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July 2, 2011 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Tomorrow, closing arguments are scheduled for 9:00 a.m. (Eastern) in the Casey Anthony trial. Since 2008, the case of the young mother accused of killing her toddler daughter, Caylee, has captivated the U.S. Deemed by some to be the 'social media trial of the century,' the capital murder case is based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Tomorrow's hearing is being broadcast on cable station CNN Headline News and streamed live online.
posted by ericb (271 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 






I'm surprised she didn't fire Baez for incompetence and request a new trial (if that's possible).
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:14 PM on July 2, 2011


This is what passes for news?
posted by caddis at 4:21 PM on July 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


I hate to say this but: Anything that Nancy Grace is intensely interested in, I'm not. Why I have this irrational dislike for her (Nancy) I don't know.
posted by Xurando at 4:22 PM on July 2, 2011 [52 favorites]


This is what passes for news?
posted by caddis


The "trial of the century" (thus far) isn't news?
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:24 PM on July 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel you so much Xurando
posted by youthenrage at 4:24 PM on July 2, 2011


On the phrase "trial of the century".
posted by stbalbach at 4:29 PM on July 2, 2011


If she did it, it was a horrible tragedy for her daughter.

If she did not do it, it was a horrible tragedy for her daughter and for her as well.

Either way it's a horrible tragedy for everyone else who cared for this little girl.

In none of these cases will there be enough actual "justice" to compensate for the injustice that was done.
posted by anastasiav at 4:29 PM on July 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


On the phrase "trial of the century".
posted by stbalbach


I know, hence the scare quotes <:-)
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:30 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


My default position is to be sympathetic to any criminal defendant alledged to be "unfeeling". It seems to be code for "doesn't make the most over-the-top demonstration of grief imaginable."
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:32 PM on July 2, 2011 [24 favorites]


Am I the only one who finds it odd that the court is in session on a Sunday, especially the Sunday of a holiday weekend?
posted by incessant at 4:36 PM on July 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


There's something about a missing person turning into a murder victim that results in media overkill for the subsequent trial. Probably the tabloidists like Nancy Grace insisting on getting their 'money's worth' for attention previously given. Remember Laci and Scott Peterson? I wish I didn't.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:37 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who finds it odd that the court is in session on a Sunday, especially the Sunday of a holiday weekend?
posted by incessant at 7:36 PM on July 2


yeah. what is up with that?
posted by liza at 4:38 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why I have this irrational dislike for her (Nancy) I don't know.

I'll take a crack at an explanation. It's because shows like Good Morning America and other productions by organizations that claim to be "news" entities give her airtime and hold her out as a legal analyst. She's not providing legal analysis that educates and informs; she's spewing vitriolic opinion. This is fine if you want entertainment, but a complete misrepresentation if you want insightful, considered legal commentary.

I will however, take this opportunity to say that ABC's legal analyst Dan Abrams, who has the misfortune of sharing airtime with her on the GMA rundowns of the case every morning, is my new hero. It's like he doesn't even bother to hide his contempt for her any more.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:40 PM on July 2, 2011 [14 favorites]


Am I the only one who finds it odd that the court is in session on a Sunday, especially the Sunday of a holiday weekend?
posted by incessant


I think that Judge Perry forced them to work over the weekend because he is concerned with the amount of money the taxpayers are paying on this trial and the time-wasting maneuvering that both the prosecution and defense have been doing (in his mind) and wants to rap up this case as soon as possible. I recall him sort of 'threatening' (for lack of a better term) Baez with extra work over the weekend and even the holiday if necessary when he requested to depose some of the prosecution's rebuttal witnesses (like the forensic computer expert and the Gentiva supervisor).

Maybe he's hoping that the jury will deliberate more quickly and decisively if it means that they can be home for the July 4th holiday?
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:41 PM on July 2, 2011


Why I have this irrational dislike for her (Nancy) I don't know.

I can explain why I don't like her, and it's fairly rational. Some people regularly make display of behavior that shows their general inclination is to be a seething cauldron of anger and moral outrage. There's always an Injustice du jour. We all have monents or days like that, but some people seem to relish it, stoking the fire and just hating hating hating all the time. That's the vibe I get from her.
posted by chimaera at 4:45 PM on July 2, 2011 [23 favorites]


How can she get a fair trial after having been the daily subject of that evil clown Nancy Grace?
posted by orthogonality at 4:45 PM on July 2, 2011 [4 favorites]




incessant, the jury is both out of town (Pinellas County) and sequestered, so they were given the option to "work the weekend".

It isn't at all true that the case is based solely on circumstantial evidence, but in any case that would actually strengthen it in comparison to a case based on eyewitness testimony.
posted by dhartung at 4:54 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


A Valium for the masses
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 4:54 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


she's spewing vitriolic opinion. This is fine if you want entertainment

No, no it's not.
posted by perspicio at 4:58 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why I have this irrational dislike for her (Nancy) I don't know.

Because Nancy Grace is a jackal who preys on victims of violent crime. If no more women and children were raped and murdered, everyone would be better off except for her. She makes me wish I believed in hell.
posted by stavrogin at 4:59 PM on July 2, 2011 [51 favorites]


I find this case fascinating from the forensic pathology aspect of it.

Without concrete anatomical evidence of trauma, how can you make the diagnosis of Homicide?

I agree that duct tape over the mouth of skeletonized remains is very suspicious and that not reporting the alleged drowning is shady behavior, but would it have killed the case for the forensic pathologist to be honest and call the cause of death undetermined?
posted by Renoroc at 5:00 PM on July 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


From the "circumstantial evidence" link:
LIES – Casey lied to her friends, family, and the police concerning the whereabouts of Caylee. In late June and early July 2008, Casey told her friends and her mother that Caylee was with a nanny. Casey spent much of that time with her new boyfriend, partying at nightclubs, on shopping excursions, and getting a tattoo that read “Bella Vita” – Italian for beautiful life. Later, as questions about Caylee persisted, she said that Caylee had been kidnapped by the nanny. Investigators quickly determined that the nanny did not exist. They also discovered that Casey had falsely claimed to be working at Universal Studios.
Did she ever say why she was lying?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:02 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Brandon: no, not directly; she hasn't testified during the trial nor spoken publicly about the lies. I think the last stuff that was published/broadcast that came from her mouth directly were the discussions she had in jail with her family, when she was still lying about everything. IIRC, the defense was trying to say that it was a combination of being in denial (because she was allegedly brought up in a dysfunctional family that lied and hid everything, from her alleged sexual abuse by her father to her pregnancy up until the 11th hour). I don't buy it, personally.
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:05 PM on July 2, 2011


*combination of being in denial and the dysfunctional family lies, I mean
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:06 PM on July 2, 2011


(allegedly)
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:08 PM on July 2, 2011


I'd like to pretend I'm too good to be interested in this case, but I'm not -- I'm dreadfully interested (as loathsome as Nancy Grace is). To me, it isn't simply that a mother killed her little child, which is horrific but frankly not that uncommon on a societal level. It's Casey's complete inability to behave like any kind of human being.

I'll never be plotting a murder or plotting the cover-up of an accidental death, but if you asked me how to do it, the first thing that I would tell you to do is to act like something is terribly wrong. Who wouldn't go mad with fear if their toddler was missing? Hell, I'd get wound up if I heard my neighbors' toddler was missing, and I don't even know them. It's not a matter of love or being a good mother, it's a matter of being an adult with a modicum of concern for a proximal child. Casey reacted without any whatsoever. And that's to say nothing of how she acted toward her parents. (Lately, I've been leaning on my parents, and worrying that I disappoint them; seeing news about the Casey Anthony trial makes me realize that I am not even an entrant in the bad-daughter sweepstakes.)
posted by Countess Elena at 5:10 PM on July 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


What about this little girl's death captivated people so? Sadly, children are killed by their parents all the time, but this case seems to have gotten an inordinate amount of attention. Is it a chicken/egg question- are people only interested because Nancy Grace & Co. have been all over it?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:13 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


My default position is to be sympathetic to any criminal defendant alledged to be "unfeeling". It seems to be code for "doesn't make the most over-the-top demonstration of grief imaginable."

This is very charitable and I have often felt a similar way -- but we locals have a disturbing extra bonus feature for the trial: For whatever reasons, the local news media is consistently keeping a camera pointed directly at Casey, with the other camera recording the general proceedings. From what I've seen of the CNN/etc coverage, the rest of the nation is only getting the latter.

The disturbing part of this is to watch the composure of Casey through many of the interviews. It is one thing to be numb or otherwise show little emotion, but you really have to see the look in her eyes when various witnesses have taken the stand. Hell, her mother and father sobbing on the stand and she has this "1,000 yard stare" glance that even made me turn the TV off because it gave me the heebie jeebies.

The proceeding through Sunday is due to the Judge's several warnings not being heeded these past few weeks when the attorneys (mainly Baez) kept interrupting the trial for what turned out to be carnival like side shows with no point. When Baez, who is supposedly going to be brought up on contempt of court charges at the end of the trial for shenanigans, tried to bring everything to a standstill on Friday, after purportedly resting his case on Thursday, Judge Perry essentially said something to the effect of "There are real problems, and there are imaginary problems" and warned they would continue through the weekend and late nights/etc, to insure this case is brought to a close reasonably. If anything I've found Perry to be too forgiving to the extended delays, and here we see him finally snapping with the jury being sequestered for over two months where a month of that was for lack of a better word the attorneys misbehaving.

God, why have I typed this much about this trial.

Anyhoo. The evidence is circumstantial enough but for whatever reason the defense threw out these completely insane theories that they never even brought up after announcing them. Credibility issues there. They've also got Casey lying about everything every step of the way. Credibility issues there, too. Does this clear the bar for first degree murder? Sadly, no, and that is why I think ericb is posting this -- despite or because of the media circus -- the real bizarre thing here is there is NO direct evidence linking the murder to her. Lots of nasty circumstance, but no direct evidence. You can't reasonably expect to clear beyond "reasonable doubt" (See what I did there) to get to murder.

The rest of the charges, though? Slam dunk.
posted by cavalier at 5:19 PM on July 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I meant to get a shot for flickr, maybe I'll do it tomorrow. Mainstream media circuses are amazing to me.

The Orange County Courthouse has the dumb luck to be sitting across the street from an empty lot at the moment -- a building was torn down during the boom but then the bust came before the new building went up.

It's like... woodstock over there. Okay, woodstock '94. Campers and RVs and big tents and, since this has gone on for long enough, temporary two story structures with larger tents for all those "Courthouse behind us" shots. It's incredible how built up and crammed in the news media is, again, due to the empty lot being right there.

Wait a minute, what am I saying, the closings are tomorrow, it's going to be a ZOO. I'll see about Monday :-P.
posted by cavalier at 5:22 PM on July 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


What about this little girl's death captivated people so?

According to the my wife, it's because the family seems so dysfunctional combined with the courtroom antics of the defense. The entire family has lied to the point where no one can tell who's lying the most or how much. Casey herself comes off as a stone cold killer and it's fascinating, on some level, to see such a creature "up close".

It's a real life Law & Order case.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:26 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else thinks Casey Anthony looks like she has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? She's pretty, but odd-looking and looks nothing like her parents.
posted by TorontoSandy at 5:35 PM on July 2, 2011


"Why I have this irrational dislike for her (Nancy) I don't know."

I know, it's because she's the debbil in a poly-cotton blend pantsuit.
posted by MikeMc at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't been following this very closely, but from a legal perspective the most interesting thing about this appears to be a morbid fascination with trying to figure out what the hell Baez is trying to accomplish.

Again, I don't know much, but from what I've seen and read it appears that his best bet would have been to offer minimal defense or none at all. The state's case on its own isn't strong enough. Instead, he's crafting this Rashoman-like narrative that cops to just about everything except the first-degree murder, in order to assert a defense that doesn't cohere with how human beings act, in order to try for an emotional appeal on behalf of a woman whose presence and demeanor freaks people out. It seems like exactly the wrong tactic.

Then you get the George Anthony stuff, where it seems (this is from what I've heard, at least) that Baez was expecting him to say that he hid the body himself, and then on the stand he denies it, and Baez doesn't have a prior statement on any record anywhere to impeach him with. For the most key piece of evidence the defense had to get out there. Thus they had to spend extra time and effort on go-nowhere sideshows in an attempt to impeach him on character grounds. Like excusing the jury so that Judge Perry could hear testimony from the ex-boyfriend about how Casey TOLD him about sexual abuse, as if that was possibly going to fly.

If anyone whose been following more closely can give me a shred of a clue about what Baez is trying to do here, I'd love to hear it. As it is, I loathe Nancy Grace but she was correct in that clip - the defense bungled this from the beginning.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:40 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


People, if you don't want to read about the trial, you're free to skip this post or even flag it and move on if you think, for some reason, that it doesn't belong here, but please don't come in and threadshit. Thank you.

