Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More American System of Justice, Casey Anthony

Well, I'm surprised that I am only one of a few bloggers that is going to do a post about this trial. Casey Anthony was found not guilty of killing little Caylee Anthony by a jury of her peers. To began with, I have always found "Jury of their peers" to be a humorous phrase. It implies that a persons "peers" would be like them, as close as possible. What it really means, is people just like them, as close as possible without having committed the same crime, so that way a juror might have a better background in being able to understand if a person was really capable of committing the crime or not.

So, I guess that Casey Anthony should have had a jury of "liars and sluts", because that is what her lawyer openly called her in his summation speech. I was shocked when he first called her that, then it struck me that he had just made a masterful move. Everybody on the jury knew, beyond any reasonable doubt, that she was a liar and a slut. So, the jury was ready to believe whatever else he had to say. Her lawyer went on to say that there was not one shred of evidence that Casey was anything but a loving, caring mother. Then, that there was no evidence as to how little Caylee died, or in who's care.

The prosecutor stated to, essentially, forget all the rhetoric about evidence, and go with what you know in your hearts, that Casey killed that little girl.

If I was a juror, I would have came to the same verdict, there was no evidence that laid any direct blame on Casey.

So, what REALLY happened to little Kaylee?


Ernie Branscomb said...

I think that little Kaylee drowned in the pool, and they disposed of the body like one of the very loved family pets. Something like their last story...

Anonymous said...

What really happened to Caylee is her mother put duct tape on her mouth and nose and then "somebody" disposed of her.
But I am not one of her peers so my ideas do not count.


Ernie Branscomb said...

I don't think that the prosecution could even link Casey to the duct tape. No fingerprints, no DNA, no trail back to Casey. More importantly, they didn't even prove that the tape was what killed Kaylee. The tape could have been put on her after death. They didn't PROVE a thing about the duct tape.

Casey was a "liar and a slut", and in many ways, a despicable person, but that doesn't prove that she murdered Kaylee.

Two Two Crows said...

Murder,Not Gilty,Book Deal,Movie,Money. Who Speeks For The Little Girl? The state only speaks for the crime. Who speaks for the little girl???

Ernie Branscomb said...

The state tried to speak for the little girl, but failed miserably. They did a poor investigation, they didn't produce key evidence, and they didn't really connect the little girls death to anyone. They didn't even establish a manner of death.

But, the good news for them is that they all got paid very well for the big production trial.

The lawyers did a good job of showboating their self-righteous indignation. The judge rubbed his chin and looked stern like the director of a great movie.

It was actually a good example of what we have become. Nobody thinks that they have to work that hard anymore. They present a theory and expect twelve jurors to agree with them, with no hard evidence.

If I was a juror, I would be pissed-off that they wasted my time with this trial.

Would you be suprised to find out that somebody else was really responsible for Kaylee's death? Like the grandfather? Or the grandmother accidently letting the kid drown? Nobody really knows what happened at this point. All the liars win.

Fred said...

There was no "key" evidence, Ernie, but the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming that Casey was involved in the death of Caylee.

As one TV legal consultant pointed out earlier in the trial, Casey pretty much accepted possession of the body back when the girl was missing. She told her mother and others that Caylee was with a nanny when she was known to be dead. That's just one piece of the overwhelming evidence against her.

I'm not saying she should have been convicted of 1st or 2nd degree murder. In fact, one defense attorney already pointed out the capital murder charge might have helped win her acquittal.

But an involuntary manslaughter charge would have been totally appropriate since it was clear she was involved in the death and lied time after time to cover it up.

Robin Shelley said...

I agree with Fred. I think Casey Anthony was overcharged & will walk free tomorrow with credit for time served on the lying to officers convictions because of it. A crying shame.

Fred said...

One of the pundits on the Greta Van Susteren show last night thought the same thing: She'll get credit for time served and let go.

I'm hoping they at least give her the max 1 year per charge that gives her a little more time in jail.

Then, the only punishment we can hope for is being disowned by her former friends and family but I won't hold my breath for that.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I think that our desire to see that sweet-faced little girl avenged has clouded our judgement. The prosecution was inept, if they were going to ask for first degree murder, they should have been able to produce more than good guesses and bad judgement.

If they had gone for simple manslaughter, they probably would have gotten their conviction.

Nobody said that lawyers are smart, Just well paid, and sadly they got paid very well for the drama. I suspect that by going for first degree murder that they got paid better. I also think that the good pay may have clouded their judgement.

Fred said...

