I must admit, I’ve only paid attention to the Casey Anthony trial in the past four weeks. Otherwise, I could be one of those people who “must live in a cave” not to have heard about her, the murder or the trial. When I began to pay attention, I was appalled at what happened to that beautiful little girl. When I heard and saw bits and pieces of the parents’ testimony, and watched the defendant’s reaction or lack of, I concluded family dysfunction second to none. I missed the closing arguments, where it was the general consensus among court watchers that the defense had the upper hand and was able to refute the prosecution’s efforts for conviction.
But I did watch the verdict, and the moment I heard the judge admonish the courtroom to be quiet and maintain order no matter what the verdict was, I thought, uh-oh, this isn’t good. When the verdict was read, I was just as stunned as the majority of commentators. So much for justice for Kaylee. But there’s a difference between being so outraged as a human being that you’re “out for blood”, and listening to the evidence and determining guilty, not guilty based upon the rule of law.
Casey is walking free on July 17. It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback, but from where I’m sitting and the fact I came in late to this case, my opinion is that the prosecution blew it. They blew it like the prosecution in the Rod Blagojevich trial. Unfortunately, the Florida prosecutor doesn’t get a second chance to get it right. Four hundred pieces of evidence, six weeks on trial, a lying, dysfunctional family and the death of a little girl. Does that spell overwhelming to you. Now think of twelve disparate jurors, sequestered for six weeks. I was a juror on a trial for three weeks once, and that seemed a lifetime. When we got the case, there were many who had already made up their minds, and “let’s get out of here.”
Again, my opinion, but the prosecution should have followed the KISS principle, i.e., choose your central theme, and go with only what you know you can absolutely prove. The prosecution didn’t do this. They went with the high stakes charges, then threw in the proverbial “kitchen sink”, and left almost empty-handed.
Is Casey Anthony guilty of murder? If I was on that jury, no. Not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Guilty of aggravated child abuse? No, not by this definition according to a Florida trial attorney. Guilty of aggravated manslaughter against a child? If you read the definition of manslaughter according to Florida Supreme Court, the jury might possibly have been swayed by an opinionated juror who held his/her ground. Arguably, the circumstantial evidence shows Casey knew something about the death of her child, her lies to the police, and not reporting the death for 31 days. In my opinion, that’s definitely negligence. But, and it’s a big but, what if the child was killed, either intentionally or by accident, and Casey was not the person responsible. Then, by definition of manslaughter, she’s not guilty. And that was the prosecution’s biggest problem, which they did not overcome, how Kaylee Anthony died, and who was responsible. If they had gone for a lesser charges, even accessory to manslaughter, Casey would be sentenced to prison, not walking free.
And yet, we can ask, free for how long? She’ll always be THE Casey Anthony. She’ll always carry with her the knowledge of what happened to her daughter. Maybe we’ll be treated some day to a cathartic moment on an Oprah special. However, I don’t think so. I tuned into this trial without prior knowledge of this case or anyone connected with it. From the testimony during the one month I paid attention, the facial expressions, gestures and reactions of Casey, the word sociopath comes to mind. And unfortunately for all of us, we’ll probably be living through another drama before she’s finally put away.
Kaylee, you’re with the angels in heaven. Rest in peace.
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