(Comment) I agree with much of what you said (the descriptive of the killer and the interest by the media). And the case, like many outside of television fiction, was circumstantial: not contained in a neat little 47 minute bundle. There were a few holes in the prosecution’s case…but if one has even a small amount of common sense (and used it) while considering the facts as presented…I think the jury would have gotten a different outcome. As it is they got it wrong. When was the last time you heard of an accidental death that was staged to look like a murder?
Can I make a case of *any* doubt? Sure. Outside of very few scientific issues in the universe doubt is always possible: the courtroom is not science that lends itself to empirical testing. But when one looks at the whole picture…takes in all the evidence (not the hyperbole and innuendo bullshit of the defense) and weighs it against one’s own life experience and common sense…it’s just so improbable that she didn’t do it as to be inconsequential. The few holes in the prosecution case were insignificant when looking at the entire story, and if the parts with the holes had been left out entirely one could (should) reach the same rational guilty conclusion.
I think that because of the dire consequences of being found guilty of a murder charge, the defense deserves any leeway they can get in trying to inject any doubt at all. There are a fair number of people now walking around after spending years in jail unfairly after new technology arrived to prove their innocence. The leveling factor is the jury’s bullshit detector, and traditionally that factor is extremely accurate. If the defence can poke any kind of hole in the case, they have a righteous obligation to do so. In fact, the Court has a righteous obligation to chastise or even relieve an attorney if he or she isn’t mounting a “spirited” defense.
That said, this woman is VERY clearly not “innocent”. She didn’t turn the missing child in for a month and wouldn’t have if the parents hadn’t found out. She lied continuously about every aspect of the case, she went out and had a great time at clubs during the grieving process, everyone agrees there was a dead body in the trunk. When found, the dead body had duct tape on the face. There is no possibility she is completely innocent. The prosecution presented the common sense and the evidence of this woman’s complicity. But a further reality is that there are no witnesses. The fact that she could not have not been involved in this death is insufficient. It must be proven using explicit rules beyond a reasonable doubt. Common sense is not admissible when the stakes are this high. It must be a lead pipe cinch.
So the defence didn’t need to do anything at all but point out other circumstantial evidence that should have produced the same outcome. Jose Baez smiled a lot because he knew the believability of those scenarios has no bearing. And that’s exactly what happened. The judge was very clear in charging the jury that common sense does not rule in a murder trial. They came to the appropriate conclusion, just like they did in the OJ trial. There is no real chance that OJ was innocent but the prosecution not only didn’t prove it, they flubbed almost every facet of it. Accordingly, since we run on a maxim of “release ten guilty men to avoid imprisoning one guilty one”, sociopaths like OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony must be set free. Doesn’t mean they’re “innocent”. It only means the case could not be proven.
These people don’t really get off scot free. OJ is in jail for an unrelated charge and will be an old man when he gets out. Ms. Anthony will spend the rest of her life with a tabloid camera in her face, any friends she develops will be hangers-on looking for media attention, the chances of her finding a male mate that isn’t a nut case is pretty small. Casey Anthony will be like Sherman McCoy in “Bonfire of the Vanities”.
Common Sense is not admissible when the stakes are this high.
“Bullshit detection” is???
Yes. Circumstantial evidence is always common sense, and it can easily lead to the suspect the public or the police want to be convicted. It’s perfectly feasible for common sense to lead in the wrong direction. Bullshit detection is the next best thing, and it will have to do.
One of the lawyers in the case, I think on the wrong side, said that he vehemently disagreed with the verdict, and then hastened to add that he would never second guess a jury. The jury system is the highest quality bullshit detection available to imperfect hominids. What the jury says is gospel and that’s the end of it. there is absolutely nothing more accurate than a jury of your peers, and to be a peer means anyone that walks upright.
I totally disagree with you re: common sense. It’s what guides us in our decision making.
That’s true, but in order for common sense to be valid, there must be unifying factor applied to it. There must be some factor that absolutely links the suspect with the crime. In this case, there is none. regretfully, it doesn’t matter how much common sense if there is no witness, no DNA evidence and not even proximity to the crime.
The defense is happy to present alternative scenarios that portend to be as common sensical as the prosecution. It’s POSSIBLE that the baby died in the swimming pool and it was covered up because of fear and grief. If that was the case, the mother is NOT guilty of murder, she’s guilty of stupidity and irrationality.That scenario is only impossible to those emotionally involved with finding guilt. It is POSSIBLE that trapping a scent in a bottle and analyzing it is silly science, brought forth by highly biased parties. It is POSSIBLE that the strip of duct tape blew over the body by a wind burst. A rational, impartial analysis is needed to put ALL the evidence in perspective, not just follow the lead of common sense. This is not a common sense question, it’s a question for a jury to consider.
Plus, this was not ONLY a death case. There were lesser charges she could have (should have?) been found guilty of in the face of concern about one’s ‘bullshit detector’ and imposing the death penalty.
Being a sociopath and a lousy mother isn’t a crime. I know lots of sociopaths, many are very prosperous. The punishment for all that occurs out of courtrooms.
I say again, my faith in the ‘system’ has been undermined and damaged.
The system doesn’t exist to punish criminals. If punishing criminals were the whole object, we’d not bother to have a jurisprudence system. We’d be jailing, shooting and hanging anyone that common sense suggests is a criminal, and Nancy Grace would be happy to help identify them. The system exists to insure innocents don’t get punished unfairly.
So now the impeccably evil tabloid mentality takes over just like it did in the impeccably contemptible Anna Nicole Smith garbage pit. Everything the tabloids touch turns to shit.
1. Jose Baez and Cheney Mason never believed or even cared what the truth was. Baez, basically just out of law school with no track record was a a lot smarter than anyone gave him credit for. He knew this was a circumstantial case almost impossible to win and knew he had a serious shot at short cutting through to the rarified air of celebrity lawyering. Their job was not to find the truth; it was to get their client off any way possible a career builder. They are now identified as celebrity lawyers with the potential to help irresponsible persons avoid any kind of liability for their actions, charging commensurate fees.
2. There is no impediment to Casey Anthony selling the rights to whatever story she trumps up. She’ll never have to tell the truth, and like Jeff McDonald and probably OJ, she probably blotted the truth from her consciousness and believes the hype dreamed up by her lawyers. Network TV currently in the process of speculating which actresses will play her.
3. One of the jurors has served notice that they will sell “the story” to the highest bidder, and they’re considering all offers. the rest will follow.
4. Cable and network news and talk programs are furthering the careers of hanger-on lawyers happy to speculate on camera about anything relating to the case. Cheney Mason remarked that none of them have any more informed opinion of it than anyone else, speaking up from the bottom of the shit pit to criticize others trying to climb in.
Lots of winners here. One loser; the kid. No one with any interest. No media potential.