A few thoughts to share about the Casey Anthony matter, now that it has passed into history.

1) I thought the attorneys on both sides did a credible job. The State Attorney’s team worked with the evidence that was available. The defense team’s job — as with any defense team — was to get their client into the victory corner, which is what they did.

2) The opening statements by attorney Jose Baez, alleging that the victim had drowned in the pool and that Casey’s dishonest behavior had something to do with being molested by her father years before, I thought, were unethical and perhaps even worthy of reprobation unless the defense had presented some supporting testimony or evidence, which they did not. Instead, they planted a seed into the jury’s mind, concocted out of thin air based on no evidence whatsoever. They got away with it. Worse yet, it worked.

Something wrong with that.

3) Like most who followed the trial, I thought Casey Anthony would have been convicted, at the very least, of Manslaughter by Aggravated Child Neglect. Convictions based on circumstantial evidence are not that unusual, and the evidence in the Anthony case strongly pointed to Casey being the central figure in the disappearance and death of her child — to the exclusion of anyone else. That was supported by testimony revealing lie after lie during a time that her daughter was missing, her frivolous and uncaring behavior, the chloroform, the hair in the trunk, the smell of rotting death, the duct tape on the mandible of the skull, none of which could have been self-inflicted. All pointed to death by mother, even if it was a chloroform-induced accident.

4) Using the father and the mother and the brother as agents of confusion, was nothing more than a defense tactic not supported by any evidence. Even if the father had an affair, it had no bearing on the killing of Caylee. Much like the shell game, the defense goal was to make the jury look here and there, and everywhere but at the source of the guilt. And the jury members fell for it. It was an effective ploy.

Equally deplorable, was her calloused effort at throwing everyone along the way under the proverbial bus, including her parents, friends and people she didn’t even know. The jury should have seen through that.

5) There was no doubt in my mind that Casey Anthony murdered her child for selfish reasons, but I can understand the jury being reluctant to find a guilty verdict for 1st Degree Murder because the cause of death was not determined. The testimony of Dr. G specified that the child could only have died as a result of homicide, but she was unable to pin-point the actual cause.

6) I admired the judge in this trial, as he maintained decorum and dignity in the court at all times and issued rulings with a fair but stern demeanor. However, I could not understand allowing primary witnesses to sit in and monitor the courtroom. That never was allowed in my sixteen years in Homicide in Miami-Dade.

7) I thought Jose Baez, who was relatively inexperienced in high-profile trials, conducted himself with dignity, particularly with his post-trial remarks to the press. He offered praise of each one of the prosecution team members, by name. He also decried the death penalty, and claimed he felt he had saved a life by the verdict. Being an advocate of abolishing capital punishment in America, I agreed with this. Of course, he also said that Casey Anthony did not murder her daughter. He’s too smart not to know that’s simply untrue.

I thought his senior partner, Cheney Mason, was out of line in severely admonishing on-camera lawyers and pundits during the course of the trial. Those remarks were scornful, unprofessional and inappropriate for that moment.

7) Now, about Casey Anthony.

Unfortunately, I have known many people like Casey Anthony both in my professional and personal life. Sociopaths can skate through life blaming everyone else in the world for the problems they create for themselves, then embark upon a path of diversions and untruths without conscience, regardless of who it hurts or what damage is done.

They have the ability to look you in the face and draw your love and sympathy, all the while, manipulating you to get what they want…for the moment. They never feel shame. They can pass polygraph tests easily because they do not have a sense of guilt. They want what they want, and will go to any extent to get it.

Casey now knows what jail is like and the consequences of any illegal acts she may embark on in the future. It will have made her smarter, more clever and even emboldened. The leopard does not change its spots and, sadly, she is destined to be a sociopath for most of her life unless she seeks serious, long term psychological counseling. Don’t hold your breath.

I’m sure she will have pangs of fond remembrances of her daughter, but not hold any real sense of guilt for what she did.

Following this trial, she will finish her jail time, theN battle law suits and other spin-off problems. She will also be the target of profit mongers in the world of television, magazines and even books, for which she will likely cash in.