I cannot speak for the other snide comments, but my beef is not with the post, or the poster (ericb being one of the best posters here of real news), but rather with the news media for creating this story out of nothing. It seems they are always chasing the next OJ trial, except he was a fallen hero, the Caseys were just your average slubs. The economy is ailing, the politicians are stalemated, as is the war in Afghanistan, and the newsworthy problems continue, yet the media, and CNN in particular, remains focused on some event which should probably remain a local story. It truly is the valium of the masses.
posted by caddis at 5:50 PM on July 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


If anyone whose been following more closely can give me a shred of a clue about what Baez is trying to do here, I'd love to hear it.

My 10-15 minutes of Googling/talking with wife says he's going for a hung jury, by playing to the largely female jury. Paint Casey as a victim and maybe there's a shot. Otherwise, even though the prosecution has no definitive proof, the circumstantial evidence is pretty bad for Casey.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:50 PM on July 2, 2011


Not to sound all "Is this something I'd have to have a TV to ..." but someone brought this up at work and I had to ask who the hell Casey Anthony was. Honest to God, I had no idea. I got some looks, let me tell you.
posted by desjardins at 5:50 PM on July 2, 2011 [15 favorites]


I am delighted that I spend so much for cable news and this is what I get to see throughout the day.
posted by Postroad at 5:54 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


My 10-15 minutes of Googling/talking with wife

But I thought I was your spouse...

*sniff*
posted by Navelgazer at 5:54 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I totally have a TV and watch it a truly disturbing amount of the time, but I must not ever watch the right channels because I had never heard of this woman until I was at the dentist's office for my semi-annual sludge scraping last month and the hygienist had some coverage on. She asked me what I thought, and I'm like, "I'm not trying to be an ass, but I have no clue."

So from a position of complete ignorance, I'd say that this topic has captivated the hearts and minds of the American public for the same reason Natalee Whatsit or Scott Peterson or that woman in Italy did: the assembled breathless talking heads decreed it should be so.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:55 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cable TV still exists?
posted by Brocktoon at 5:58 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


ericb: "Tomorrow's hearing is being broadcast on cable station CNN Headline News"

YOU DON'T SAY.

I like to leave CNN on in the background while I'm doing other stuff; it's a nice non-distracting drone that's still useful for alerting me when any Bin Ladens have been killed or whatever. But I've been having intermittent reception troubles with it lately, so I settled on HLN for awhile as a replacement till it got fixed.

I remembered it as a sort of CNN Jr., with a focus on domestic storylines but still, you know, "headline news." But apparently over the last few months they've transformed themselves into the 24/7 Casey Anthony News Network.

They act like it's the only thing happening in the world. Every day, every program, every hour is singularly devoted to the trial. Half the time the screen is a slideshow of pictures of the murdered girl, and their logo rotates evenly between "HLN" and "JUSTICE FOR CAYLEE." Every night has the contemptible Nancy Grace pontificating on the "Tot Mom" (who she deemed guilty in the court of her mind long ago) and beanplating over the minutiae of the trial with "legal experts" (and psychics!) who talk about the exact same things night after night. In a world with a sputtering economy, multiple wars, a nascent presidential election, and no shortage of salacious scandals, literally the only reference to any event outside of Orlando is Grace's perfunctory sign-off noting how many soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But it's apparently working for them. They've doubled or tripled their regular viewership depending on the timeslot, and have ginned up such outrage over the case that there are actual fistfights outside the courtroom when somebody cuts in the very long lines to attend. It's disgusting, an obscene, neverending circus. I wonder how they're going to deal when the case finally ends -- they've covered literally nothing else for the last few weeks, as far as I've seen.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:00 PM on July 2, 2011 [11 favorites]


I don't recall being captivated by this.

I hate the news.
posted by silby at 6:00 PM on July 2, 2011


*checks list*

You're on the Top 50, no question Navelgazer. Great job on laundry and dishes last month, it definitely got you otta that 3 month slump.

Don't stop now, this month the top 25 get a special surprise. You can do it!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:04 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]




So, the reason this is being referred as the "Social Media Trial of the Century" is because, uh, people are talking about it on Facebook and Twitter?

Now, if the suspects plotted the murder on Facebook in what they thought was a private exchange, and then Facebook changed the privacy settings and the murderers nefarious plot was suddenly displayed on their walls for friends of friends to see, then THAT would be a Social Media Trial of the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century. Maybe.
posted by marxchivist at 6:36 PM on July 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


They act like it's the only thing happening in the world. Every day, every program, every hour is singularly devoted to the trial. Half the time the screen is a slideshow of pictures of the murdered girl, and their logo rotates evenly between "HLN" and "JUSTICE FOR CAYLEE."

Yup. At the airports recently when I was flying with my partner that's all that was ever on the constantly-tuned-to-CNN TV sets -- Caylee, Caylee, Caylee, shrilly, shrilly, shrilly. It's like this decade's OJ, I guess.

As for the defendant, I'm not getting why the fact that she's stoic or remorseless-looking or whatever is jeebing so many people out. Actually, that's not true. Infamous defendants accused of heinous crimes tend to jeeb people out if they aren't prostrate on the floor tearing their hair out and screeching "I'M SORRY I DID WHAT I DID" at the top of their lungs every minute.

Ethel Rosenberg was called "deceptively lumpish" and "strong and recalcitrant" because she had an impassive face on the witness stand. People are trained to despise unsympathetic defendants, especially women, because their behavior or lack thereof defies our expectation of how a Guilty Female should present herself.
posted by blucevalo at 6:37 PM on July 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I haven't been following this at all, but the one time I watched a news story a month or so back, they said basically that she killed her daughter so she could be a party girl without responsibilities. Is that actually how it's being framed?

disclaimer: fwiw, I'm pretty sure this was fox news.
posted by geegollygosh at 6:45 PM on July 2, 2011


their behavior or lack thereof defies our expectation of how a Guilty Female should present herself.

Isn't it more that it differs from what Grieving and Wrongly Accused Innocent Female is supposed to look like? The dingobaby woman, for instance, who everyone decided killed her infant because she wasn't wailing like a banshee and carrying around armloads of lilies.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:46 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I only heard about this case because one weekend a few months ago I was being really lazy and watching Discovery Channel's spin-off network, Investigation: Discovery, in bed in the middle of the afternoon. and they were doing a "48 Hours" rerun from like a couple of years ago about the original case. It was kind of interesting, and it finished with one of those "Casey Anthony is now awaiting trial" kind of deals, and I pretty much forgot about it until a week or two ago when it was all over the news and I was like, "Hey, I know this story!"

I guess what I'm saying is I just polished off a bottle of Zinfandel and I'm going to go see Tim Minchin in a little while.
posted by infinitywaltz at 6:46 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


The tinfoil haberdasher in me wonders what other announcements are scheduled for this weekend that a Sunday hearing might overshadow.
posted by Mooski at 6:48 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also Nancy Grace is bad and she should feel bad.
posted by infinitywaltz at 6:48 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


The tinfoil haberdasher in me wonders what other announcements are scheduled for this weekend

***ponies up $5 for another sockpuppet***
posted by Rangeboy at 6:52 PM on July 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


The tinfoil haberdasher in me wonders what other announcements are scheduled for this weekend that a Sunday hearing might overshadow.

Six words: "Zombie Bin Laden hijacks stealth bomber."
posted by infinitywaltz at 6:53 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]




I'm way out of the media loop and somehow had Nancy Grace and Paul Deen conflated. Reading and watching about this Grace hag is really causing me some existential fear here. This is how a good number of people in this country learn about what's happening. This deeply stupid woman is a national news disseminator. Fucking shit, man.
posted by cmoj at 7:20 PM on July 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm surprised she didn't fire Baez for incompetence and request a new trial (if that's possible).

His incompetence is the whole defense strategy. She's going to appeal on "inadequate representation". It's a feature, not a bug.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 7:28 PM on July 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I listened to Adam Corolla's podcast when Dr Drew was a guest. His hypothesis is the best that I have heard. He claims addicts have been known to give their small children Xanax to make them go to sleep so that they could go out and score. Xanny the nanny, he claims, is what addicts call Xanax. His thought is that she ran out of Xanax, experimented with chloroform and accidentally killed her daughter. Sounded about right. Beyond that, I don't know much about this case.
posted by zerobyproxy at 7:31 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk." - Henry David Thoreau
posted by jcworth at 7:32 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


[go straight to MetaTalk if all you want to do is snark that you haven't heard of this before, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:32 PM on July 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


cmoj: the problem is that she's not deeply stupid, but instead monomaniacally focused on a single agenda - making sure any criminal defendant is convicted and receives the harshest punishment possible - and very, very good at what she does. As a prosecutor, her record was flawless, aside from the fact that she oftentimes had to resort to illegal or otherwise unethical means in order to keep it up. As a talking head, she's extraordinary at branding any high-profile defendant as guilty from the get-go and demonizing their counsel as irrevocably evil. She's not stupid. She's just very very dangerous.

thescientificmethod: My criminal defense supervisor had (has?) a New Yorker cartoon on her door of an attorney leaning over to his client at the defendants' table, whispering, "my incompetence is going to be the basis for your appeal." But the truth is that's funny because incompetence of counsel is a very, very tough standard to meet on appeal, and Baez hasn't done what is traditionally necessary (i.e. sleeping through proceedings, not knowing his client's actual identity, and so on.)

Not to do with anything, but a fun anecdote about that same Supervisor. Back in the day, before Rape Shield Doctrine became a real and imposed thing, she was waiting in the courtroom for a trial to defend a man accused of robery. The trial before hers was a rape case, where the victim's prior sexual history was brought up on defense. When my old supervisor's case came up, she cross-examined the witness as to whether he'd ever given money to friends or to charity. When the relevance objection came up, she simply stated, "Well, your honor, it was ruled relevant in the immediately preceding trial."

I adore that woman.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:37 PM on July 2, 2011 [27 favorites]


As for why Nancy Grace is a horrible, horrible person, here are a few samplers:


Note: the following is not in any way an attempt at snobby, dry, hipster bragging. You may however find your self envious of me.

Anyhoo.
I have never before (true story) never before UNTIL NOW seen a single minute of this Nancy Grace person.
Part of me wants to keep her around for the delicious lulz and the other, more civic-minded part of me wants to glue her to a komodo dragon and catapult her fat ass into the fiery heart of the sun.
What an awful god damn hag.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:48 PM on July 2, 2011


What about this little girl's death captivated people so?

She's a beautiful young woman who is accused of an incredibly monstrous crime for which she seems to show no remorse. If this TV show didn't exist, we would have to invent it.

The one who captivates me is Jose Baez, who seems to have obtained his degree from the David E. Kelley School of Wacky Attorneydom. It's amazing to me that he's an actual person in real life.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:54 PM on July 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


You're right, Navelgazer. I've been looking at more of her... performances and stupid is definitely the wrong word. Cynical, probably deranged. Disregard for facts or the welfare of her own fans (who I assume exist) either through greed or profound solipsism. My guess is for the latter. When anyone contradicts her wither with superior numbers or vastly enough superior facts on their side she looks down and to the left, retreating inward. You can see it at the end of the Dan Abrams v Nancy Grace video when she's being laughed at, but when the newscaster says something about her passion, she looks up like an ignored dog being offered a treat. Not to mention the fabricated details of her origin story that, when asked about, she dismisses with the strange non-answer that she, "never looked into it."
posted by cmoj at 7:55 PM on July 2, 2011


I've been watching the trial pretty much every day and been completely consumed by it. I watch the feed online, rather than getting it filtered through Nancy Grace or whoever else. And I honestly can't believe how completely incompetent the defense team is. Baez is a smug little snake who keeps trying to sneak inadmissible testimony and evidence in, Mason is basically the Simple Country Hyperchicken from a Backwoods Asteroid from Futurama, and Sims, the female attorney, must have gotten her law degree right before the trial started because she doesn't have the faintest idea of how a courtroom works, how to submit items for evidence, how to ask questions that won't be smacked down with objections, anything.

And the defense's so-called expert witnesses? Good grief. The loony forensic pathologist accused the Medical Examiner of staging photos of the remains, a forensic botanist suggested that a dog might have buried the remains in the woods, a slimy private investigator whose slurred, babbling speech was probably transcribed as "ASDF ASFA GATREGHDF ADFG ADSDFASDFASD ASDF ASDF ASDF" by the court reporter, another private investigator who had to have every single question repeated because he was apparently deaf as a post, and an airheaded grief counselor who basically testified that every single emotion or act performed by anyone anywhere is "consistent with grief." I could go on and on, but basically every single day the defense has tried one bonehead move or another, only to get smacked down by the prosecution with real lawyering.

I'm always fascinated by legal proceedings, but this is the first time I've ever sat and actually watched a whole trial in progress, without it being distilled or otherwise edited by the media, and I have to admit it's addicting. Between the lawyer shenanigans and the parade of witnesses, it's enthralling enough that I fully expect a DVD release to be marketed in the near future, complete with blooper reel.
posted by Gator at 8:13 PM on July 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


This really isn't a case where she's just not sad enough and we all judge her for it. She has a huge credibility problem because of her constant self-serving lies.

For around a month after her daughter died, she went out to clubs, partied, and generally had a grand time. She started spending a lot of time with her boyfriend, who'd said that they couldn't keep dating if they couldn't spend more time together (she had to cancel a plan with him, allegedly because of her responsibility to her daughter).

