There is a special place in hell for Casey Anthony. If she were alive prior to the 14th century, she’d be below the 9th circle in Dante’s depiction of hell from his Divine Comedy. Anthony deserves all the demonizing, denigration, and disparaging she’s gotten from the media and internet these past three years. However, the jury that found her not guilty of first degree murder, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and aggravated child abuse does not deserve the same punishment.
Although it’s a responsibility for all American citizens, being on a jury is certainly not fun. Typically one has to wake up early, park in a remote location (usually parking is not free), and sit for hours awaiting a seemingly random conclusion. Those who are not picked generally miss a day of work and waste about half a day’s worth of time. If one gets picked for a big case like the Anthony trial, life sucks the whole time. Life turns into arriving at the court house early to sit and listen to testimony for 8 hours every day for weeks. Think about how boring that would be? Some of the banter between lawyer and witness may be interesting, but consider listening to forensic specialists blabbing incessantly about things well over everyone’s head. In addition to the boredom, consider that they’re missing work that whole time. Some people may look forward to that, but what if they are a small business owner? Who is going to make sure customers are still being served, products are shipped/delivered, and/or new clients found? What if he/she is a doctor? Who is going to take care of all the patients for that long? Being a juror doesn’t stop in the courtroom. The privileged few are not supposed to discuss the case with anyone else, and they are also not to watch television or go online. Doing so could cloud they’re judgment beyond the evidence that is presented in the case. Mostly importantly, the concept of “proof beyond reasonable doubt” is repeatedly beaten into the head of all jury members. If the prosecution cannot prove their case up to this standard, then the defendant is considered innocent.
The prosecution in the Anthony trial did not present a compelling case. They easily proved that Casey Anthony is a shitty mother, a skilled liar, and a despicable human being. No one needed a 5 week trial to prove that, as that was already evident to the world. Did Casey Anthony kill her daughter Caylee? Possibly, but no one knows for sure, as the prosecution could never confirm exactly how the toddler died. Was it an accidental drowning? A forced drowning? Suffocation by the mother? Suffocation by a 3rd party? A forced poisoning? Completely unknown. Does Casey Anthony know how her daughter was killed? That is an absolute affirmative, but she wasn’t being tried for her knowledge; she was being tried for heinous actions. The evidence looks awful, as Anthony made internet searches for “how to make chloroform,” “neck breaking,” and “death” on her personal computer. Furthermore, she never reported her daughter missing (Anthony’s mother did roughly 30 days after she had last seen her grandchild), and she got a tattoo while her daughter was “missing” which, translated from Italian, says “beautiful life.” All of that is very damning, but it still doesn’t tell how Caylee died, and most importantly, it doesn’t show that her mother did the killing. It’s pure speculation to assume that because Anthony researched atrocious ways to kill someone that she actually committed the crime. I can say with pretty good confidence that if most people’s computers were confiscated, they could be linked to something macabre. Prosecution is not based on speculation … only the proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Do I think that Casey Anthony killed her daughter? I’m not sure, but I do think she played an integral part in the cover-up, and she may have even been in the same room when Caylee took her last breath. Even that part is debatable, because if Anthony was as crappy a mother as it appears, she may have left her little girl alone for hours or maybe even days at a time. Unfortunately children die regularly in America secondary to parental negligence. Was I surprised Anthony was found not guilty of the most severe crimes? Not entirely. Recently when filicide has been suspected or confirmed in high profile cases the mother has been found not guilty for reasons of insanity (Andrea Yates and Dena Schlosser come to mind). Anthony was not entering that plea, but I imagine when the prosecution decides to seek the death penalty, the jury makes the decision more carefully. Who would want to put someone to death without 100% assurance of their crime? At no point was it clear who committed the crime, or what crime was committed (other than Anthony being a troll). At any rate, Casey Anthony will be released from jail on July 17, but the jury isn’t to blame. Those at fault are Anthony for being a disgusting human being, her parents for possibly helping their sick daughter (her mother almost assuredly committed perjury while on the witness stand), and the prosecution for not presenting a strong enough case. Despite having the emotional card in their favor, they weren’t able to do the one thing that was required … prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony was a murderer.