The final, FINAL verdict is in—today, the judge sentenced Casey Anthony to four years for lying to police. Then, to add insult to injury for all of us who believe that Casey intentionally murdered her little girl, authoritiesannounced that she will be released on July 13. (Since Casey has been a model little prisoner during her 3-year stint in jail, the judge ruled that she should be release early.)
The question on almost everyone’s mind is “why wasn’t Casey Anthony convicted of murdering 2-year-old Caylee?” How did the jury get it so wrong?
What were they THINKING?
Juries can be unpredictable. They may have heard things that the public never heard. They may have had trouble believing that a mother could intentionally kill her own
child. They may have simply liked Casey and could not bring themselves to sentence such a young woman to a long prison sentence or to death.
They may have even misunderstood the meaning of finding Casey Anthony guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Or, perhaps, it is the public who has misunderstood this meaning. In either case, each side (Casey’s jurors and the public) can be forgiven, because this legal requirement for a criminal conviction is open to interpretation.
Reasonable Doubt vs ALL Doubt
Many jury members feel that they cannot vote to convict unless there is no doubt of the defendant’s guilt. Unfortunately, short of the defendant’s confession (and even that can be challenged), there are few criminal cases that leave no doubt as to the defendant’s guilt. Most juries, therefore, have to weigh the evidence presented by the prosecution against the evidence presented by the defense. Since the prosecution bears the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, Casey Anthony’s jury obviously felt that the prosecution did not meet that burden.
But did they?
Proof of Casey Anthony’s Guilt
In my opinion, the strongest evidence of Casey Anthony’s
*Her failure to report her daughter missing for an entire month while she enjoyed an apparently carefree and joyous partying life at nightclubs and bars.
*Her ever-changing stories about what happened to little Caylee, i.e. a non-existent nanny kidnapped her to she left Caylee with friends, to (finally) Caylee drowned in the swimming pool and Casey’s former police officer father helped her to cover up this “accidental” drowning.
*The stench of human decay in the trunk of Casey’s abandoned car.
*The excessive Google search for various ways to render a person unconscious (chloroform) and for how to break a person's neck.
I believe that all of these items prove that Casey Anthony intentionally, with premeditation, murdered Caylee. But the jury obviously disagreed.
To be sure, the prosecution did not do its job very well. For instance, they could not prove the manner of Caylee Anthony’s death. But instead of just admitting that they did not know how she died, they claimed with absolute authority that she was suffocated with the duct tape found on her skeletal remains.
What?!!! There was absolutely no forensic evidence for Caylee’s suffocation via duct tape. And how did this theory of her death fit in with all those Google searches about how to break a person’s neck? It didn’t. This was a glaring inconsistency that the prosecution never tried to explain. Unfortunately, I think that the prosecution’s failure to explain this inconsistency helped the jury to acquit Casey Anthony of killing her child.
Do you think that the jury made the right decision?