Protecting the Innocent
Quoting John Adams:
It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, "whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection," and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.
Obviously, if Casey Anthony killed her daughter, then she deserves to be punished for that. But if she didn’t, yet she is still accused of having done so, then she deserves to be protected from punishment. The system is designed to err on the side of avoiding wrongful punishment, and a jury of Casey Anthony’s peers reviewed the evidence and concluded that there was reasonable doubt as to whether she committed the murder as charged.
Corrupt officials and broken mechanisms within the system already conspire to wrongfully punish the innocent; Anthony Graber and Louis Gonzalez III are just a couple of the victims of this evil. There are so many federal laws now, with more being created all the time, that we are virtually all guilty of breaking some absurd law or another, and could all be thrown into prison at pretty much any time. We desperately need the system to require a high standard in order to convict a person of a crime; our lives and our freedom depend on it.