According to Websters the word justice has its roots in the Latin word justitia. One of the definitions reads:

conformity to truth, fact, or reason

I rather like that definition, it is far different from how the word tends to be used in our modern society, yet maintains the core concepts. The more common definition is:

A: the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments b : judge c : the administration of law; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity

For the past year my wife Jan and I have been covering the very ugly world of missing children. I am by no means a county music fan, but there is a Toby Keith lyric that keeps popping into my head. He did a duet with Willie Nelson, the opening line of the rephrase is:

Justice is the one thing you should always find

The search for Caylee Anthony shows justice in its worst light. Caylee will get no justice. She is just another statistic. While her mothers team of lawyers spend all of their time spinning the story, a little harmless girl is dead. She did not even have the dignity of being found whole. Poor Caylee was just a collection of bones, there is nothing that we can do to bring her back. And surely there is nothing that can bring justice. Casey Anthony may never ever have the opportunity to be the party girl again, but is this justice?

Everyone, except poor Caylee has benefited from her death. I am sickened by it. Baez and his seven dwarfs may be working pro bono, but boy they are getting some great free publicity. As are the ‘grieving’ grand parents. I have to admit that I get a queasy tummy whenever I hear about George and Cindy Anthony. In many ways I am glad that as a journalist I opted to not get too close to this case. The late Sean Kraus took the the other approach, cancer killed Sean, but I often wonder that if he had paid more attention to himself rather than this story. Could he have been with us today?

Without doubt, the case that bothers me most is Haleigh Cummings. How does a 5 year old child just disappear? Haleigh Cummings was not abducted from a shopping mall, nor walking home from school. If we are to believe the reports, Haleigh Cummings was abducted from her bed!

Ronald Cummings maintains that he was at work, and Haleigh was being looked after by his babysitter/lover/wife (now ex wife) Misty Cummings. In fact Misty even claims that she was sleeping in the same room as Haleigh!

This actually is one of the few things that have come out of her mouth that do make some sense. Misty had just come off a three day booze, drugs, and ‘friendship’ binge. I am sure that she was pretty tired, I am not 17, I am in my 50’s, I can certainly recall some fairly wild episodes, but not even at my peak can I recall having a 72 hour binge. I guess I liked sleep too much!

The Haleigh Cummings case bothers me to the end of the planet. Unless this is a rerun of Agatha Christi’s great book and movie Death On The Nile, there can only be one perpetrator.

But who is it?

I know who it is not! The perp is not us in the press, nor is it anyone in the law business. I am in agreement with Law Enforcement, this was no stranger abduction, someone either in the family, or very close to it is responsible. Is she still alive? That is a very good question. The statistics say no, but a few of us hope for happy ending.

It is Thanksgiving, and I have much to give thanks for. My family is all accounted for, everyone is safe and sound. But what about all those thousands of families that have missing children? What sort of Thanksgiving are they going to have? They have precious little to give thanks for.This Thanksgiving spare a moment and say a quiet prayer for those missing children. And reflect on our justice system and what we can do to make the world a safer place for our children

Simon Barrett

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