Yes, it was likely a mistake to go for the capital charge. I'm sure that made some difference but I'm not sure how much. I know if I was on the jury I would have balked at the death penalty without considerable physical evidence.

Still, that jury wouldn't determine whether the death penalty would be applied. They just determined guilt/ non- guilt. A fact that might have confused the issue.

One of the legal folks on the show last night made a good point, though: She was saying that too often nowadays we see criminal trials as a "CSI thing". There's supposed to be all kinds of scientifically analyzed physical evidence involved in crimes. In this case, not much evidence was available and there was some question about the handling of the evidence they did have.

Without the physical evidence the jury was led to expect, they wouldn't convict of murder despite the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that Casey was involved in the death. We should all be leery of circumstantial evidence but, in this case, I feel it was overwhelming.

A sign of the times? I hope not, but won't be surprised to see more of the same in the future.

Robin Shelley said...

I don't understand how the jury did not come to a guilty verdict for manslaughter or even child neglect. Will be interesting to hear what they have to say when this is over.

Dave Kirby said...

Nancy Grace and the rest of vultures at cnn and elsewhere began convicting the woman years ago.
Much of the shock at the verdict is due to the fact that the news readers and talking heads went for the lowest emotional denominators. One of the defense lawyers touched on that. Dreaming up new angles for the next news cycle and saying anything they had to to keep the ratings up. This whole thing is more like The Young and the Restless than it is Perry Mason.

Fred said...

I don't understand how the jury did not come to a guilty verdict for manslaughter or even child neglect.

I don't, either. All I can think of is they seemed to think if she wasn't guilty of capital murder, she wasn't guilty of anything else. But that wouldn't explain why they bothered finding her guilty of lying to the police.

The did manage to find an alternate juror who was willing to be interviewed via telephone by Greta Van Susteren. I was disappointed in what I could hear of it (phone connection was bad).

He basically said the prosecution didn't prove without a reasonable doubt Casey killed Caylee. Apparently no consideration was given to the overwhelming circumstantial evidence presented. I'm thinking the evidence presented during trial was pretty much forgotten and they pretty much relied on the closing arguments.

Dave Kirby said...

I would like to apologize to Vultures for smearing their name. They are among the most graceful of birds.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Fred (6:53).
Ernie, I think the prosecution did a great job with what they had to work with. Casey was the last to be seen with Caylee and it goes from there....
Like someone said " When I got up this morning it was a pretty and clear morning but the road was muddy, water dripping off the roof and the grass was wet so I guessed it had rained but didn't see any clouds".
The "without a doubt" thing sometimes is carried past the COMMON since I think.
Casey got away with murder.


spyrock said...

on behalf of the peace eagles as they are regarded by native americans. i accept your apology.

Ernie Branscomb said...

My point was that the prosecution went so far beyond what they were even remotely able to prove, that it angered the jurors and that is why they didn't allow the convition on any level.

They must have had a theory of who else might have done it, or another logical theory as to what might have really happened.

The defense drug a powerfully smelly red herring across the trail when he called Casey Anthony a "liar and a slut", but a good mother. They followed everything that they said after that.

Ernie Branscomb said...

“Will be interesting to hear what they have to say when this is over.” (Jurors)

I'm sure you will hear from them. Surely they all have agents and book deals by now.

spyrock said...

intuitively i think that when someone who is guilty has a trial and goes free. it's sort of like trying to convict the tip of an iceberg. the part that got caught above the surface. while 99 percent of the quilty parties remain undiscovered underwater.

Robin Shelley said...

Casey admitted to lying to the officers so the jury didn't have much choice in that verdict, I guess.

Fred said...


Fred said...

This just in from CNN:

Juror Jennifer Ford told ABC News that she and the other jurors cried and were "sick to our stomachs" after voting to acquit Anthony.

"I did not say she was innocent," said Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror number 3. "I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."

Fred said...

Now, having read that, I still think they were wrong. We've already kind of been through this here but I think circumstantial evidence made it clear Casey was involved in the death of her daughter. Whether it was intentional murder with malice aforethought, manslaughter as a result of the heat of passion or simply an accident, she was involved.

Lying about it, as far as I'm concerned, amplified her involvement. At the very least they could have given her the benefit of the doubt that it was an accident and convict for some form of manslaughter.

Not sure if the court would allow that but it sounded to me like they could have considered Murder 2 had felt like it. I think Involuntary Manslaughter would have covered most the bases and been fair to all involved.

Anonymous said...

Again, I agree with Fred (4:35)...

The circumstantial evidence is something you can hit with a hammer.