Will she have a productive life? I doubt that her relationship with mother and father will ever mend. But fame has its predators. There will be opportunities for her in the near future as the plethora of young rich men slime their way into her life’s sphere to score with the now-famous celebrity. And Casey will soak it up as much as she can.

After all, where else can she go?

8) Caylee Anthony?

She had no say-so in any of this as her final resting place ended up in a trash bag.

Her grandparents will certainly enjoy her memory.


  1. Ron Kenerly July 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    No matter what we think, the jury has spoken, it is finished and why not let this alone. It will never change anything that has happen to keep dragging this through the mud.
    I just hope now that the jury members do not take the opportunity to “sell” their stories and capitalize on this misery.

  2. morton stern July 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    marshall: have to agree, but i question the last line? why would the memory of her life
    be enjoyable to her grandparents? it is still unthinkable how a mother could dispose of
    her child. she is over the edge and i believe it will show up in her life in the future. morton

  3. Donald July 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm #


    While I can’t fault your logic generally, if I had been on the jury I too would have voted for not guilty. Notice there is no legal verdict of innocent. Not guilty is not the same as innocent.

    It is quite simple for me. The state could not establish a cause of death or explain how the remains got in their final resting place–or who put them there. If you don’t know how the victim died, how can you possibly convict someone of murder? Without a cause of death, even manslaughter would be difficult to prove. Seems to me the only provable charge would be child endangerment or neglect, neither of which is a capital offense.

    I think the state would have had a much better chance of getting a guilty verdict if they had made the charge negligent homicide or manslaughter instead of 1st degree murder.

    The consequence now is that she will become a very wealthy woman! We will also be reading/hearing about this for years.

    • Steve Gure July 8, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      The couse of death was homicide. The facts show that the child was killed by none other than the mother who hid the body in her car, did not report he missing and mislead, everybody as to her whereabouts

  4. Pat H. July 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Appreciated your comments. Here are a few more.

    I too was very surprised to see primary witnesses in the court room to listen to
    testimony. I have never experienced that happening… rather the reverse always.

    As to the cholorform and smell tesimonies I thoght they were weak as evidence… unprovable… And there was no proof of how Caylee died.

    Still I agree that manslaughter was the verdict I predicted. Obvious neglect which may have led to death. John argued that there was not enough proof at all.
    Fascinatling trial.
    For a novice Baez did a very very good job. The prosecution overreached for a murder one verdict.

  5. ROBERT L. ELLIOTT July 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm #


  6. Harold Swift July 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Well, she’s free now and may behave a little better. He has no more children to kill.

  7. Marcy July 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Thanks, Marshall. You expressed my thoughts exactly.

  8. millicent gustafson July 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    I thought Casey was definitely guilty until I heard Baez’s closing arguments. They were very persuasive. There should have been some accounting as to why no one called 911 IF the child drowned in the pool. It was the logical thing to do. So what was the reason why no one called for help? too many unanswered questions. I thought that should have been questioned fully. I have a feeling the whole family was somehow involved in this horror.
    No one should be allowed to make a cent from this horror.

  9. gloriadisanto@sbcglobal.net July 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm #


  10. Brenda Homefield-Rosenzweig July 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    For those of us masochistic enough to have invested ourselves in this agonizing case, (and apparently I was), the outcome was outrageous & tragic.

    Perhaps, due to “technical nit-picking” over Designer Duct Tape, DNA & assorted “aromas”, enough confusion was generated over the hows, who’s, whys, where’s, rather than the WAS! Caylee WAS once very much alive. Caylee WAS quite heartlessly & disgustingly disposed of like trash.

