Ethics Heroes: The Casey Anthony Jury

America saved Casey Anthony, and we should be glad it did.

A Florida jury pronounced Casey Anthony not guilty of murder, aggravated child abuse or aggravated manslaughter in connection with the 2008 death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee. It did find that she had lied to investigators and police, which was well-established during the trial.

Did she murder her daughter, as the prosecution claimed? Oh, sure she did; I don’t think any of the jury members will be asking Anthony to babysit for their kids any time soon. But the case against her was circumstantial. She was proven to be a liar, irresponsible, feckless, self-centered, deluded and callous, and the prosecution’s theory made a lot more sense that the defense’s alternative scenario. Still, there was not enough evidence to find Casey Anthony guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s the standard, not “it’s almost certain that she did it.” Despite all the media pundits who said it would be a slam-dunk conviction, despite all the community sentiment to make the party girl mother pay with her life for killing her child, the evidence to meet the intentionally tough standard of American justice just wasn’t there.

Already, reporters and commentators are comparing the verdict to the O.J. Simpson trial. Wrong. Simpson was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and no fair examination of the evidence presented would yield another verdict. In that case, a badly-selected, biased, dim-bulb jury* was ill-served by amateurish prosecutors and an inept judge, then manipulated by three of the most effective, ruthless criminal defense lawyers on earth. Simpson was guilty of a double murder, and got away with it because of ineptitude and stupidity. Casey Anthony killed her daughter, and got away with it because the criminal justice system worked. 

The jury in the Anthony trial did the right thing, even though it benefited an evil woman. In America, simply knowing someone is guilty isn’t enough, and we are all safer because of it. We owe a debt of gratitude to the twelve jurors for  upholding one of the most important traditions of our justice system, when everyone was calling for them to do otherwise.

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* Note: This was a stupid and unfair comment regarding the Simpson jury, and I regret and apologize for it. More about that here.

45 thoughts on “Ethics Heroes: The Casey Anthony Jury

  1. Nancy Grace: You are dead wrong on this subject. While the law in some or most states in fact does not require the prosecution to prove the cause of death, the element of reasonable doubt does put this fact into play. In a homicide, cause of death is in fact the prime element to demonstrate that the deceased died by a cause that was not natural (such as age, disease, etc.), that is, by the force of another person’s acts, whether they were intentional or not. No one in his sound mind can dismiss cause of death as a matter of evidence to convict someone of murder, manslaughter, etc., precisely because HOMICIDE (in all its degrees) is in fact a cause of death. My understanding is that Caylee’s certificate of death shows that her cause of death is “UNKNOWN”. You can’t acuse, much less convict, someone of murder, manslaughter, etc., if either crime cannot be even determined as the cause of death. In other words, what’s the crime? Homicide? Come on, give me a break! Even the forensics team could not make up their mind about this issue, let alone the medical examiner that certified Caylee’s death. UNKNOWN is a word that stands by itself in this case as the sole and most powerful element that paved the way for an acquittal, because there was no way that someone could even determine BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT if the little girl died by cause of an act of man or by an act of God. Was the little girl murdered or did she die accidentally? Did Caylee walk out of the house and wandered for days until she died of starvation? Did she die from poisoning from eating some wild berries? Was she stung by an insect or bitten by a snake? I have no clue as to how, when and why did she die. All I know is SHE IS DEAD, but that is not enough to say that she was murdered, much less to acuse her mother of such heinous act, no matter how bizarre and errant Casey’s behavior could be. What’s the crime? Murder? No way! If no one can say for certain why, when and how did Caylee die, there is no case for a murder. Casey’s handling of her daughter’s disappearance may have been errant, stupid, negligent, what ever you please, but that’s is a far cry from accusing her of killing her own child, period. Justice was served, no one should go to jail and much less be given capital punishment for a crime that can’t even be determined. For heaven’s sake, all this media BS (particularly by a lady whose name rhymes with DISGRACE) that’s been thrown to us through the air waves has made the American public loose focus of one of the great pillars of our Justice System: no one can be put behind bars without a crime. My question is WHAT WAS THE CRIME? If you say murder, then please tell me how, when and why did Calyee die? Those big questions are still there waiting to be answered.

  2. Casey Anthony was found not guilty because she was innocent in every way. People attacked her and accused her of murder because the media said so for a story to cover.

    • Now THAT’s excessive. Innocent in every way? The jury made it pretty clear that they didn’t believe that. She was definitely guilty of a lot of bad things. She was not proven guilty of murder, That’s why the verdict was “not guilty.” She could never have been found “innocent.”

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