Archive for July, 2011

Justice and Anarchy

July 7, 2011

“Casey Anthony did not murder her daughter.  It’s that simple.”  – Jose Baez, defense attorney

“Not guilty… (beyond a reasonable doubt).” – The Jury

The whole truth may lie somewhere in between, but the verdict was the correct one — not because I think so, but because the jury arrived at it properly.

Considering the facts and only the facts, weighing the evidence and the lack thereof, acutely following Judge Perry’s valid instructions, the jury correctly found reasonable doubt that Miss Anthony murdered her child.

The key testimony and arguments regarding the evidence that led me to the same verdict involve the car, the duct tape, the blanket, the MySpace searches, the “smell test”, and the mistress. The theories, both the defense’s and the prosecutor’s, are plausible, but the defense’s story is more believable to me.

The car:  George Anthony testified that he knew the car was towed and its gas tank empty — he said this before he would have known had he not been involved.

The duct tape: The same unique brand he used in Ohio to bury at least one of the family dogs using the same method on all of the family dogs that had died, was available to him, and used by him to hang posters for the missing child. This same duct tape was used to wrap the child’s body in the same manner as the family pets had been wrapped.

The blanket: Like the duct tape found curiously on the skull of the child’s body, the blanket also contained no DNA evidence and no evidence of bodily decomposition.

The MySpace searches: The Prosecution’s high-tech search analysis backfired when it was flawed. Of the 86 Internet searches discussed, only one was about “chloroform”, the rest were MySpace looks. Casey’s boyfriend had posted a comment about “chloroform” and Casey Googled it to learn what he was talking about.

The smell test: Not only did a number of credible witnesses not smell anything unusual emanating from the trunk of the car; or, they expertly identified the smell as the smell of garbage rather than as “the smell of death” (as proffered by the prosecution), but the entire scientific procedure that was used in a criminal case for the very first time was poked with holes and deemed “junk science” by the defense team. It failed to impress.

The mistress: Testified that George described the child’s death as “an accident that got out of hand.”  He knew because he was complicit. She also testified that George, who unbeknownst to his wife, was not employed, borrowed $4,000 from her. That is also the amount she sought to recover by agreeing to a media interview. George signed a more lucrative book deal.

The theory:  What probably happened — the child drowned because of Cindi and Casey’s negligence. George took control of his dysfunctional family and sought to cover up the accident that might lead to child neglect charges. He also told Casey to go have a good time like nothing was wrong (thus fitting a dysfunctional pattern previously illustrated by the Anthony family’s denial of Casey’s pregnancy, nearly until she had gone into labor).  George Anthony also solicited Ray Kronk to help him cover up the problem. George relied on his own police background to determine his strategy. Phone records indicate multiple contacts with Kronk. Kronk came across at the trial as being sleazy enough to be complicit. All three Anthony’s who testified came across as unreliable witnesses. Casey did not testify.

You can throw this theory out the window if you want.  Call it simplistic and lacking common sense.  And the State’s theory, that a young woman would horribly murder her own daughter, wrap her, tape her, and discard her, in exchange for the good life, is just as implausible, or just as plausible.  Both theories are arguable. Reasonable people could believe either or neither one.

But, no one can say in all good conscience that the State proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence did not show this, according to the rule of law. That is what the jury decided.

Personally, I agree with the definitive explanation proffered by Jose Baez after the verdict:  “Casey Anthony did not murder her daughter. It’s that simple.”

Additional, moral charges in the Court of Public Opinion are hereby lodged against Nancy Grace, Vinnie Politan, and nearly the entire panel of In Session/HLN talking heads for their Trial-by-Headline sleaze-legal journalism verdict. They incite anarchy. Shame on them…  Praise our Constitution.