    Caylee’s “not guilty” “mother”, Failed to report the following, ( Real, Imaginary or Fabricated):

    1) Child “accidentally” drowned
    2) Child “accidentally” died through suffocation–maybe while (chewing on Duct Tape)
    3) Child was clearly supervising herself when, whatever thing happened- No, Mommy was present to witness any of the above.
    4) Child was likely playing (by herself, all alone in that “coffin bag”), when a surprise tornado lifted her up & dropped her in the swamp?.
    5) Mommy simply had NO clue where her little one disappeared, so, rather than call 911 for help, (or to report a tragic accident), she simply pretended that nothing happened at all-for over 30 days.
    6) Because Mommy is such a loving person, she lied in order to Protect her own parents–maybe to postpone causing them terrible grief.
    7) In order to distract the Grandparents from their unbearable Grief, she merely opted to distract them by having a “coming out abused party” in court. Share it with brother, thereby taking some heat off Dad/Grandpa.
    8) Although “Insanity” was not going to cut it for Cayle as a suitable defense, why not have the defense team neatly plunk out a poster (of all the imaginary friends)?? Educate the jurors to see how sometimes,when one IS a victim of abuse, they may well resort to various/sundry coping mechanisms. That should also provide an explanation for the “mania” demonstrated by all the partying.

    Oh well, this jury system works so very well, no wonder Obama wants the freaking Terrorists to come & avail themselves of a Civil rather than Military trial. Yes, let’s prove to the world what Schmucks we can be!

  11. Don Carey July 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    This case was never a capital murder case. Not being able to show a cause of death or any evidence linking Casey to the death, doomed the prosecution from the beginning. Sadly, 3 years of media hype have left destroyed lives in the wake of this circus and have left us with a victorious sociopath released back into society. The state should have charged her with manslaughter in 2008, convicted her, and accepted the 5-10 year sentence and been done with it. But, in the days of 24 hour news cycles, some stories just spiral out of control. How sad for us all…

  12. Laura July 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    To me, the most astonishing thing was that after Casey was aquitted she didn’t immediately question, “Who killed my child?”

  13. Vince Cerullo July 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    This will be a training ground for new criminal attorneys and probably make inway into law school studies.

    I understand that it was a three year investigation but with the evidence the State had why rush to the GJ for an indictment. MAYBE a little more time would have given them what they needed. Not knowing Florida law I would believe there were no statue problems. Jose Baez did a great job. As soon as the first verdict was read his job was over and he came out a winner.

    She is now one rich young women.

  14. Chris July 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Laura. The ans. is simple. It is the same person that killed Nicole Brown Simpson.

    Maybe it is time to hire professional jurists. I hope the idiots who served on the jury on the Anthony case sleep well. NOT.

    What a disgrace to the entire judicial system.

  15. Jeanne Dillon July 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    I believe Casey Anthony’s hubris and lack of conscience (like OJ) will eventually catch up to her and she will again find herself behind bars for something. And so it goes……

  16. Mackie July 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    My feeling was that, the prosecution decision of going for the death penalty in this case forced the bar too high for this jury. There have been other celebrated cases where that bar was found too high as well in the past.

    I did have a problem with all the media legal heads deliberating this case relentlessly on television. I had a problem with people like Geraldo who created a circus court and jury of gossip columnists several years ago on his former show that was formatted similar to The Phil Donahue Show. He and his gossip columnists,and audience indicted,prosecuted, and convicted the mother of the young girl who was found murdered in their home in Colorado even though the case never went to court.

    Yes the verdict is in, it’s a done deal and we can only hope that Casey will make a difference in her life after this no matter how repugnant her displayed behavior was.

  17. Younger Paul July 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Another great article, Marshall!

    I believe the jury was given a detailed form to fill in which directed them to the “appropriate” verdict and I cannot fault them for following the letter of the law as written (none of our politicians do!).

    It is a simple fact of life that an incredible amount of importance can ride on the actions of a single person. Each of the steps that occur on the way to the conclusion of these cases can be influenced or determined by a single person, i.e. the perpetrator, the responding police officer, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the judge, a juror, etc.

    It is my opinion that in this particular case the most devastating failure in the system was the law enforcement official responsible for supervising the detectives in charge of the investigation of all leads pertaining to this case. The supervisor responsible for the officers sent to follow up on the information the meter reader tried to report (repeatedly, over and over, and again) dropped the ball.

  18. John K July 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Juror #3 has acknowledged that while the jury found her Not Guilty, they did not find her innocent. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is the highest standard, and in this case, for the highest possible sentence – death.”