She lied to everyone about her daughter's whereabouts, saying that she was with a nanny. The nanny had been "watching" her daughter on a regular basis.

Eventually, her mother called the police, frantic with worry because she hadn't seen her granddaughter in weeks.

At that point, Casey Anthony claimed that her daughter was missing, had been missing for some time, and had been possibly kidnapped by her nanny. She claimed that she had been looking for the nanny in various places but didn't want to get the police involved because she didn't want harm to come to her child.

She then explained her partying behavior in part by claiming that, for example, she wasn't hanging out with her boyfriend at his nightclub job, she was looking for the nanny who had kidnapped her child who sometimes spent time at that nightclub.

Eventually, the nanny was found not to exist. One lie after another.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:24 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Navelgazer: "As a talking head, she's extraordinary at branding any high-profile defendant as guilty from the get-go and demonizing their counsel as irrevocably evil. "

Speaking of which, isn't it illegal for media people to proclaim the guilt of someone currently on trial? Slander or somesuch? I figured there had to be more than noble innocent-before-proven-guilty scruples behind the careful use of "alleged gunman" and "suspected murderer" on other outlets, even when it's overwhelmingly obvious the suspect is guilty.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:29 PM on July 2, 2011


I've only watched one day of the trial, but I was actually impressed by the defense attorney's cross examination and his theories are not bad considering the limitations of his case.

He has almost nothing to work with. He has the world's most unsympathetic client ever who seemed to directly benefit from her daughter's death. There is physical evidence linking Caylee Anthony's body to Casey Anthony's home and car.

The only thing he has to work with is the actual nature of the death--hiding an accidental death and lying to everyone about it is disturbing and unethical, but it's not murder.

His defense seems to stem from a remark made by Casey Anthony's ex-boyfriend Jesse--he stated that if something accidental happened to Caylee, he could see Casey trying to pretend that it never happened and escaping into a fantasy world. This was before her body was found.

The transcripts from the police interviews are fascinating, by the way.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:34 PM on July 2, 2011


The problem is that Baez and co. bothered to concoct their whole "George did it and Casey went along because he molested her" theory and then NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO BACK IT UP. Then he and his team further made themselves look incompetent by showing how they completely lack any understanding of how a courtroom works, get yelled at by the judge many times because they aren't following protocol or aren't talking near the mics/podium, etc. And then there is Baez's bizarre form of questioning, with poor syntax and confusing construction (i.e. starting every question with "Did you not....?" and sometimes followed immediately by a double-negative). I lost count of how many times the witnesses he was questioning got confused by his questions because of his lack of clarity or eloquence, as he stammered through, changed his question mid-sentence, or asked such a vague question that several witnesses had to ask him time and time again to "please be more specific". Part of me really thinks that he bungled it in order to get a mistrial declared, but then I think that would be career suicide and he doesn't seem the kind of man who would want to purposely lose face, so then I go back to just thinking that he is incompetent.

I wonder if he has any actual court experience, or is he one of those TV lawyers who do insurance and workplace injury claims and somehow this landed in his lap?
posted by 1000monkeys at 8:42 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't say much about his overall strategy, because I haven't been following it.

My thought about his questioning was that it was purposefully designed to confuse the jurors, the witnesses, or both. Especially when they were going over forensic evidence (the only day of trial I watched) he was actually doing quite a good job of muddying the waters on testimony that was technical and confusing to begin with.

Do you think that's valid, or am I giving him too much credit?
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:56 PM on July 2, 2011


Yeah, that was my first impression too, the young rope-rider. I just can't decide if he's an idiot or if he just thinks that he's cleverer than he really is (or that the jury is stupid).
posted by 1000monkeys at 9:00 PM on July 2, 2011


Why I have this irrational dislike for her (Nancy) I don't know.

Because Nancy Grace is a jackal who preys on victims of violent crime. If no more women and children were raped and murdered, everyone would be better off except for her. She makes me wish I believed in hell.


For all her moralizing, every scrap of food that goes into her demented mouth is paid for by using murdered innocents as props in her puppet show. She contributes nothing, literally, to the defense, prosecution, etc. She fertilizes her fields of ignorance with the blood of children and harvests the resulting outrage and that is what puts bread on her table. She is the closest thing we have to an actual vampire.
posted by umberto at 9:13 PM on July 2, 2011 [20 favorites]


I think Baez is trying to make a name for himself and it has backfired on him enormously.

He had the most high-profile American case since O.J., with a weak case on the side of the state, and was hoping to use the defense's case to score some valuable screen time.

Instead, it appears that he let through two key pieces of state's evidence that should have never been admitted (the hair and the "smell" of the trunk, both of which were based on not-yet-widely-accepted scientific methods) and didn't nail down the testimony of his key witness. He wasted time publicly trying to admit blatant hearsay, pissing off the Judge and bringing greater attention to the fact that the defendant wasn't going to take the stand. All to build an emotional appeal around the thoroughly unrelatable acts of an unsympathetic woman.

If he were properly defending his client, he would have simply kept the hair and smell evidence out and then said nothing on defense. Let the state's case be that she owned duct tape and once made a google search about chloroform. Perhaps, if it seemed really necessary, call Casey to testify, and let her appear afraid and shaken. She's apparently well practiced at lying - I'm sure she could have managed the cross-examination for an hour or so.

But I think he wanted the spotlight. He should have thought more carefully about that.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:21 PM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


The disturbing part of this is to watch the composure of Casey through many of the interviews. It is one thing to be numb or otherwise show little emotion, but you really have to see the look in her eyes when various witnesses have taken the stand. Hell, her mother and father sobbing on the stand and she has this "1,000 yard stare" glance that even made me turn the TV off because it gave me the heebie jeebies.

Keep in mind that Casey has been in jail since 2008. Whether she meant to kill her daughter or not, by this point I'd think she'd have long run through the gamut of emotions and the "1,000 yard stare" is how she gets through the day. I was hearing a lot about this case back when all the news was first coming out, and I actually thought the trial was already happening because of how much the news was already poring over every detail. So her lack of emotion at this point is not surprising.
posted by wondermouse at 9:34 PM on July 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


And the sad irony, both from the performance from Baez and the depiction of the proffesion from Grace, is that Defense Attorneys are known within the legal circles as the hapless, idealistic do-gooders. We are the foolish underdogs. And yet Nancy Grace assumes that cases are taken based on a judgement of whether a client is guilty or innocent and Baez fucks up his clients case in bush-league ways in the most public case in fifteen years for greater attention on himself and...

There are student attorneys who could have handled this better. This is inexcusable.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:52 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mentioned it to my brother, after a bit of researched he muttered "If you're gonna kill your kid you should do a better job than Casey Anthony"
posted by hellojed at 10:06 PM on July 2, 2011




After reading the J. Edgar Hoover thread, I popped over to this one. Despite being a Florida resident, I've been judicious in avoiding the Anthony hype. Despite that I still somehow know a disturbing amount about the case.

Anyway, my point in posting is not so much Casey Anthony as Nancy Grace. After reading this thread and seeing the various clips of her, I've become a believer in reincarnation. When America's Stalin, J. Edgar Hoover died, his twisted, evil soul transferred into little Nancy Grace. Instead of Nancy Grace, hero doctor who saved lives, or Nancy Grace, beloved school teacher, we have Nancy Grace, crypto-fascist scaremongering media personality. Nancy Grace, who equates the American concept of justice, that one is innocent until proven guilty, with the dictates of Adolf Hitler. Nancy Grace, who gleefully ruins the lives of the innocent. If Nancy Grace is not the modern incarnation of America's Stalin, it's only because she carries no actual political power.

Every single aspect of the Casey Anthony trial is an indictment of America. It shows us as wholly rotten to the very core.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:09 AM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


ooh, ooh! I think I can answer some questions here. I've recently been sucked into this case (by which I mean I've been listening in to live streams of court testimony, and have also spent time reading the back story, looking at related documents and media, and following some of the blogging covering the trial.)

In my opinion, it's almost a "perfect storm" for public obsession for several reasons, chief of which may be Florida's remarkably expansive freedom of information laws (often called the Sunshine law(s)), which means that there's not only open court, but also every bit evidence introduced into court is freely available for armchair sleuths and prosecutors to peruse in detail, including stuff like jailhouse videos of visits to the defendant, personal letters, notes and diaries, personal phone, email, IM records -- everything.

If you check out some of the better blogs covering the case you can find an astonishing depth of both single and crowd-sourced collated material, including timelines and calendars accounting for every day of a 2-3 month period that assemble physical activity/statements/emails/IMs/texts, and during critical days even phone pings for locations.

I'm completely convinced that some of the bloggers covering this have a deeper and more thorough knowledge and understanding of all the facts related to the case than the defense team does.
..............................................................

Aside from this, other elements that draw all the case- (and Casey-)obsessed kiddies to the schoolyard, in my opinion:

A Deeply Dysfunctional Middle Class Family that for most people following the case look, and seemed to act, like "us." These people are neither rich/famous nor drug-dealing/fringe Others whose lives and thought processes we cannot begin to understand. They are your neighbors, or yourselves, for a majority of people. And guess what? Most people can gawk and say, okay my family has its quirks and shame and troubles, but at least we aren't *this* messed up.

The Young, Attractive White Female, whether she's the victim or the murderer, is the perennial mainstay of true-crime fascination. Full stop.

The Adorable Toddler is a "perfect victim" if you will, the epitome of innocence wronged. There can be no doubts introduced or aspersions cast about the character of the victim here; no one can feel that the victim "asked for" or participated in the events surrounding the crime. There is absolutely no ambiguity involved in wishing "Justice for Caylee," and people (especially women) with children are particularly invested in the scenario surrounding her death.

Sex Sells, and we get to be privy to a lot of Casey's bedhopping, flirting, texting, and general shenanigans, as well as the specter of possible incest raised by the defense, and the mystery of baby Caylee's paternity.

Imagery: Casey uploaded hundreds of images of herself and her daughter to the internet. We see her with her child looking like the doting mom, we see her drunk and puking, we see her dirty dancing with another woman, we see her at an Anything-But-Clothes party, we see her with various beaux and friends at clubs. We see videos of the child and various oddments from the internet that Casey collected and uploaded. We see jailhouse videos of visits, and we see her face and every fleeting expression for the entire duration of the trial. There's never been a criminal case so thoroughly saturated with imagery for the curious.

Aberrant Psychology is always fascinating, and there can be no doubt that the defendant is a pathological liar at the very least, and certainly seems to display every trait and characteristic of a sociopath while appearing to be a normal, attractive, rather charismatic young lady. The breathtaking audacity of her lying (and stealing) and specific details of her imaginary nanny, friends, and coworkers predates the events of the crime by several years, and her utterly calm and detailed outrageous yarn-spinning in statements to the police under the most intense and stressful circumstances is shocking and incomprehensible to most of us who can't tell even a wee white lie without it telling on our face or in our mannerism.

The Defense, The Prosecution, and The Judge are all fascinating characters. Is Jose Baez stupid like a fox? Or just stupid? His general smirking and strutting make him a fabulous villain, and his so-often wrongheaded approach to even his own witnesses becomes compelling. Will he manage to turn yet another defense witness into a witness for the prosecution? Stay tuned! The prosecution team are amazingly smart and polished, seemingly prepared and knowledgeable about even the most technical and complex of forensic testimony, often able to totally flummox experts on the stand regarding aspects of their own field. You could pluck these two main prosecutors out of real life and drop them right into television roles on any number of popular crime dramas. We've heard about "dream teams" for the defense, but these guys seem to be a dream team for the prosecution. And the judge could also be the hero of his own TV series: the calm, sharp-as-a-tack, painstaking and meticulous chief judge whose light at first seems hidden under a homespun affable bushel, he effortlessly deflects apparent actions by the defense team to cause a mistrial, and runs his courtroom with an iron fist in a cotton glove while dropping soundbites such as "Mr. Baez, this is not my first rodeo." Pretty much everybody loves his honor.
..............................................................

So, while there is more than enough mystery to go around in this case, the question of why it seems to have become an obsession for so much of the general public and a media circus is not really a mystery.
posted by taz at 12:59 AM on July 3, 2011 [30 favorites]


Nancy Grace is the embodiment of Burroughs' "decent church-goin' woman". The problem is not that she exists (she is Legion), the problem is that she is on television.
posted by fullerine at 1:20 AM on July 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


an airheaded grief counselor who basically testified that every single emotion or act performed by anyone anywhere is "consistent with grief."

Couldn't that be kind of a good thing, though? Since no two peoples' responses to either the Unspeakable Sadness of a toddler's accidental death or their own culpability in their child's death are going to be alike, shouldn't a jury be reminded that there isn't a textbook-perfect-onesizefitsall response to either scenario? I mean, if she were tearing her hair and rending her garments people would snark that her gestures were histrionic, insincere, and fake.

Sorry, I'm not good at being coherent about the Casey-Caylee Anthony thing. It's just so goddamn sad no matter what.

