HSJI provides hands on training for students

By Danielle Rehor and Grace Runkel

Every July, Indiana University offers week-long camps catering to students on their schools’ newspaper or yearbook staffs. From workshops on how to create a website for your publication, to classes that prepare upcoming editors in chief, the High School Journalism Institute (HSJI) offers a one of a kind experience.

“HSJI has benefitted me in many ways. Before I came here I was nervous about leading my own section, but after attending my workshops I have learned good techniques to help me manage my section so that we can be effective,” said junior Anna Boone.

In addition to twice a day workshops with specialized lessons for each position in the upcoming school year, students get to hear many lectures from professionals in the journalism work force. These professionals include IU alumni and web director of the Hearld Times Online Sarah Morin and city government reporter at Herald-Times Mike Malik.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Columnist deliberates on trial verdict

By Garrett Receveur

After eleven hours of deliberation, which was spread out over a two-day period, the jury enters the courtroom and takes their seats. As the judge is handed the jury’s verdict, the prosecution and defense rise.

The defendant holds hands with her two defense lawyers, standing on either side of her.

The judge, collecting his voice, reads, “On the charge of first-degree murder: not guilty. On the charge of aggravated child abuse: not guilty.. On the charge of aggravated manslaughter: not guilty. And on the charge of four counts of giving false information to law enforcement: guilty as charged.”

After the verdict was read, the defendant tearfully smiled and hugged her lead attorney. She was fingerprinted and later returned to the Orange County Jail, where she will probably be released from soon.

Casey Anthony, the defendant in this case that held the nation spellbound as it proceeded, was found not guilty of murdering her two year-old.

Caylee Anthony, Casey Anthony’s daughter, was almost three years-old at the time of her untimely demise in July 2008.

Caylee Anthony had a whole life to live, a whole life to enjoy. In about August of this year, she would be preparing for her first day of kindergarten. She would have gone out with her mother to buy school supplies and, quite possibly, a Winnie-the-Pooh backpack. She would have been nervous seeing the bus pull up to take her to school that first day but, after some reassurances from her mother and bus driver, would eagerly climb onto the big yellow monster that would become a part of her daily routine.

Caylee Anthony was robbed of the amazement she would feel when she stepped into her school for the first time, the shear fun she would have on the playground as she swung from the monkey bars, and the utter confusion she would experience as she waited in line in the cafeteria.

Her mother selfishly took away her daughter’s first day of school, her first day of high school, her first kiss, her graduation day, her wedding, all of it. Caylee Anthony never got to experience growing up; her young life was cut off before she was even three years-old.

Despite the jury’s verdict, there was considerable proof that Casey Anthony murdered her daughter to, quite probably, enjoy life free from the burden of motherhood. Numerous photos entered into evidence showed Casey Anthony shopping and partying during the 31 days that passed before Caylee Anthony’s disappearance was reported.

In addition, near the end of those 31 days, Casey Anthony’s father George was told that his daughter’s car was in a tow yard. When he went to pick it up, he noticed strong smell that smelled like something dying.

In fact, Cindy Anthony, Casey Anthony’s mother, reportedly told a 911 operator, “There is something wrong. I found my daughter’s car today and it smells like there’s been a dead body in the d*** car.”

Needless to day, forensic scientists searched the car, spending a lot of time on the trunk. The scientists found a human hair in the trunk that exhibited a phenomenon known as “hair banding.” Simply put, hair banding is when the root of the hair turns dark after death.

In addition, a gas analysis performed in the trunk of the car showed that there were chemical compounds “consistent with a decompositional event.” However, it is unclear whether this indicates that a human was lying dead in the trunk or not.

Also, there was duct tape found across Caylee Anthony’s mouth when her body was found. This duct tape matches that of a gas can at Casey Anthony’s house. In addition, Caylee Anthony’s Winnie-the-Pooh blanket, which was missing from her bedroom, was found near her body.

Even a quick glance at the evidence will show that Casey Anthony is guilty of murdering her daughter and as such deserves to be punished under the full extent of the law. In other words, for murdering her almost three year-old daughter, Casey Anthony deserves the death penalty.

However, when the charge she deserves is brought to light, the case gets grave. The evidence, while it does indicate that something died in Casey Anthony’s trunk and that Caylee Anthony is dead, does not explicitly state that Casey Anthony did, without a shadow of a doubt, kill her daughter.

While it is quite likely that Casey Anthony is in fact guilty, there is a chance that someone else could have killed her daughter. There is a chance that a boyfriend, out of jealousy against Caylee Anthony, could have killed her with materials in Casey Anthony’s house, could have taken the body to the forest, and dumped the car off at a tow yard.

Of course, if that was the case, Casey Anthony would still be a terrible mother, having spent 31 days shopping and partying before reporting to the police that her daughter was missing. But it would mean that her boyfriend, not Casey Anthony, was guilty of the actual murder and thus deserved the death penalty.

However, this is only a hypothetical. There was no “smoking gun” at the scene that directly convicted Casey Anthony. Heck, there was not even a crime scene. There was just a place where the body was supposedly stored and where the body was found.

The evidence, while casting a heavily suspicious eye on Casey Anthony, does not directly proclaim her guilt. That is why, while I feel uneasy about letting Casey Anthony go, I agree with the jury.

Let us assume for a second that Casey Anthony is, indeed, not guilty and is just a really terrible mother. Let us also assume that the public believed that Casey Anthony was innocent. Yet, with the same evidence presented, the jury finds her guilty of murdering her daughter. As such, by finding her guilty, the jury would be sentencing an innocent woman to death and letting the guilty killer go.

Frankly, while I believe that Casey Anthony is guilty of murdering her daughter, I would rather, given the evidence, let her go. While Caylee Anthony, the nearly three year-old girl robbed of much of her childhood, does deserve justice, it should be definitive justice.

I thoroughly believe that Casey Anthony was guilty of murdering her daughter. And, if more evidence came to light, I am positive that the jury would agree with me and she would be sitting on death row right now.

But, with the unclear evidence that was presented, it is unclear whether Casey Anthony was guilty or innocent.

If evidence later comes to light that Casey Anthony was guilty, well, she’ll get hers. But, if it comes out that Casey Anthony was, in fact, innocent and we killed her, we will all get ours in the future.

We should not kill one innocent life for the sake of avenging another. After all, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

The official news source of Floyd Central High School