    While most of us, including me, believe that she is guilty as charged, the State of Florida could not overcome all of the trash that the defense threw at the jury. We can sit back and use common sense. The jury must put aside emotion and deal only with hard facts, or the lack of them.

    The public’s outrage is not unexpected, however threats of violence and condemnation against common citizens, doing their duty, is both unfortunate and unacceptable.

    This case is not over – and I suspect it will not end well for anyone.

  19. Dan Townsend July 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    The problem, in the Anthony case, is that of either children or “human pincushions”, those who have no value system except that of having babies by whomever, having children.
    Our society has to examine why it generates so many future “Casey Anthonies”–does it have to do with selling “stuff” of no discernible quality, to consumers specially selected to be vulnerable to “pitches” from vendors with no conscience?
    An economic model based on the “race to the bottom”, whether we’re talking about cheap labor, uninformed consumers, defective products for extortionate prices, disregard of environmental consequences, or whatever produces generations of defective parenting and incentives for ignorance, produces “Casey Anthonies” throughout the world. Consider the facts of parents raising their children to be suicide bombers and terrorists. Need I go on?

  20. Ed Hensley July 8, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    I tired of the excess TV grand standing coverage of this sad case long ago. I have
    not followed the case well enough to disagree with your informed opinion Marshall.

    But, from the start, I felt the state going for the death penality was assine. Now,
    the verdict & pending release of this sick young woman, next Wednesday, is a new
    smoke screen for crimes by the Obama Administration. Like, where is the rest of
    MSM, on “Fast & Furious” getting Hot & Hotter, with Acting BATF Director Kenneth
    Melson refusing to fall on the sword & turning Whistle Blower against AG Holder?


    • Ed Hensley July 8, 2011 at 3:33 am #

      Rep. Daryl Issa was on FOX last night, with Hannity.

  21. David Waksman July 8, 2011 at 8:37 am #


    Some comments from someone who tried 185 jury trials, including 79 for first degree murder.

    Totally agree with your point #2, re the defense opening statement telling a shocking story about “what the evidence would show,” and then not offering any proof to support it. Very low class lawyering. The prosecution would not be allowed to do that and probably suffer a mistrial for that conduct. Just remember Atty Cheney Mason giving the world the finger at their champagne victory party and the female attorney jumping with joy. Sort of speaks volumes as to who they are.

    As for what the jurors said, there is a jury instruction telling them motive need not be proven as often it is not known why people commit crimes. The chief ME accurately explained that homicide is proved by the absence of accident, suicide and death by natural causes. Once it is a homicide, the cause of death is immaterial. There is no smoking gun.

    There is another instruction that tells the jury to return a verdict based upon the evidence and the law. Where was the evidence of drowning or that George Anthony ordered his daughter to lie and cover up the death? Who testified to that? Jurors should not speculate.

    Much has been said about the State over charging. The prosecutors should charge whatever they feel they can prove. It is up to the jury to determine if the charges have been proved.

    Lastly, reasonable doubt only goes to the essential elements that must be proven, not to anything else.

    ASA Ashton was much too deferential to the verdict. Our system gives the jury the final word; that does not mean we have to put it on a pedestal and say they did their job. There was plenty of evidence there for the jury to do their job. They chose to ignore it. Did Caylee put the tape over her mouth and nose and crawl into the bag? If not the one who lied about it, then who?

    David Waksman
    Assistant State Attorney (Ret.)
    Major Crimes Division

    • Steve Gure July 8, 2011 at 10:31 am #

      Good analysis. This faulty decision can only be laid at the feet of the jury who appear to be lacking any common sense.

  22. Rita Blue July 8, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Another trial… No justice done…

    Many hearts broken & tears being shed, for a sweet little girl who now lays dead…

    Happy celebrations, laughter & fun, with gestures of hate from those who have won..

    Anger in the streets, cannot understand, some things are handled, but not by man…

  23. Pat July 8, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    I realize that it is hard to see the future but this ‘lady’ will have to get lots of rehab before she can even associate with normal people…..
    Thanks for you analyzes on the issue very thoughtful …..

