Casey Anthony has been ordered to pay nearly a hundred-thousand dollars to police for the cost of the missing person investigation to locate her daughter Caylee, who was later found dead. Caylee was acquitted of murder at the close of a controversial trial, though the jury found her guilty on several misdemeanor counts of lying to authorities. The plaintiffs had sought nearly a half-million dollars in compensation, but the judge found that she was not liable for the costs of the murder investigation which ensued after the 2 year-old's body was discovered, only for the missing-person investigation.
You can read more here about the controversial acquittal and subsequent calls for "Catlee's Law" at this link...
Recap of Caylee's Law Controversy
Today though, the debate centers on civil liability, not whether Caylee's Law is a good idea, or whether Casey may have in fact murdered her daughter, regardless of the jury's decision. The question today is more simple. Should a citizen ever be held financially liable for the costs of any public service?
I say absolutely not. The police and prosecutors are the government, not private citizens, for one thing. They are public servants performing a duty, not a private venture performing a service. If they want to accuse Casey of wasting public resources, then perhaps we should start scrutinizing all police spending a little more closely, not to mention the despicable tactics by which they come by funding apart from our tax dollars.
But let us suppose for a moment that a public police force should be treated the same way as a private company. Did Casey solicit the services of the police? Did she ask them to perform an investigation? No, she did not. It was not even her who made the telephone call reporting Caylee missing. So what this really amounts to is extortion. The government is forcing her to pay for services that she neither requested nor approved of. Which actually brings up another flaw in the proposed Caylee's Law too. In essence, that law would now make it a felony to not solicit the services of the police if your child has gone missing. What sort of free country is this where an individual can be forced to pay for services or goods that they did not want? Or, more accurately, double-billed for those services. After all, Casey is a taxpayer too. When she pays that hundred-grand to the police, are the taxpayers going to get a rebate check in the mail? Are the police going to give back the money they they took away from drug dealers? My guess would be, um, probably not.
The minute we allow police departments to be treated like a business rather than a public agency, we open the door to another huge problem now too. It means that from now on, police will be driven by profits, not truth or justice. This actually gives an incentive for police to not perform their duties properly, to lead investigations to false conclusions, to pin crimes on innocent people and so forth, in order to maximize profits.
If little Caylee had been found alive, I doubt we would be having this discussion. But the public is hardly about to rally to defend Casey against this extortion scheme, because the public views her as the villain, despite the fact, and even more so because of the fact, that she was acquitted in the death of the child. The public want their vengeance in one way or another, regardless of what the true facts may be. Blinded by their anger over the aquittal, the public will fail to see that they are allowing a precedent to be set that will be used against them, against all of us in the years to come.
Where will this end? Will murderers be forced to fund police departments? Will anyone convicted of any crime be forced to pay for their own prosecution and the investigation that was made against them? Will you be forced to not only pay a fine, and a court fee for a traffic ticket, but also for the police officer's hourly pay while he wrote the ticket and sat in court, for his gasoline used, for the cost of the actual ticket from the ticket book, to have his uniform cleaned because he got splashed by a mud puddle when he got out of his cruiser to hand you the ticket?
Sounds good on the surface maybe. Have the criminals pay for the police. But if that is really the precedent, do you really believe that we won't have to pay taxes any longer to fund the police and the courts? Somehow, I doubt it. And again, we see a clear motivation for the police and courts to wrongfully convict innocent people.
Let's keep in mind here too, that Casey was not convicted in the death of her child. Whether or not you think she actually did it, the fact is, in the eyes of the law she is only guilty of a misdemeanor offense. Which means now that the precedent has been set for the state to go after you too, to recover costs, for even a minor offense. If you are found to be at fault in an auto accident for example, will you have to pay for the entire cost of the response of emergency services? Even for a minor accident, one that you could actually drive away from, if someone else calls 911, you could be on the hook for many thousands of dollars for the police and fire department response, even if they don't actually have to render any aid. That is the precedent being set here with this ruling.
This whole case has been a string of bad precedents right from the start, and this is yet another miscarriage of justice being done in the name of a dead little girl.
Care to discuss the matter? Comment at the forum...
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