What a hell of a thing to happen in Florida, what with its sunshine laws and whatnot.
posted by Neofelis at 1:39 AM on July 3, 2011


I hadn't been paying attention to this trial so I'm not that acclimated to seeing Ms. Anthony's attorney's name, and I keep reading it in this thread as Joan Baez, and let me tell you, that is some serious cognitive dissonance right there.
posted by palomar at 1:45 AM on July 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's interesting to think that Nancy Grace's unrelenting blood-lust will eventually be exactly what takes her down. Because you know sooner or later she's going to fuck something up, somewhere, she'll be hiding a drug addiction or she'll have a bunch of orphans in her basement knitting bras and panties out of crystallized tears or something, and no one will forgive her and her career will be over.

On the other hand, Rush Limbaugh.

Never mind.

(Still I enjoy how the woman loves a witch hunt and everyone thinks she's a witch. She's so dynamic.)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:30 AM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


life and truth is stranger than fiction
posted by 404 Not Found at 2:57 AM on July 3, 2011


I had never seen this Nancy Grace person until Friday, when I was trapped in a hospital waiting room and forced to hear her commentary on this case. Hideous. After I read some of the above-linked accounts of her other behavior, she's gained a place near the top of my list of People the World Would Be Better Without.


She is the closest thing we have to an actual vampire.

I think the word you're looking for is ghoul.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:11 AM on July 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that people are interested in this trial because the defendant and her alleged motive make their own narcissism seem tame. "I may be selfish and secretly unfeeling to the needs of anyone except myself, but I'm not that bad. Wow, I feel pretty good."
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:32 AM on July 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Closing statements are now in progress, and the judge has specifically told Baez he cannot mention the sexual abuse allegations in his closing because there was not a shred of evidence or even reasonable inferences produced during the trial to support those allegations. So that's out.

shouldn't a jury be reminded that there isn't a textbook-perfect-onesizefitsall response to either scenario?

I presume that point will be made, but the point (as I understand it) of calling this fluffball to testify at all was to prove that Casey's lies and denial were evidence of grief. However, on cross-examination, the prosecution got her to admit that it could all be evidence of guilt just as easily.

In some ways, I actually think more people should take an interest in this country's legal system and the way it works -- the way it really works, and not the way shows like "Law & Order" and "CSI" and "The Practice" portray it to be. Like how lawyers are actually not given miles of leeway in the courtroom to admit inadmissible evidence and testimony, for example, so if you ever find yourself on the wrong side of a jury, you're going to have a much harder time than you probably think, even if you have a clever lawyer.
posted by Gator at 6:37 AM on July 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's interesting to think that Nancy Grace's unrelenting blood-lust will eventually be exactly what takes her down. Because you know sooner or later she's going to fuck something up, somewhere, she'll be hiding a drug addiction or she'll have a bunch of orphans in her basement knitting bras and panties out of crystallized tears or something, and no one will forgive her and her career will be over.

You'd think that would have happened with the person she interviewed committing suicide, but no.

I think the word you're looking for is ghoul.

A certain R. Pickman would disavow any connection with Grace.
posted by JHarris at 7:01 AM on July 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


My thought about his questioning was that it was purposefully designed to confuse the jurors, the witnesses, or both

Exactly like Nancy Grace.

See the problem is that a perfectly smart (or cunning) person can figure out that people are really mostly very stupid, lazy, emotional, and easily manipulated with speculative and imagistic language. And we are busy dismantling whatever was left of the infrastructure that sustained the ability of some people to do slightly better, ironically at the very moment in history when the average person has access to more facts, opinions, and perspectives than ever before.

America, fuck yeah. Casey Anthony is us. We look at her and see the mirror image of our vain, affectless, merciless, sleepwalking society. Maybe the Oprahites are right and we really were all secretly abused as children and now have tragically low self-esteem. But I'm leaning more towards the self-preserving, narcissistic liar who would say anything (or nothing) to avoid confronting the truth as the master trope here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:27 AM on July 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's like this decade's OJ, I guess.

This decade got ripped off.
posted by Talez at 8:53 AM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I find this case fascinating from the forensic pathology aspect of it.

Without concrete anatomical evidence of trauma, how can you make the diagnosis of Homicide?

I agree that duct tape over the mouth of skeletonized remains is very suspicious and that not reporting the alleged drowning is shady behavior, but would it have killed the case for the forensic pathologist to be honest and call the cause of death undetermined?
"

Medical examiners aren't required to find their determination beyond a reasonable doubt, but rather can have varying levels of confidence based on circumstances. It's entirely honest for an ME to determine this was homicide.

"I listened to Adam Corolla's podcast when Dr Drew was a guest. His hypothesis is the best that I have heard. He claims addicts have been known to give their small children Xanax to make them go to sleep so that they could go out and score. Xanny the nanny, he claims, is what addicts call Xanax. His thought is that she ran out of Xanax, experimented with chloroform and accidentally killed her daughter. Sounded about right. Beyond that, I don't know much about this case."

I stumbled onto the Dr. Drew show (because it sounded hilarious) and saw him discussing this theory with call-in viewers. He's fucking deranged. He got that theory from some unsourced caller and ran with it — and he's been not at all shy about calling Casey a monster, etc. He's in high dudgeon and has previously been willing to go along with insane drug scare propaganda with reports of fictitious designer drugs and their crazy effects. Dude was a moderately normal sexologist shrink who has let fame go to his head and feed an unrelenting moralizing ego.
posted by klangklangston at 9:50 AM on July 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


How many times has the media told us an innocent person was guilty? Off the top of my head: Richard Ricci, the Duke Lacrosse Team, Gary Condit, the anthrax guy... and if you were around in the 70s and 80s let me throw in all the satanic ritual abuse cases.

It could be asked the other way, too, but the point here is that (now) I am extremely suspicions of myself any time I think I am sure about someone's guilt, if all I know of it comes from the news and miscellaneous outlets. That sounds obvious, I know, but it is amazingly difficult to stop yourself from doing it.

So Casey Anthony, is she guilty? I didn't watch the trial, yet I know she did it. But I can't tell you how or why, accidental or purposeful, anything.

I'm sure she did it, but I know it only because the news told me to know it. I can pretend that I understand the psychological relevance of partying the night the kid goes missing, but do I know that she didn't tear her hair out in grief and take ten valiums before losing her mind completely and then going out partying? "That would have come out." Really?

My near certainty of her guilt comes from nothing other than the single narrative being offered by the news, as if what I am being offered are facts, complete facts, not... a story.

I am almost ashamed to admit this: I finally truly understand the black perspective on the OJ trial.
posted by TheLastPsychiatrist at 11:20 AM on July 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


I am almost ashamed to admit this: I finally truly understand the black perspective on the OJ trial.

Hey ya'll, we converted another one!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:34 AM on July 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


You can watch live streaming of the trial on your iPod/iPad without buying an app here.
posted by nuala at 2:11 PM on July 3, 2011


Hmm. Baez did a half-decent job of closing arguments, although he seemed to violate the crap out of Judge Perry's orders.

I personally just feel that she did it. I don't know if it was intentional, accidental, or what. I don't believe the defense's story about George finding Caylee's body and hiding it in the woods. Maybe I'm brainwashed by the media. I admit that IS a possibility. Maybe I'm judging her based on her bizarre and inappropriate behaviour after (what we now know as when) Caylee died.

However, if I were a juror, I would have to push aside my own emotional and even intellectual feelings. I wouldn't be able to find her guilty of premeditated murder. I just wouldn't. There isn't enough evidence. I could definitely find her guilty of obstruction of justice, lying to the policy, wasting tax payers money (if there's such a crime). I might be comfortable of finding her guilty of manslaughter. I would hazard to guess that the jury will find her guilty of manslaughter and obstruction (if those options are on the table) but I can't see the jury, in good faith, finding her guilty of 1st degree murder, given what the prosecution has presented as evidence. Of course, that is in spite of Baez and co's defense, not because of it. I almost think they would have done better to just speak during closing and opening arguments.
posted by 1000monkeys at 2:56 PM on July 3, 2011


I agree with you 1000monkey. I couldn't convict based on the evidence either. You can include a couple more crimes though...child neglect/endangerment and failure to report a death.
posted by snsranch at 3:11 PM on July 3, 2011


America, fuck yeah. Casey Anthony is us. We look at her and see the mirror image of our vain, affectless, merciless, sleepwalking society.

What? No, we don't.
posted by sweetkid at 5:55 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find this story horrifying. Reading about it makes me want to throw up and then cry.
posted by humanfont at 6:41 PM on July 3, 2011


I don't know why people seem convinced she killed her child. I'm perfectly willing to believe Caylee drowned accidentally, and then the family covered it up. I'm also perfectly willing to believe they covered it up for terrible, terrible reasons - they didn't want an autopsy because the child was being beaten, or molested or drugged or a million other reason that say Really Bad Parenting.

I feel like there's a disconnect here - people just feel that anyone who was that lackadaisical and indifferent and hapless and selfish a mother must be such a statistical outlier that of course she killed her dead child. But of course, legions of children are being raised by families far, far worse than the one poor Caylee got and their parents are not killing them.

I'm still where I was when this story really broke - bad parenting, yes; murder, no.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:13 PM on July 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that, at best, she accidentally killed her while trying to restrain her or keep her quiet. Putting duct tape over someone's mouth is really, really dangerous if you're not monitoring them closely.

Is that murder? According to Florida law, I'm not sure.

I also think that she had a significant motive. Having a daughter was really wrecking her love life. Women (who are bad parents) put their children in harm's way for their boyfriends all the time.

I don't think her family covered it up, or at least her mother had nothing to do with it. If you listen to her mother's 911 calls, and the witness interviews about how her mother was talking to her, it's obvious that she had no idea what was going on. Additionally, if she were covering it up, why call 911 and report it?
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:49 PM on July 3, 2011


Yeah, I heard the 911 tapes and what struck me was how panicked the grandmother was. And that Casey hadn't said anything about Caylee being missing for a month, and then said the babysitter took her. Even if the death was accidental, that's just...that's beyonf bad parenting.

I don't think it's fair either to criticize people for looking "unfeeling" or whatever, but that's usually thrown around in cases where the person shows up in press conferences hours and days after the disappearance of their loved one. This woman waited a month to tell her parents that her very young daughter was missing, didn't call 911, blamed it on the babysitter, and then led the police on a wild goose chase of lies, making up where the babysitter lived and other important details.
posted by sweetkid at 8:12 PM on July 3, 2011


The young rope-rider wrote:
I also think that she had a significant motive. Having a daughter was really wrecking her love life. Women (who are bad parents) put their children in harm's way for their boyfriends all the time.

I thought about that too. Did anybody else find it strange that Caylee would sleep in the same bed with Casey and her boyfriend (a guy she wasn't going out with for that long in the first place)? And that the boyfriend couldn't even be sure whether or not they ever were "intimate" while the little girl was in the same bed with them? Doesn't exactly sound like smart or appropriate parenting to me, as much as the defense wanted to paint her as a good mother.
posted by 1000monkeys at 8:38 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


And I find it extremely bizarre that apparently nobody has been able to figure out WHAT exactly Casey was doing while she pretended to be working at Universal Studios and where she got her money from.
posted by 1000monkeys at 8:39 PM on July 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm perfectly willing to believe Caylee drowned accidentally, and then the family covered it up. I'm also perfectly willing to believe they covered it up for terrible, terrible reasons - they didn't want an autopsy because the child was being beaten, or molested or drugged or a million other reason that say Really Bad Parenting.

I can believe that Caylee might have drowned or otherwise died accidentally, and then Casey covered it up, but I don't believe for a second that George, a former policeman, wrapped the body in identifiable items from the household and tossed it nearby the house... or tossed it further away from the house, and then a meter reader found the body, kept the body for a couple of weeks, then dropped it off near the Anthony home in August, calling it in a couple of times and then waiting until December and calling it in again.

I do definitely believe the family covered up whatever Casey did from almost the beginning (immediately after the 911 call from Cindy that set things in motion), because in their first statements, they all said they last saw Caylee on June 9 – but no, it turns out Cindy had taken Caylee to visit her father (Caylee's great grandfather) on June 15 for Father's Day, and there was video to prove it.

These seem the only reasonable possibilities:
  1. Caylee died by accident (such as drowning), and Casey covered it up
  2. Caylee died at Casey's hand but it was unintentional, and Casey covered it up
  3. Caylee was murdered by someone else, but Casey was involved and she covered it up
  4. Caylee was murdered by Casey, and Casey covered it up
The defense really should have made a case for #1 without all the silliness about George and the meter reader, and they would be in much better shape right now. This is all they had to say:

Casey fails to graduate high school (missing only half a credit). What does Casey do? She hides it from her family.

Casey becomes pregnant. What does Casey do? She hides it from her family.

Casey is fired from her job. What does Casey do? She hides it from her family.

Casey's daughter dies by drowning in the family pool. What does Casey do? ...

Boom.
posted by taz at 10:40 PM on July 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


What? No, we don't.
posted by sweetkid


Maybe you don't, but millions of people are hooked on this carnival sideshow and are watching it constantly, all day every day, and watching commentary about it in the evening.

Those people are seeing themselves, and as always when confronted with an image of themselves, cannot look away.

"We" was too broad, of course. Plenty of Americans find this whole thing appalling and wish it would go away. I have become very opposed to televising trials in the last decade or two.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:39 AM on July 4, 2011


Maybe you don't, but millions of people are hooked on this carnival sideshow and are watching it constantly, all day every day, and watching commentary about it in the evening.