Robin Shelley said...

The judge's instructions to the jury are here:
Perhaps Ernie can activate the link for me.
You will see what the jury's choices were. Why they didn't use those choices is beyond me.

Dave Stancliff said...

I've basically come to the conclusion the State didn't do it's job by over-reaching on the charge of First Degree Murder...involuntary manslaughter might have had a chance. Too late now.

I'm one of the few locals bloggers to comment on this trial along with you Ernie, and if you read my post you'll see I come to this conclusion reluctently.

No matter what, justice wasn't there for Caylee.

Her death is now doomed to be swept away into the debris of history.

Another unsolved crime story for the TV.

Ben said...

Dave Kirby has made the only comment on the crazed media circus which accompanied this tragic case.
Follow the money. Nancy Grace has made huge profits for her employers and stockholders. If Casey had been ugly or of a different race, this horrible business would have been back page news. We are suckers for the hucksters who flock to the sensational. The media will run this into the ground. They will never stop until public interest is exhausted.

Dave Kirby said...

This stuff happens almost any day in the U.SA....It seems that the threshold for becoming a media event is the victim must be attractive and white. As a nam vet I find this a bit amusing. A whole lot of folks died for the crime of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Do I think Casey had a hand in Caylee's death?.....yes.
Do I think they proved it? ...no.

Fred said...

Do I think they proved it? ...no..

I'm not sure they could have proved it from the physical evidence alone.

Anonymous said...

What cooked it for me is the 3 strips of duct tape around Caylee's mouth and nose. Then Caylee was last seen with her mother and she never reported Caylee missing while going to parties.
Next time I hear of someone breaking their neck after getting bucked off a horse or run over with a logging truck and find out when the first responders arrived the deceased has duct tape wrapped around their face I will concede the Anthony case as a drowning.


TWO CROWS said...

In this case Water Boarding,would have brought out the Truth. And given casey an idea what it was like for caylee to die in the pool. Mr Chaney has spoken time and time again that Water Boarding is the best tool to get the truth. Now everyone will say torture is ILLegal. Well so is MURDER!!!

Ernie Branscomb said...

They could have proven that the body had been moved if they had taken the skull apart. The decomposed brain settles at the bottom of the center of gravity. Why didn't they take the skull apart? It would have proven that the skull had been moved if the sediment was anywhere else.

Skull dissection is med examiner 101. It was gross incompetence to not examine the skull. If the med exam was that incompetent, what else did they screw up?

I’m sure that the whole jury hates themselves for not being able to vindicate little kaylee. I’m also sure that they had questions on their mind that they wanted to scream out. It’s tough being a juror. And I feel that they had no choice but to come to the decision that they did.

TWO CROWS said...

Ernie, the juror's aren't feeling that bad about their verdict! CNN just. Announced the juror's each want 5 figures to do interviews. How sick is that?

Fred said...

Robin wrote, "You will see what the jury's choices were. Why they didn't use those choices is beyond me."

Thanks for the link. Since it's a pdf file I couldn't copy and paste the pertinent sections of it but I believe there was easily enough evidence to convict on Aggrevated Manslaughter of A Child.

Of the elements of that crime. #1, we know that Caylee Anthony is dead.

Another element is willfully depriving the child of, among other things, supervision.

She was last seen alive in Casey's custody and evidence is clear that Caylee died either in Casey's custody, or lack thereof. The fact that Casey continually lied about the location of Caylee adds to that element.

There should have been no reason they couldn't have come up with a conviction for Aggravated Manslaughter, imo.

I can only guess that someone on the jury- perhaps the jury foreman?- felt they couldn't convict without more physical evidence than was available. The latest news reports seem to confirm something along that line as at least one juror has said they didn't think Casey was innocent. They just didn't think there was sufficient proof of what might have happened.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Sorry, I got sidetracked with all the comments. Here's Robins link to the jury instructions:

Jury instructions


Anonymous said...

Casey will be free in 6 days now maybe we can move on to the next travesty in our land. The last space shuttle launch is supposed to be tomorrow and after it lands NASA can get away from space exploration and get down to the important task of promoting Muslim accomplishments.


Two Crows said...

There's a tree where the little girl was found. People have made a memorial there with gifts. The day of the verdict LIGHTING struck the tree and split the top. Ernie here's your karma working. Seems someone or something doesn't believe Justice has been served!

charlie two crowqs said...

Well Well, the judge has called casey back to Orlando to serve out her probation in the county of the trial. This is where every one hates her. Maybe the Raven will see justice served!