As of this writing the world is learning that Casey Anthony, mother of Caylee Marie Anthony, was found not guilty on any charge relating to Caylee’s death. A verdict that has stirred the memories of the much anticipated OJ Simpson criminal verdict.
Both sides concede Caylee died on June 16, 2008. The defense says she died as the result of a pool accident. Casey states that her daughter drowned in the pool and that her father, along with Roy Kronk, helped her cover up this accident.
Caylee’s remains however, were found scattered (with evidence of animal scavenging) in a swamp around the corner from the family house. The evidence suggests that her body was wrapped in several bags, her mouth duct taped; and a heart shaped sticker was placed on the duct tape. A method similarly used by the Anthony family to dispose of their family pets, which the children witnessed
For a moment, let us put aside that Casey’s subsequent behavior, including her date that night with her boyfriend, her nightly partying at Fusion, the “Bella Vita” tattoo, abandoning her car next to the dumpster to mask the smell, calling her friend Amy to say her father must have run over a dead animal, and her amazing ability to lie to law enforcement. Let’s also put aside how she tortured her family about Caylee’s whereabouts as they begged the public to help them; the entire time knowing her child was dead rotting in the swamp. Let us put aside Casey’s attorney stating during the trial that her father and brother molested her. And then, put aside all of the expert witnesses’ testimony that explained the prosecution’s case of forensic evidence.
Yes, put that all aside and ask yourselves, was this reasonable doubt or what many, primarily prosecutors, have dubbed the CSI effect? The CSI effect theory basically believes television shows such as the CSI franchise have influenced the public, and therefore potential jurors, to the extent that it has raised the bar of reasonable doubt to any doubt because they expect the prosecution to prove a case solely and unequivocally on forensic evidence. In other words, by viewing such shows, the average person expects an overwhelming amount of direct evidence and ignores circumstantial evidence.
The jury came back with guilty on all four counts that Casey Anthony lied to law enforcement. However, both the prosecution and defense conceded that she did indeed lie for several months. Therefore, there wasn’t much to deliberate about.
We will know more as they talk to the media as to their thought processes. Perhaps there will be an argument that the state did not meet their burden of proof, or perhaps we may see evidence of the CSI effect.
If we do see a strong leaning of this jury needing direct physical evidence then this author can infer the following:
The only path to conviction on the first degree or even manslaughter charges is if the prosecution had tapes, as we see in the show COPS, that shows Casey asking her neighbor for a shovel, taking her dead daughter out of her car trunk, lying her next to the backyard playhouse to dig a hole to bury her, realizing “boy this is a lot of work” or “jeepers they may bring in the cadaver dogs and find her”, returning the shovel to the neighbor, packaging her up like her dead pets, driving around the corner to the swamp and placing her body there, we might have a different outcome.
Written by Kim Anklin VP
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