New high ratings for HLN --coverage of Casey Anthony trial.
posted by ericb at 7:48 AM on July 4, 2011


I think the most shocking thing to me about an open trial has been that any individual connected to the case in any way may be subject to minor or outrageous defamation of character during the course of the trial with no recourse (as far as I can determine) to clear their name – and in a trial that receives this kind of publicity it conceivably means that the rest of your life/career could be irreparably damaged.

Aside from that, this was the first trial I've seen/heard any significant part of (including the OJ trial, though I was still in the U.S. at that time), and the process was fascinating to me. I'm not embarrassed for being interested, and I've learned a lot. I have my serious doubts about this level of transparency in such sensationalized cases, but I'm not ashamed that I did watch/listen to/read about this trial.

I'm not attracted to lurid sex/violence stuff (way, way too squeamish), but I'm very interested in criminal psychology, and the psychological aspect of public consumption of such cases, as well as psychological aspects of trials and the processes of the entire legal and justice system. I think that the first thing that I heard about this case that drew me in was something about the accused mother having a "flat affect" in the early questioning, which immediately made me think of the poor "dingo ate my baby" mom, and prompted me to look up details, at which point I was drawn in further because of the unusual behavior of the mom before and during the investigation... and then the curious behavior of the family, as well as the fact that this had become a public obsession in the US (which I was initially unaware of, and haven't been exposed to where I am).

So, I've listened and watched and read related material, and I'm not at all surprised that others have as well. There are many ways of viewing it: Bread and circuses during a particularly trying economic and political period in the U.S.? Conveniently (but not conspiratorially), yes. Right wing/fundamentalist/family values frustration with women not acting as they should? Sure. Yet another blurring between entertainment and news, reality and reality programming? Yes. I think all those charges would stick – and more. But this is also a case that is just intrinsically interesting because if Casey Anthony is guilty of murdering her daughter as charged, she's one of those everyday sociopaths that we are warned about in articles and TV shows and books like "The Gift of Fear" and "The Sociopath Next Door," etc. – and we would be evolutionary dropouts not to pay close attention and learn about dangerous threats disguised as everyday items. It is in our ("hard-wired") nature to be more fascinated with aberrant behavior than typical family or social dynamics, because it alerts us to the factual existence (and possible signs and signals) of otherwise unsuspected danger.
posted by taz at 11:25 AM on July 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


If this was a terrible accident (Casey Anthony accidentally gave Caylee an overdose while trying to quiet her or put her to sleep, Caylee drowned in a pool, etc.), then why the duct tape over the mouth?

That is the most sinister thing in the case. In combination with all the circumstantial evidence relating to Casey Anthony's opportunity and behavior, and the car, I would probably find her guilty if I were on the jury.

Speaking of aberrant psychology, here is Casey Anthony's amazing "June 21" diary entry (which could not be proven to date from June 2008), taken from Wikipedia:
I have no regrets, just a bit worried. I just want for everything to work out OK. I completely trust my own judgment and know that I made the right decision. I just hope that the end justifies the means. I just want to know what the future will hold for me. I guess I will soon see – This is the happiest that I have been in a very long time. I hope that my happiness will continue to grow– I've made new friends that I really like. I've surrounded myself with good people – I am finally happy. Let's just hope that it doesn't change.
posted by knoyers at 12:03 PM on July 4, 2011


Knoyers, I think if there were any way at all to tie that to the crime it would have been a highly featured component of the prosecution's argument. Apparently, it could have been written at any point within a four-year period (the time between when the particular diary was manufactured and sold, which is said to be 2004) and when it was confiscated. Going by the entry, it was probably written on a June 21, but nobody can say that it was written on June 21, 2008, and there were no regular entries made to suggest that it was anything connected with this case. From what I've read, even the pen color/type (and possibly ink age) indicate it was probably written at an earlier date.

But I agree about the tape. I first thought that the duct tape was probably was only used theatrically, to try to mislead investigators that it was a kidnapping/murder (while the actual death may have been an accident). But then you wouldn't also put the child's body, wrapped in plastic bags and her own blanket, into a laundry bag that was easily identifiable (as one of a pair, leaving the other one in place) from your own home if you were staging a stranger-danger kidnapping.

The duct tape, if the majority of forensic testimony is correct, is really the ultimate item. If it was an accident that the defendant couldn't admit to, there would have have been no duct tape. If there was an effort to make it seem like a kidnapping/murder, the body would not have been contained in a laundry bag from the family home. Which leads to the conclusion that duct tape was used pre-death, and not to just stage a kidnapping. Which is why the defense was so desperate to pin the duct tape part on anybody else, even though those scenarios made absolutely no sense. I don't blame them, but their alternative scenarios were unbelievable. They would have been better to say "Who knows why Casey does anything? Look at her history. Does any of it make sense? So now, her daughter dies by drowning, and she goes half crazy. She wraps her up, applies duct tape, and the puts a heart sticker on the tape. She wraps her in a favorite blanket; she carries in an identifiable laundry bag, but doesn't bring her anywhere. She ignores it as long as possible, then finally realizes she has to part with the body. And afterward, she pretends it never happened. She lies. Like always."

I truly don't know how I would weigh all the evidence if I were a juror, but the prosecution offered a bizarre theory: (Caylee dies in pool; George something something we-must hide-the-body!; Casey doesn't protest because of sexual abuse; George something something (applies tape?) and disposes of the body; meter reader something something (applies tape?) recovers and keeps body, then puts body in a different place, and calls 911, but it isn't found; then forgets about it, then calls again four months later. TAADAAA!

eek. Bad theory of defense.
posted by taz at 3:53 PM on July 4, 2011


I wonder if he has any actual court experience, or is he one of those TV lawyers who do insurance and workplace injury claims and somehow this landed in his lap?

Guilty that I know this much, but...

Baez was a lawyer recommended to Casey by a fellow inmate when Casey was arrested (the first time?) Later on, her parents--particularly her mother--tries to question Baez's competence in a jailhouse visit video and Casey digs in and insists that she is handling it herself. The prosecution took some glee in playing that video in the courtroom before the jury over Baez's protests. This is Baez's first big case and, from what I am told by my relatives in the Florida criminal lawyer community, he was primarily trying DUI and other smaller cases prior to this case. More about Baez's career discussed here.
posted by jeanmari at 9:08 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


CNN reporting verdict reached, to be announced 2:15 EST.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:43 AM on July 5, 2011


I couldn't hear all the charges, but Not Guilty of 1st degree murder, Not Guilty of child abuse. I think she was guilty of lying to a police officer. Wow.
posted by rakim at 11:21 AM on July 5, 2011


Unfuckingbelievable.
posted by Maisie at 11:21 AM on July 5, 2011


I hear the live verdict streaming from computers all over the office. Its like a cacophony of tv sets all playing mostly the same thing.
posted by caddis at 11:22 AM on July 5, 2011


What the fuck?
posted by josher71 at 11:22 AM on July 5, 2011


Hopefully Nancy Grace just exploded.
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:23 AM on July 5, 2011 [18 favorites]


Not guilty of all the charges, except the 4 of lying to a police officer. I guess Baez will be looking at a long and prosperous career as a Fox News legal commentator for the rest of his days after pulling this out.
posted by marylynn at 11:24 AM on July 5, 2011


Will the prosecution seek the death penalty for this?
posted by mazola at 11:24 AM on July 5, 2011


I can't believe this. Not even manslaughter? Are you kidding me? I sure hope these jurors are willing to step up and explain this.
posted by Gator at 11:26 AM on July 5, 2011


Jesus. I wouldn't throw my cat's dead body in the woods let alone a child. I am completely gobsmacked.
posted by Maisie at 11:29 AM on July 5, 2011


Holy crap I can't believe she got off.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:29 AM on July 5, 2011


The defense threw enough stuff at the wall and some of it stuck - confusion masquerading as reasonable doubt. Circumstantial cases are really tough to prosecute and the lack of physical evidence screws a lot of those cases (CSI effect). Lying to police isn't comparatively that big a deal so, what, time served?
posted by marylynn at 11:30 AM on July 5, 2011


Fascinating. I wonder what the jury will have to say about it. I have a feeling they expected TV-level quality forensics to lock in the case.

I'd put $1 down that at least one is going to mention that there was none of Casey's DNA or fingerprints on the duct tape.
posted by chimaera at 11:30 AM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


This *is* this decade's OJ trial!
posted by mazola at 11:31 AM on July 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have the unfortunate feeling that even though the judge carefully explained that "reasonable doubt" does not mean "any possible doubt," the jurors may have taken Baez's ludicrous speculations as enough doubt to count as reasonable. Gah.
posted by Gator at 11:32 AM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I really don't like how prosecutors will stack multiple charges on a defendant in the hope that something results in a conviction if other charges do not. Either charge her with murder or manslaughter, not both. The child abuse and lying to police charges are redundant if you are going after someone for killing their child.
posted by riruro at 11:34 AM on July 5, 2011


Remind me to move to Florida before I murder my toddler. Jesus motherfucking Christ.
posted by item at 11:35 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder where she's planning to live since I doubt dear old dad's going to be welcoming her back into the nest.
posted by Maisie at 11:38 AM on July 5, 2011


Apparently the jury (or some of them, anyway) will be making a statement shortly, after Baez has a chance to crow. I'm actually a little nauseated.
posted by Gator at 11:39 AM on July 5, 2011


Yeah, she will undoubtedly need security as well.
posted by josher71 at 11:39 AM on July 5, 2011


I'm going to go watch some Dexter now...
posted by BobbyVan at 11:42 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I look at this case, all I can see is a woman who had a kid she didn't really want. I wish this train wreck of a situation would turn into a productive conversation about having family planning education and services available to everyone. I know it won't, and I know I'm probably reading too much into an incomplete story.

I'm assuming the "lying to police" thing involves the creation of an imaginary nanny and the subsequent wild goose chase. That's a bit more than just saying "I didn't do it," when you did.
posted by giraffe at 11:43 AM on July 5, 2011


Baez's anti-death penalty speech was a little weird.
posted by item at 11:50 AM on July 5, 2011


I mean, I fucking hate that I agree with him, but I do.
posted by item at 11:51 AM on July 5, 2011


Mason's "I hope you've all learned a lesson about being jerks in the media, you media jerks" speech was...um...Shut up, Mason.
posted by Gator at 11:52 AM on July 5, 2011


Mason's "I hope you've all learned a lesson about being jerks in the media, you media jerks" speech was...um...Shut up, Mason.

Amen.
posted by josher71 at 11:53 AM on July 5, 2011


When I look at this case, all I can see is a woman who had a kid she didn't really want. I wish this train wreck of a situation would turn into a productive conversation about having family planning education and services available to everyone. I know it won't, and I know I'm probably reading too much into an incomplete story.

Not to be too glib, but I don't think you're supposed to abort two year old girls. This situation might have benefited from better adoption education and services, however.
posted by BobbyVan at 11:53 AM on July 5, 2011


From Twitter: Toddlers are rioting.
posted by ColdChef at 11:55 AM on July 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


From Twitter: Toddlers are rioting.

So, just an ordinary day then.
posted by rakim at 12:00 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


From Twitter: Toddlers are rioting.

Can't we all just get along?
posted by BobbyVan at 12:00 PM on July 5, 2011


Yeah, we won't have Nancy Grace to kick around anymore, I'm sure her head has exploded. The little bit I've seen and read about this (mostly reading this thread and links over the weekend) I've come to the same conclusion I came to after devoting a lot more attention to the O.J. case: I'd like to lock up just about everybody associated with this case.
posted by marxchivist at 12:05 PM on July 5, 2011


If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit!
posted by Justinian at 12:07 PM on July 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


When I look at this case, all I can see is a woman who had a kid she didn't really want.

When I look at it, I see a situation that I know nothing about--unlike the news networks, who are there to sell guilt and get people emotionally involved in a lynch mob. No idea if she did it or not. I just know that the jury sat there for many, many days, saw all the evidence, and then voted 12-0 to acquit in near record time.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:08 PM on July 5, 2011 [14 favorites]


Where is the link to the defense timeline of events after the lies were seen through?
posted by josher71 at 12:14 PM on July 5, 2011


When I look at it, I see a situation that I know nothing about--unlike the news networks, who are there to sell guilt and get people emotionally involved in a lynch mob. No idea if she did it or not. I just know that the jury sat there for many, many days, saw all the evidence, and then voted 12-0 to acquit in near record time.

To be fair, the trial was televised and the media and many in the public saw the same evidence as the jury (except for maybe the grisly photos of Caylee's body). A curious person can know much more about this case than simply the verdict of a jury. An intelligent person can also disagree with the verdict without being Nancy Grace.
posted by BobbyVan at 12:16 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


And apparently the jury has declined to speak to the media, no doubt knowing exactly what the reception would be.
posted by Gator at 12:18 PM on July 5, 2011


My girlfriend thinks Casey will end up in porn, as it's the only industry that will have her.