  24. Lee Boyland July 8, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    I think the problem was that the jury was not properly instructed. No, I don’t blame the judge, but the verdict should cause future judges to modify their jury charge.

    The death of Caylee was established when her remains were found.

    Accidental death could be ruled out by two facts: (1) her mother did not reported her missing, and (2) the accident was not reported when it occurred.

    If a cause of death is required to convict for murder, then murder has become easy to commit. Cremate the body, sink the body in deep water, are simple methods that come to mind as means to get rid of a body. There are many more.

    No, I think the problem was that fictional technology portrayed in CSI TV programs was used by the jury to evaluate the evidence. Thus, future juries must be properly instructed on the importance of “cause of death” in establishing a murder, and what real world forensics can and can’t do.

    I listened to Jury #3’s statement. I felt she was playing out some sort of fantasy role, being a legal eagle or a judge rather than applying common sense to the preponderance of evidence presented. She failed to grasp the fact that a conviction can be made on circumstantial evidence.

  25. Steve Gure July 8, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    As an active police officer, I was in contact with the criminal justice system on almost daily basis for a period of over 20 years. I have always held it in low regard. Apperently it has gotten worse. This particular trial is a case in point. It has certainly not provided justice. This country has produced people who lack any common sense to sit on juries and make important decisions. They have murdered the child again, aquitted the person who killed her and appear to be proud of it. I am sick at heart.

  26. Ron Kenerly July 8, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    I find it so odd that many people are now indicating that the CSI programs on TV had a lot to do with the way the jury pondered the evidence and came to a conclusion.. I also remember some time back that many learned people said this was not true when the American public began to allow and fully accept the vulgar, sex, violence and drug use on TV and in video games as entertainment and saying that it would never lead to anyone acting on these events in real life?!?!?!?!?! Now what is correct and what is incorrect? CSI corrupts and the other does not?
    It is a true shame that this little girl is dead and opinions are as numerous as …..well you know what…..but the jury passed a verdict and the book on this is closed. Why keep screaming about the same things over and over…why not put as much fervor and zeal into the things that are affecting our country such as the corrupt politicians and bad government figures, the way the government is throwing our economy into the gutter and the jobs market crashing when all along the Obama administration is telling everyone that everything is so good and is getting better…..that is something we need to focus on. We can not get justice for this young girl no mater what happens now..that is done…but all the other is on-going and really needs a lot of attention or probably many of us will fall along the wayside just like this poor child.

  27. Mackie July 8, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    I am forever reminded of the OJ Trial. The factual evidence was overwhelming, from blood to motiveagainst OJ. I still believe the jury was intimidated by the race card played by the defense team.

    The biggest concern outside the court the day the verdict was read is that had OJ been found guilty there was clear and strong evidence that there would be more rioting in the streets similar to what occurred after the acquittal of the LAPD officers in the Rodney King Case.

    Both the LAPD, and the LA County Sheriffs Dept. were fully prepared for that possibility..

  28. JKR July 8, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    My son was chosen for a jury and became jury foreman in a homicide case. They chose him knowing that his father, grandfather, brother-in-law, uncle and two cousins had been or were presently in law enforcement. The case was rather cut-and-dry and they found the subject guilty. He found the experience somewhat rewarding and there was no doubt as to the guilt of the subject.

    A little over a year later he was again called for jury duty in another high-profile case and felt that he was about to be selected again. He told the officer in the courtroom that he needed to speak with the judge, as he felt that he could not serve.

    He was allowed to speak with the judge in the presence of each attorney. He cited his job and family needs. He also told them that he lost much of his respect for the court when, in the previous trail, the defense attorney was offensive and the prosecutor dozed-off during the defense attorney’s closing. He was excused.

  29. John D July 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Re blaming the police for not investigating “leads”-We have to follow the evidence. Evidence of drowning? None. Evidence of accidental chloroform overdose? None. Evidence of murder? Yes. #1. duct tape over lower part of skull consistent with being over mouth. #2 Body in bag. #3. body dumped in swamp. Who was last person to see child alive? Who had duty to protect child? Convictions made on a lot less.

