonight. No big surprise. It is never on.
I mention this because tonight thousands, if not millions, turned their lights on for 2-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony, who is never coming home. Such a rememberance, while a nice show of symbolism, will not bring the child back, and thus I left my porch light off.
The deceased girl’s mother, Casey Anthony, became a media sensation over the past month while television networks broadcast her capital murder trial in Florida.
Anthony’s trial culminated Tuesday with a 12-person jury finding her not guilty of her daughter’s murder. She was convicted of lying to police about details surrounding the case and faces up to one year in prison for each count. It is possible she will receive credit for time served and walk free following her sentencing Thursday.
Former death row inmate John Thompson
“I SPENT 18 years in prison for robbery and murder, 14 of them on death row,” John Thompson starts his stirring op-ed piece in this past Sunday’s New York Times.
More than 25 years ago, a Louisiana jury convicted Thompson of capital murder largely off the testimony of a suspect who sold him a stolen ring and the murder weapon. Thompson’s blood did not match the blood recovered from the murder scene. Prosecutors knowingly concealed this key evidentiary item.
Thompson’s op-ed is a hell of a tale and damning in its implications. The miscarriage of justice Thompson introduced the nation to spits in the face of all who believe in Louisiana’s criminal justice system. It also adds fuel to the anti-death penalty movement.
And it’s not like Thompson’s ordeal is unique. Of the six men one of his prosecutors got sentenced to death, five were freed due to prosecutorial misconduct, he noted.
I am preparing to interview this afternoon for a reporter vacancy at a mid-sized daily newspaper in the Portland suburbs.
As I look at my portfolio and my clips from four years working full-time for the Daily Comet and Houma Courier newspapers, I am reminded of a mother and her two children whose tragic tale has had a major impact on my life.
It was a morning not unlike this one on Aug. 20, 2007, when I got a tip that there was a swarm of police on St. Anthony Street in Mathews, La. I asked Lafourche Sheriff’s spokesman Larry Weidel what was going on. His response: “Just get here. It’s bad.”