I think I agree.
posted by item at 12:19 PM on July 5, 2011


Will the acquittal of Casey Anthony result in widespread baby rioting?
One can only hope.
Cuz that sounds adorable.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:21 PM on July 5, 2011


I was thinking the same thing. She certainly won't be able to get any sort of real job, so she'll probably live on the money she'll get from selling interviews, a book and movie deal, etc. for a while, but she's got a long life ahead of her and she won't be able to sell interviews for long.
posted by Gator at 12:21 PM on July 5, 2011


So... any thoughts on what the title of her book will be?
posted by desjardins at 12:22 PM on July 5, 2011


So . . . is she going to go on a hunt for "the real killer" now?
posted by exlotuseater at 12:23 PM on July 5, 2011


"Not guilty" doesn't mean "innocent". It means the state failed to prove its case.

Can they retry her under Florida law? There's no way they're going to just let her walk.
posted by jokeefe at 12:25 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess If I Did It is already taken...
posted by Gator at 12:25 PM on July 5, 2011


desjardins: "If I Did It", natch.
posted by jokeefe at 12:25 PM on July 5, 2011


Damn, gator!
posted by jokeefe at 12:26 PM on July 5, 2011


So... any thoughts on what the title of her book will be?

La bella vita
posted by mazola at 12:27 PM on July 5, 2011


Can they retry her under Florida law? There's no way they're going to just let her walk.

Nope. That's be double jeapordy. She's done in criminal court.
posted by item at 12:28 PM on July 5, 2011


Hey Dad! I'm hooooome!!!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:29 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


As much as I think Casey Anthony did it, I also think that the jury did their jobs and it's sad that they will be castigated for it.
posted by muddgirl at 12:32 PM on July 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


As for why Nancy Grace is a horrible, horrible person, here are a few samplers:

Nancy Grace was out raping puppies tonight -- prove she wasn't.
posted by homunculus at 12:34 PM on July 5, 2011


Meanwhile, according to the re-tweets I've seen, Kim Kardashian is outraged over Twitter about a shocking not guilty verdict for someone who most people were pretty sure was guilty... which is... um... awkward.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:35 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, according to the re-tweets I've seen, Kim Kardashian is outraged over Twitter about a shocking not guilty verdict for someone who most people were pretty sure was guilty... which is... um... awkward.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:35 PM on July 5 [+] [!]


Yeah, even KIM KARDASHIAN could see that Casey Anthony was guilty, FFS.
posted by Maisie at 12:37 PM on July 5, 2011


Kim Kardashian probably wants the inevitable movie role.
posted by ladygypsy at 12:37 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


A curious person can know much more about this case than simply the verdict of a jury. An intelligent person can also disagree with the verdict without being Nancy Grace.

Think of it this way. They saw literally more than one hundred times more evidence. And they saw both sides of the story. They know more about the case than we do. A lot more.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:37 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


As much as I think Casey Anthony did it, I also think that the jury did their jobs and it's sad that they will be castigated for it.

And I think it's sad that the jury didn't ask to see a single piece of evidence when deliberating. Not one.

They were tired and wanted to go home, or in the case of one of the jurors, on his scheduled July 7th international cruise.
posted by item at 12:38 PM on July 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eli Braden
@elibraden

ME TOO!! ITS LIKE WHEN YOUR DAD HELPED GET O.J. OFF!! RT
@KimKardashian: WHAT!!??!! CASEY
ANTHINY NOT GUILTY!!!! I'm
Speechless!!!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:39 PM on July 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


The cause of death was never determined. I'd imagine that probably played into the whole "reasonable doubt" thing.
posted by giraffe at 12:41 PM on July 5, 2011


I mean, those cruises are nonrefundable. Good thing he'll still be able to make it!
posted by item at 12:42 PM on July 5, 2011


Think of it this way. They saw literally more than one hundred times more evidence. And they saw both sides of the story. They know more about the case than we do. A lot more.

Again, the trial was on TV for the whole country to see. I'm not aware of any evidence (aside from a few gruesome photos) or testimony that wasn't made available for public scrutiny.
posted by BobbyVan at 12:42 PM on July 5, 2011


That's right, as I said upthread, I pretty much watched the whole trial, and saw all the testimony and evidence that the jury saw. I also got to see a lot of the shenanigans that the jury wasn't allowed to see, like the part where Baez was threatened with contempt proceedings for his CONSTANT attempts to introduce inadmissible testimony and evidence, just as an example.
posted by Gator at 12:46 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


International cruise?!

A friend's wife was among those called and considered for jury duty in the M. Jackson trial in Santa Barbara (Calif.) County. She told the judge that she and her husband had booked and paid for an international vacation, brought all the documents to substantiate this and she was promptly excused.

It seems damned odd that someone would end up in any jury pool when they have extra motivation to get on outta there by a certain date.
posted by ambient2 at 12:50 PM on July 5, 2011


Can they retry her under Florida law? There's no way they're going to just let her walk.

No way. As a matter of fact, she could come out and confess it all in front of the media and they couldn't do thing one about it. The 5th amendment prevents it:

"...nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb..."

which basically means once there's an acquittal, there's no way there can be any more charges against her for this crime.
posted by chimaera at 12:51 PM on July 5, 2011


They were tired and wanted to go home, or in the case of one of the jurors, on his scheduled July 7th international cruise.

A guilty verdict is as fast as an innocent one. The judge could rule a deadlocked jury before then, as well.

And I think it's sad that the jury didn't ask to see a single piece of evidence when deliberating. Not one.

Is this unusual? What evidence do you think they should have requested, had you been in their shoes?

It's easy for us to armchair-jury this, but they don't have the luxury of watching and reading endless analysis of every piece of evidence. They saw the evidence presented by the prosecution and it wasn't enough to convince them. This is how our system works.
posted by muddgirl at 12:52 PM on July 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hey Casey imma let you finish but OJ had the best murder trial acquittal of all time!! ALL TIME!
posted by cavalier at 1:04 PM on July 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's easy for us to armchair-jury this, but they don't have the luxury of watching and reading endless analysis of every piece of evidence.

Well, since I'm not in Florida's jury pool (and I thank the gods for this), and since I followed the case with interest, yeah, I'm gonna 'armchair-jury this'. It doesn't harm anyone for me to have an opinion - it's not like my know-it-all-ism is going to convict or sway anyone's opinion who matters (or anyone's who doesn't matter).

I do think that the jury is suspect, though, and I thank my lucky fucking stars that I've never been brought before a jury of my 'peers', because I'm of the pigheaded opinion that way, way too many of my peers are the Doritos casserole-eating, Mixed Martial Arts-watching, Fox News-believing type.
posted by item at 1:14 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


which basically means once there's an acquittal, there's no way there can be any more charges against her for this crime.

Ah, okay, in Canada the Crown would appeal the verdict.
posted by jokeefe at 1:14 PM on July 5, 2011


And don't be disrespecting casseroles, item.
posted by jokeefe at 1:16 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never said you can't have an opinion: I even stated my opinion. But I'm NOT questioning the jury's decision because they were (intentionally) presented with a completely different set of facts than we were. I have no idea how I would have voted, had I been in their place.

I do think that the jury is suspect, though

Why? Or are you questioning jury systems altogether? That's a completely different conversation.
posted by muddgirl at 1:16 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I had been on the jury, I would have asked to see the records of the computer searches and website visits. I'm kind of surprised that the IT person who sat on the jury didn't.
posted by Maisie at 1:17 PM on July 5, 2011


OK, not completely different. But as stated before, we were witness to lots and lots of stuff that the jury didn't see, which can't help but color our opinion against the defense.
posted by muddgirl at 1:17 PM on July 5, 2011


Yeah...If only the jury had had 24-hour non-stop, wall-to-wall cable pundits screaming at them about how utterly guilty guilty guilty she was, they might have gotten it right...
posted by Thorzdad at 1:19 PM on July 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


Think of it this way. They saw literally more than one hundred times more evidence. And they saw both sides of the story. They know more about the case than we do. A lot more.

Again, the trial was on TV for the whole country to see. I'm not aware of any evidence (aside from a few gruesome photos) or testimony that wasn't made available for public scrutiny.


Unless you are insanely wealthy and obsessed, you didn't actually review all the evidence they did. Also, you did not have access to the written reports which the jury did.

Listen, it is really easy to overestimate one's knowledge of a case when the TV is insisting that you know all you need to know. But you didn't look at 1% of the written evidence nor sit through the days of evidence they did. That was their job for weeks.

Let me relate a story. I'm an attorney and I was in law school during the OJ trial. My dad is a lawyer of many years experience and was on disability at the time and watched giant chunks of the trial. He'd call me up near-daily and say "Rob! they are going to lose this trial! This prosecutor is blowing it, there's no way they will vote to convict!" Yet TV journalists tried to convince us they were certain that OJ would be found guilty. They were wrong.

And they were wrong here.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:20 PM on July 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ironmouth, the jury didn't ask to see any of the evidence during their deliberations, so I don't think they availed themselves of the written reports.
posted by Maisie at 1:26 PM on July 5, 2011


Let me relate a story. I'm an attorney and I was in law school during the OJ trial. My dad is a lawyer of many years experience and was on disability at the time and watched giant chunks of the trial. He'd call me up near-daily and say "Rob! they are going to lose this trial! This prosecutor is blowing it, there's no way they will vote to convict!" Yet TV journalists tried to convince us they were certain that OJ would be found guilty. They were wrong.

But your Dad probably didn't think OJ himself was innocent, did he? Lots of smart lawyers kept pretty close track of the Casey Anthony trial. Did any of them think she was actually innocent of the charges?

There are two separate conversations going on here. One is whether the prosecution adequately met its burden before the jury in a circumstantial death penalty case. The other is whether the evidence that we the public saw was convincing of Casey Anthony's guilt. I think the reasonably informed person can have an opinion that Casey Anthony killed her daughter based on the evidence and testimony in the public domain.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:32 PM on July 5, 2011


Not to be too glib, but I don't think you're supposed to abort two year old girls. This situation might have benefited from better adoption education and services, however.

"Family planning" is not a euphemism for abortion. The point is about an ounce of prevention and all that.

I think the reasonably informed person can have an opinion that Casey Anthony killed her daughter based on the evidence and testimony in the public domain.

No one is disputing this, as far as I can read. Again, I personally think that Casey Anthony probably killed her daughter. I ALSO think that the jury came to a reasonable decision.
posted by muddgirl at 1:33 PM on July 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Any chance Anthony will be brought up on the original child neglect/ endangerment charges that were dropped when she was charged with murder? It's not capital punishment stuff, but mislaying her child for a month surely comes with some penalty.
posted by nicebookrack at 1:35 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The other is whether the evidence that we the public saw was convincing of Casey Anthony's guilt. I think the reasonably informed person can have an opinion that Casey Anthony killed her daughter based on the evidence and testimony in the public domain.

Anyone can have an opinion. I just think that thinking you know more than the 12 people who made the decision, simply because you disagree with it, even though they spent a lot more time in that court room, actually saw the witnesses, is not an opinion with a lot of factual merit. The jury saw way more evidence than you. They were in court every single day, for every word of testimony. You were not. You can tell yourself you are more informed, than those 12 people, but I won't credit it as being an informed opinion, especially if you are relying on evidence rightfully excluded by the judge. Because you are doing more than second guessing the jury, you're second guessing the evidentiary rulings of an experienced judge. That's a whole lot of knowing better than more informed and more involved people.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:43 PM on July 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Never discount the effect of watching the trial live, in the courtroom, from the jury box.

Every facet of the proceeding is aimed directly at you. The attention is on you. The life of a human being is in your hands. It's not easy. You don't have the distance of a tv to insulate you. You don't have the commentary of talking heads explaining every action. You don't have commercial breaks. You're living this mess live and in-color for weeks.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:01 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the reasonably informed person can have an opinion that Casey Anthony killed her daughter based on the evidence and testimony in the public domain.

Of which there is an astonishing amount, because of Florida's FOI laws. You can read the interviews with the witnesses and with the defendant, peruse cell phone records and read volumes of text messages, see internal memos regarding the case, listen to recorded calls made by Anthony to family and friends from jail, etc. I think it's possible to gather from all this a sense of who Casey Anthony is-- the kind of person she is-- and yet still not be convinced by the State's case, which has to be presented to a certain standard. I can believe that Anthony is a sociopath and still be unsure as to what happened the day her daughter disappeared; and you can't convict somebody based on your sense of things. The simplest, and I'm sure the most accurate statement about the events is that she killed her daughter, accidentally or by intention, and tried to cover it up by dumping the body and lying to an astonishing degree-- a degree which suggests that she simply constructs her own version of reality on the wing, making adjustments as necessary and ignoring anything that might disturb her fantasies-- but proving that in a court of law is much more slippery. They couldn't get to her to admit to anything, even when presented with the most blatant evidence of her lying. Even when she took them to Universal Studios where she had told them she worked (from where she was actually fired two years earlier) and didn't admit that she wasn't employed there until they were actually in a building where her office supposedly was, whereupon they sat her down in meeting room right there and hammered her on her lies and inconsistencies, she wouldn't budge on her story. I think it's possible she believed it herself at that point.
posted by jokeefe at 2:04 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think anyone here can make the argument that this jury made this decision on reasonable grounds. 12 people went into a room and came out with a decision. That's all we know for certain about their decision making process. They could have been philosopher-kings; they could have flipped a coin.

As for the merits of the decision itself, and our ability as outsiders to have an informed opinion about it: if the argument is that no person outside jury sequestration can adequately recreate the experience of a particular juror in this case, fair enough... but I think that argument is a little silly.

I seriously doubt that the jury is aware of any exculpatory information (to the extent that it exists) about Casey Anthony about which the interested public is not aware. I also know that vast majority of the evidence that convinced the interested public of Casey's guilt was presented in trial.

One can argue, like muddgirl, that the jury's decision was reasonable. But for that position to be defended, the question that must be answered is "could a reasonable person have concluded that there is reasonable doubt that Casey was guilty of either murder, manslaughter, or child abuse?" To answer that question, you need to have an independent opinion about the information presented to the jury.

Speaking for myself, I have a difficult time imagining a reasonable person coming to that conclusion.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:10 PM on July 5, 2011


By that argument, every jury trial is suspect, because there will always be someone who disagrees with their conclusion and thinks it was not reached in a rational manner. Better to just let all of America, perhaps via some kind of internet poll or with American Idol-style phone polls.

(Also, I believe the child abuse charges were dropped, so that's irrelevant to the jury's decision.)
posted by muddgirl at 2:13 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Not guilty" doesn't mean "innocent"
Yes it does.
posted by fullerine at 2:16 PM on July 5, 2011


"Not guilty" doesn't mean "innocent"

Yes it does.


No, it really really doesn't. Are you entirely unfamiliar with the justice system?
posted by chimaera at 2:18 PM on July 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


I was at the DMV when the verdict came down, and I was pretty surprised — it really did seem like she did it, and it looked (from what I'd read) like her incompetent attorney was going to get her fried.

(Which, congrats to Baez, by the way. He ran what everyone seemed to regard as an utter shit show and still won.)

I got to thinking about the other big case of the day, the DSK rape thing, and how if in a case where there's a very strong but circumstantial argument to be made for guilt, how much harder it is to actually convict someone of sexual assault when the testimony has to be a lot more clouded.

It also reminded me of my time on jury duty, when we voted to acquit a guy who was 80 percent likely to have been driving drunk, but who had a plausible alternate account of the events and whom the prosecution couldn't prove their case against. At some point, trials are just epistemological exercises.
posted by klangklangston at 2:18 PM on July 5, 2011


By that argument, every jury trial is suspect, because there will always be someone who disagrees with their conclusion and thinks it was not reached in a rational manner. Better to just let all of America, perhaps via some kind of internet poll or with American Idol-style phone polls.

I think that's an extremely uncharitable reading of my argument. What I'm saying most of all is this: let's not abandon our own rational and critical thinking skills just because a jury rendered a verdict. Their verdict may be final, but it's by no means unimpeachable on intellectual grounds.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:21 PM on July 5, 2011


Hey guys!
Remember like 8 years ago when everyone was gettin all worked up about Laci Peterson?
Well at least that resulted in the best song ever recorded.

(Note: this was created by some dude that didnt know any of the people involved in this. Also the youtube was uploaded by someone named "nevertrustamuslim" which means Bonus Lulz for all of us.)

Best parts are at 1:30 and 2:40
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:22 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh my god
posted by marxchivist at 2:33 PM on July 5, 2011


Hey guys!
Remember like 8 years ago when everyone was gettin all worked up about Laci Peterson?
Well at least that resulted in the best song ever recorded.


That song sounds eerily similar to this one.
posted by stifford at 2:49 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: They could have been philosopher-kings; they could have flipped a coin.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:04 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


They could have been philosopher-kings; they could have flipped a coin.

I'm going to use those lyrics in a song one day, if I can find any reasonable way to do it.
posted by chimaera at 3:09 PM on July 5, 2011 [3 favorites]



They could have been philosopher-kings; they could have flipped a coin.


I just came off a month as a juror in a criminal trial in CA ~ they actually instructed us (much to my amusement) that we could not do that.
posted by cdalight at 3:11 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is it possible to both believe that she did it and believe that this is how our judicial system should work that if you can't conclusively prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone committed murder, that they can't be convicted? Because that's pretty much where I'm at.

Her not being convicted doesn't mean she didn't do it, it means that the prosecution can't make the case based on the evidence available to them well enough to convince 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt that she did. From what I know of the case, I'm both certain that she did it and absolutely certain that were I on the jury, I couldn't in good conscience vote to convict because the evidence pinpointing her to the body is pretty sketchy at best.

That's how the justice system works. And it sucks that there are fringe cases like this where the verdict is so obvious and yet doesn't meet the actual burden of proof. But hey, that's why it's called a justice system and not a revenge system. (Which is the impression that I get when I hear things like "JUSTICE 4 INNOCENT VICTIM!" - sure, but what you actually mean is "SOMEBODY GOTTA PAY" which isn't the same thing.)
posted by sonika at 3:25 PM on July 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


Are you entirely unfamiliar with the justice system?
Apparently I am, until proven familiar with it.
posted by fullerine at 3:34 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lawyers don't just throw around approximations. One is presumed innocent until proven guilty, yes, but that's not how trial verdicts work.

There is not (at least in the US) any verdict of "innocent" that a jury can render (in Scotland, apparently, there is a third verdict called "not proven" but this is Florida), because the jury's job is not to determine whether the defendant is innocent; the jury's job is to determine whether the prosecution has provided sufficient evidence that they can declare the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Therefore the options are "yes, the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" or "no, the defendant is not guilty to that standard." Declaring innocence is not in their remit.

Perhaps I've aided your familiarity a bit.
posted by chimaera at 3:55 PM on July 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Every facet of the proceeding is aimed directly at you. The attention is on you. The life of a human being is in your hands. It's not easy. You don't have the distance of a tv to insulate you. You don't have the commentary of talking heads explaining every action. You don't have commercial breaks. You're living this mess live and in-color for weeks.

Agree 1000%. This is a feature of the US justice system, not a bug. There should be more of it. We should not be throwing people in jail unless we are damn sure they are guilty. And by sure, I mean "convinced by facts" rather than the conventional "I jist *know* she done did it! What kind of mother would let her daughter go and get murdered!!?! OMGs." (The Nancy Grace strategy.)
posted by gjc at 3:59 PM on July 5, 2011


Therefore the options are "yes, the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" or "no, the defendant is not guilty to that standard." Declaring innocence is not in their remit.

That's an important distinction. But a "not guilty" is as good as an "innocent" as far as the law goes.
posted by gjc at 4:02 PM on July 5, 2011


. From what I know of the case, I'm both certain that she did it and absolutely certain that were I on the jury, I couldn't in good conscience vote to convict because the evidence pinpointing her to the body is pretty sketchy at best.

Where was she for those 30 days that Kaylee was "missing" and she hadn't told anyone about that? I'd convict her on that alone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:04 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's an important distinction. But a "not guilty" is as good as an "innocent" as far as the law goes.

I would say it's *effectively* the same. But that's not how this got started. It got started when someone said "not guilty" does not mean "innocent" and Fullerine said "Yes it does."

It does not. If his response to me was "it's effectively the same" then I can't dispute that. But legal terminology is very specific for good reasons, and "not guilty" may be considered functionally equivalent to "innocent" but it does not MEAN "innocent."
posted by chimaera at 4:06 PM on July 5, 2011


Under normal circumstances, I don't dig in my heels over semantic issues, but when it comes to law, the very core of law IS terminology and semantics.

One betrays ignorance of that fact when they start asserting congruence for terms that, equivalent or not, really DO mean different things.
posted by chimaera at 4:09 PM on July 5, 2011


What does HLN stand for? I had never heard of this channel before. I (now) know it is related to CNN which I don't watch either. Just curious.
posted by futz at 4:21 PM on July 5, 2011


Headline News, futz.
posted by nuala at 4:22 PM on July 5, 2011


Well that is lame. I even went to the website. Gah!
posted by futz at 4:26 PM on July 5, 2011


And why is Dr. Drew a go to guy for this case? CNN keeps going to him. Talking heads just talking? Wait, I'm being stupid...I just answered my own question. But seriously, Dr. Drew?
posted by futz at 4:36 PM on July 5, 2011


And why is Dr. Drew a go to guy for this case? CNN keeps going to him. Talking heads just talking? Wait, I'm being stupid...I just answered my own question. But seriously, Dr. Drew?
posted by futz at 4:36 PM


Could be awkward when Casey shows up on "Celebrity Rehab" (Amy Fisher is on it now and she was found guilty)

Anyway, I think this is a shameful verdict.
posted by knoyers at 4:49 PM on July 5, 2011


Where was she for those 30 days that Kaylee was "missing" and she hadn't told anyone about that? I'd convict her on that alone.

I couldn't. Especially not with the death penalty on the table. Like I said, I'm certain that she's responsible for the crime - but this is exactly the problem. Where she was for those 30 days is a question that hasn't been answered. There's nothing (that I've seen) to nail down that she was involved in this, or any other, crime during that time period.
posted by sonika at 4:49 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did her parents think that she was working at Universal Studios for those two years or was this a lie to the police by her, never thinking that her worlds were about to collide? Did she have another job during this time or just pretend to have one? Has this ever been answered?
posted by futz at 4:57 PM on July 5, 2011


There's nothing (that I've seen) to nail down that she was involved in this, or any other, crime during that time period.

If she's lying about the disappearance of Caylee and so many other things, then it's beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was involved in it. She'll have plenty of time on death row to remember anything she's left out.

I get what you're saying, the prosecution might have reached too far and ultimately been unable to prove what they say happened.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:05 PM on July 5, 2011


I'm with sonika.

I'm sure she tried to cover up her daughter's death. I'd happily vote to convict her of any charges like obstruction or lying to the cops.

But I don't know the manner of Caylee's death, or what Casey's motives were for covering it up. Maybe Casey strangled her. Maybe she died because Casey was supposed to be watching her but was partying instead. Maybe she was covering for someone else. Maybe it was a pure accident and sociopathic Casey thought it could somehow be milked for cash.

Evidence that Casey is a lying sociopath is not evidence that there was any murder, much less a murder by Casey.
posted by tyllwin at 5:05 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Where was she for those 30 days that Kaylee was "missing" and she hadn't told anyone about that? I'd convict her on that alone.

Adding to this point: I can't think of a reasonable explanation for the mountain of circumstantial evidence in this case that points in any direction other than that Casey killed her daughter.
posted by BobbyVan at 5:07 PM on July 5, 2011


Adding to this point: I can't think of a reasonable explanation for the mountain of circumstantial evidence in this case that points in any direction other than that Casey killed her daughter.

But no actual evidence. Circumstantial evidence is enough to convince our hearts of something, but it thankfully was not enough to send this person to jail for murder. We can't be convicting people of murder based simply on faith.

This is a good result. The system works. The state couldn't *prove* she was guilty, she doesn't have to go to jail.
posted by gjc at 5:17 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Circumstantial evidence is evidence, and it can be enough to convict when it points to only one reasonable conclusion. This is well established in criminal law.
posted by BobbyVan at 5:25 PM on July 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I agree with much of the sentiment here, but there is a tremendous difference between murder 1 and failure to report a death or any other number of crimes that seem to have been committed.

We just don't know and the case wasn't proven beyond reasonable doubt.

My only hope for this case is that the real story will eventually surface.
posted by snsranch at 6:20 PM on July 5, 2011


Circumstantial evidence most certainly is enough to convict someone. Scott Peterson was convicted on circumstantial evidence.
posted by Maisie at 6:49 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if dear Nancy feels any latent guilt talking to a former sheriff about the verdict while he's stationed in Afghanistan, a theater of war that hasn't been mentioned on her network since April.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:57 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Not guilty" doesn't mean "innocent"

Yes it does.

No, it really really doesn't. Are you entirely unfamiliar with the justice system?
posted by chimaera at 2:18 PM on July 5


Can you please expand on this for me? My (probably false) understanding is that the judicial system functions on a presumption of innocence (that one is innocent until proven guilty). If guilt is not proven the presumption of innocence remains (that is, in the eyes of the law she continues to be presumed innocent of the crime).
posted by smithsmith at 7:09 PM on July 5, 2011


Circumstantial evidence most certainly is enough to convict someone. Scott Peterson was convicted on circumstantial evidence.

True enough, but they're not the same case. Also, in the Peterson case you have the death of a woman and a near full-term fetus - which to quite a lot of people is a double murder. I honestly don't know what I would have done on that jury - depends on the evidence - but it appears that there was more to go on, forensically, than in this particular case. Two different cases, two different juries.

The unfortunate part of this, to me, is that the not guilty verdict can't be overturned in the same way that a guilty verdict could. I absolutely believe the jurors were right to find Casey Anthony not guilty if they weren't provided sufficient evidence to sustain a guilty verdict - but even if the "smoking gun" is found later, there's no appeal. She's done - even if they find video documenting exactly what happened to Caylee that shows that Casey was indeed the perpetrator - the prosecution can't go back and retry the case the same way the defense could if evidence was found to absolve her.

It's such a huge mess and there's just no good outcome. I think if the prosecution had stuck to manslaughter, they might have been able to get life in prison. Murder 1 and the death penalty were just too far to stretch the evidence, or lack thereof. (I'm no fan of the death penalty myself, so I'm grateful that the bar was set *really* high for attaining it. Still, doesn't mean that the verdict feels "good" even from my Armchair Jurying point of view over here.)
posted by sonika at 7:14 PM on July 5, 2011


I haven't followed this case closely enough to comment, but I hope this doesn't become a cause célèbre for politicians and pundits to campaign to lower the standards of evidence required to convict someone of a crime, particularly capital crimes. I've suffered through enough heartbreaking documentaries and magazine articles on people falsely imprisoned/executed to last me a lifetime.

It is probably worthwhile recalling at this point the somewhat tired maxim: Better that X number of guilty people go free, than execute or imprison one innocent person.
posted by smithsmith at 7:18 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hope this doesn't become a cause célèbre for politicians and pundits to campaign to lower the standards of evidence required to convict someone of a crime, particularly capital crimes. I've suffered through enough heartbreaking documentaries and magazine articles on people falsely imprisoned/executed to last me a lifetime.

I don't think you have to worry TOO much. Casey Anthony is white.
posted by desjardins at 7:23 PM on July 5, 2011


Circumstantial evidence most certainly is enough to convict someone. Scott Peterson was convicted on circumstantial evidence.

True enough, but they're not the same case. Also, in the Peterson case you have the death of a woman and a near full-term fetus - which to quite a lot of people is a double murder. I honestly don't know what I would have done on that jury - depends on the evidence - but it appears that there was more to go on, forensically, than in this particular case. Two different cases, two different juries.


Agree, and I would add that his circumstantial evidence was a lot more relevant that the evidence was here. Not the least of which being arrested with a "fleeing from justice" kit. The "evidence" here seems to be google searches and a lot of selfish behavior. That's not a standard for murder I'm willing to accept. A lot of people have been jailed and put to death wrongly because of circumstantial evidence.
posted by gjc at 7:24 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope this doesn't become a cause célèbre for politicians and pundits to campaign to lower the standards of evidence required to convict someone of a crime, particularly capital crimes. I've suffered through enough heartbreaking documentaries and magazine articles on people falsely imprisoned/executed to last me a lifetime.

I don't think you have to worry TOO much. Casey Anthony is white.


What a horrible, ignorant thing to say.
posted by gjc at 7:27 PM on July 5, 2011


Sonika, there were lesser included charges, so the jury could have found her guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of first degree murder. They didn't.

I just heard an alternate juror who called into one of the shows on HLN covering this. Despite the fact that zero evidence was presented to show that this was an accident -- in fact, evidence to the contrary was presented -- that's what he believes happened. He also thinks George Anthony was involved and lied on the stand.

I think part of the reason I find this verdict so disquieting is that if Caylee's body had been found earlier, the ME might have been able to find a cause of death. Her body wasn't found earlier, though, because Casey lied and lied and lied all while her daughter was rotting in a garbage pile in the woods and being torn apart by animals. I wish she'd at least been charged with improper disposal of a corpse or SOMETHING.

It's also interesting to hear her parents' statement on the verdict. They clearly think she did it.
posted by Maisie at 7:28 PM on July 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't think you have to worry TOO much. Casey Anthony is white.

I don't understand what your point is and I don't think you do either.
posted by smithsmith at 7:29 PM on July 5, 2011


I saw Nancy Grace referred to as a grief pornographer on another website. I thought that was pretty spot-on.

Not sure how I feel about the verdict. The whole damn thing reminds me too much of my own early childhood. There but for the grace, et cetera. Poor Caylee.

.
posted by palomar at 7:36 PM on July 5, 2011


>I don't think you have to worry TOO much. Casey Anthony is white.

I (think I) understand what desjardins is saying, and it's neither horrible nor ignorant. But I'll let her expound, if she's so inclined.
posted by cyndigo at 7:54 PM on July 5, 2011


Never discount the effect of watching the trial live, in the courtroom, from the jury box.

I've been a juror on a murder trial (in California). It's an interesting and frustrating experience. The prosecution only gives enough information that they think will be enough to convince you to convict, and the defense only pokes holes in that story or provides additional information. You don't get the whole story.

In this case, as in the OJ case, the trial was televised and the public has access to a wider and different range of information than the jury does. Some of that information may have been rightfully excluded. Some of the information might not have been presented because the prosecution fucked up (like not introducing OJ's "suicide note"). The jury only sees what they see, then they decide if the prosecution proved the charges beyond a reasonable doubt or not.

If I had been on the jury, I would have asked to see the records of the computer searches and website visits.

Were the records introduced as evidence during the trial? If they weren't, the judge would've denied the request because it's not jurors' job to introduce evidence.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:58 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"If I had been on the jury, I would have asked to see the records of the computer searches and website visits."

Were the records introduced as evidence during the trial? If they weren't, the judge would've denied the request because it's not jurors' job to introduce evidence.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:58 PM on July 5 [+] [!]



Yes, that was how the prosecutor sought to establish premeditation. Ms. Anthony reportedly searched on "chloroform," "how to make chloroform" and "neck breaking" several months before the child's death. That search history was the only search history deleted from the family computer. Large amounts of chloroform were found in the samples from the trunk of Ms. Anthony's car along with evidence that a decomposing body was in it for several days. But I guess that's not very compelling evidence in light of the fact that Ms. Anthony's fingerprints weren't found on the duct tape that the prosecution showed covered Caylee's mouth and nose, even though the duct tape, like Caylee's body, was left out in the elements (and after Tropical Storm Fay, underwater for some months) for 6 months.
posted by Maisie at 8:13 PM on July 5, 2011


I don't think you have to worry TOO much. Casey Anthony is white.

This is one of those statements that sounds more clever than it really is.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:22 PM on July 5, 2011


Some of the information might not have been presented because the prosecution fucked up (like not introducing OJ's "suicide note").
I just read that note (first I've heard of it). I don't understand what it's supposedly evidence of, that the prosecution fucked up in not introducing it. In it, he plainly asserts that he didn't do it.

Is the mere idea that he was thinking about killing himself somehow evidence that he committed those murders? Or perhaps is there something I'm missing in what he wrote?

Could you please explain? Thanks.
posted by Flunkie at 8:28 PM on July 5, 2011


No, it was my cue that I should have gone to bed earlier. Sorry about that, folks. Nothing to see here, carry on. G'night.
posted by desjardins at 8:29 PM on July 5, 2011


sonika: even if the "smoking gun" is found later, there's no appeal. She's done - even if they find video documenting exactly what happened to Caylee that shows that Casey was indeed the perpetrator - the prosecution can't go back and retry the case the same way the defense could if evidence was found to absolve her.

I request clarification from any hovering legal scholars, because I've been under the assumption that the prosecution could do (sort of) exactly that? That is, obviously prosecutors can't just bring the same charges against the same person with the same evidence over and over until they hit the jury jackpot. But I thought that if meaningful new evidence came to light (like a smoking gun or video document), prosecutors could bring charges, because it's a new case.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:19 PM on July 5, 2011


Nicebookrack, I know that in England and Australia double jeopardy can be discounted for fresh and compelling evidence in life sentence cases (this is a fairly recent change) but I believe this is not the case in the United States.
posted by smithsmith at 9:32 PM on July 5, 2011


Sorry - when I say Australia, I should clarify I mean my home state - New South Wales. Not sure what the law is in other states.
posted by smithsmith at 9:34 PM on July 5, 2011


There are some instances in US law where a person can be tried more than once for the same offense. For instance, one can be tried for violating state law as well as federal law (as happened to Rodney King's attackers), or for a civil offense as well as a criminal one (as happened to OJ Simpson). The Wikipedia article on double jeopardy in the United States goes into more detail and discusses a few other narrow technicalities that suspend double jeopardy protections, such as bribery of a judge.

I don't know if any of these apply to Anthony's case, but I'm guessing not, since Nancy Grace and friends would likely be clutching for any alternative routes to her execution like a drowning man for a life preserver.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:44 PM on July 5, 2011


As far as I understand it, prosecutors don't get another bite at the apple even with new potentially damning evidence. That's part of the reason that I really wish that the DA's office had waited to bring this to trial. I think they bowed to pressure and went in without enough evidence, circumstantial or not. As long as there was an even remotely plausible explanation for how Caylee died this verdict was a fait accompli. Would you want to vote to convict a woman you couldn't be sure didn't have a child who'd died accidentally and did the wrong thing by dumping her but didn't actually commit murder? I wouldn't.
posted by nuala at 11:28 PM on July 5, 2011


As in the OJ case, there is one more small "hanging chad" (sorry, FLA!) in this case: a civil suit. In this case it's very unlikely there will be one from the family of the deceased, but there is one already in motion, as I understand it: the defamation case of the real Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzales. I have read that it was deferred while Casey Anthony was on trial for murder, though I imagine that now her lawyers wish they had settled it earlier instead of delaying it.

Since all the Anthony family – but especially Casey – are likely to now make a lot of money from media sources, this may become a big deal. The woman apparently didn't know the Anthony family at all, and lost her job, became unemployable, was the object (along with her family) of death threats and harrassment, couldn't leave the house or send her kids to school. We'll see what happens with that.
posted by taz at 3:54 AM on July 6, 2011


Yesterday afternoon, I said: "My girlfriend thinks Casey will end up in porn, as it's the only industry that will have her."

I've just seen this: TMZ - Casey Anthony Could Be Killer XXX Star.

What a world. Where should I go to demand my cut?
posted by item at 5:29 AM on July 6, 2011


Is the mere idea that he was thinking about killing himself somehow evidence that he committed those murders? Or perhaps is there something I'm missing in what he wrote?

Simpson's lawyer Robert Kardashian read the note to the media as OJ was on the run in the low-speed Bronco chase, which he started instead of turning himself in to the police as his lawyers had agreed. OJ had a change of clothing, a large amount of cash, a passport and a disguise kit, which are all evidence of an intent to flee. He also had a gun, which he held to his head during the car chase (his friend Al Cowlings was driving). Oh, and he signed the note with a smiley face.

The chase and the note sound very much like the behavior of a guilty person, and none of it was brought up in the trial.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:22 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm beginning to think this OJ fellow was not as innocent as the verdict suggests!
posted by mazola at 8:57 AM on July 6, 2011




CNN to Cover New Casey Anthony Murder Trial When Nancy Grace Kills Her -- "Angry Anchor ‘Could Blow Any Second,’ Network Says."
posted by ericb at 12:39 PM on July 6, 2011


Big bucks in pipeline for Casey Anthony? -- "Acquitted of daughter's murder, lucrative network, book, movie deals await."
posted by ericb at 2:22 PM on July 6, 2011




I am still hoping that someone knows the answer to the question that I asked upthread:

Did her parents think that she was working at Universal Studios for those two years or was this a lie to the police by her, never thinking that her worlds were about to collide? Did she have another job during this time or just pretend to have one? Has this ever been answered?
posted by futz at 2:35 PM on July 6, 2011






I am still hoping that someone knows the answer to the question that I asked upthread:

Did her parents think that she was working at Universal Studios for those two years or was this a lie to the police by her, never thinking that her worlds were about to collide? Did she have another job during this time or just pretend to have one? Has this ever been answered?
posted by futz at 5:35 PM on July 6 [+] [!]


From what I understand, her parents thought she was working at Universal Studios for those 2 years. Evidently she didn't have any other job.
posted by Maisie at 7:24 PM on July 6, 2011


The problem is that Baez and co. bothered to concoct their whole "George did it and Casey went along because he molested her" theory and then NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO BACK IT UP.

Can George Anthony sue Jose Baez for libel?
posted by mazola at 8:09 PM on July 6, 2011


(of course I mean slander/defamation)
posted by mazola at 8:21 PM on July 6, 2011


Well, at least she got sentenced to 1 year on each misdemeanor with the sentences to run consecutively. And it sounds like Florida is going to seek reimbursement for the cost of the investigation related to the false missing person report.
posted by Maisie at 6:45 AM on July 7, 2011


And it sounds like Florida is going to seek reimbursement for the cost of the investigation related to the false missing person report.

I heartily approve of this. They should bill her for every damn penny.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:07 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


They didn't show us a motive.

Pretty much proving my point that the proliferation of cop-and-lawyer TV shows is having a deleterious effect on juries in this country.
posted by Gator at 7:36 AM on July 7, 2011


And it sounds like Florida is going to seek reimbursement for the cost of the investigation related to the false missing person report.

I heartily approve of this. They should bill her for every damn penny.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:07 AM on July 7 [+] [!]


Ditto. It's going to be a fortune. One can hope that it's at least going to put a significant dent into the scads and scads of money she's going to make from her inevitable book, TV movie and exclusive interview deals.
posted by Maisie at 7:57 AM on July 7, 2011


Dexter Morgan Meets Casey Anthony.
posted by ericb at 10:31 AM on July 11, 2011






Casey Anthony lies low on first day of freedom -- "Her life will be lived under a media microscope and the shadow of countless threats."
posted by ericb at 3:58 PM on July 17, 2011






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