  30. Kee July 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    The Anthony case is another prime example of our flawed jury system. What serviced our judiciaries in the past is no longer competent to ascribe justice in the new technical world. Years ago I spent untold hours testifying as an expert witness in a number of areas to juries of defendants’ peers. At that time, I was well aware that no matter how I phrases it, a good portion of that jury wouldn’t have an inkling of why I was testifying.

    Today, juries should be composed of professional jurors, who are trained and have qualified to analyze testimony. We have CPAs, pharmacists, stress engineers, pathologists, ballistics experts and all manner of highly trained and skilled witnesses stream through the box giving expert testimony to people who are ill prepared to handle it. And with this befuddlement they may be charged with the duty to determine who lives or dies.

    Make jury duty a professional career gained by getting a degree in the field and qualifying in as many specialties as possible. With pedigree in hand, the new juror sets forth to sign a contract with a judicial entity for a specific length of time. This profession dictates periodic moving, but so do many others.

    The reasons for a professional jury cadre are many. Less time should be needed to resolve cases. A good portion of a trial is spent trying to blow smoke in the ears of jurors. Professionals would see through that tact shortening the trial….thus less personnel, facility expense, security and on and on.

  31. Barbara Duncan July 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    I have watched this case since Caylee was reported missing. I have read all the depositions and evidence that the jury was not able to see. I feel that her mother’s lies enabled her to get away with murder. If the truth about the fight that occurred on Father’s day with Cindy had been heard, motive would have been much clearer to this jury. Instead Cindy chose to lie and say they had a wonderful evening looking at pictures and videos. Of course that would never come in… Casey was a wonderful mother… puke. I hope perjury charges are brought up against Cindy, so she can understand that there are consequences to lying, something she did not teach her daughter.

  32. gordon g. July 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    What about if Casey had told Baez that she was molested; he planned to put her on the stand to say as the trial started; but when the state rested, both Casey and her attorney changed their minds about that (based on how the state’s case developed or didn’t develop). She then did not testify; Baez was prohibited from mentioning molestation during his closing; he did not and they won the case

  33. Ted S. July 9, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    Let me say at the start that I believe that Casey Anthony had at least some part in the death of her daughter so I’m sure that my comments will upset many people.I didn’t watch the whole trial but I certainally saw enough to realize what was going on. The prosecution didn’t stand a chance of any convictions. I’m sure that they did the very best with what they had to work with. They had access to the best attorneys available, an enormus budget, all the best witnesses and expert testamony. They also had almost three years to prepare their case. They lost and they lost big time because they didn’t have a case. It wasn’t really their fault. I’m sure that they did the best that they could with what they had. As much as the people wanted justice in this case, it never should have gone to trial. The D.A. wasted a lot of the state’s time and money on this one. I’m no attorney but even the lying to the police charges were a stretch, if they really had a case on this they would have charged her with obstruction of justice or some other something more serious. Does telling the police that she worked at Universal when she really didn’t justify a year in jail?
    How do you think that a rookie attorney with almost no expierence could pull this off? I think that most first year law students could have won this one. It also cost someone big time for this defence. For this reason I believe that Casey should be allowed to recoupe her costs by writing a book and making paid appearances, not because she is clean in this matter but because she should have never been brought to trial.

  34. Dr. Marlowe July 9, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    TO: Ms. Jeanne Dillon

    I agree with you. “It” just always comes back around full force doesn’t it?

  35. Sara Claytor July 9, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Marshall, thank you for another insightful view of the world of crime, and I know you have seen a lot in your lifetime. I also apprecite the people who have written in and their questions and logic and wonder just how much was done with the jury itself. I could not believe some of the junk being presented as “evidence”. But first and foremost, here is a young mother with a beautiful daughter and she has disappeared and the young mother is not seeking help to find her or screaming her head off in grief and despair….perhaps I misunderstand the link of mother and child??? Yeah, is she ever going to ask or hope for finding out what really happened…who did kill her child? It just doesn’t make sense. And if the child drowned, why didn’t someone call for a rescue squad,etc? I didn’t follow this tabloid trial closely day by day by any means. So perhaps I am asking stupid questions. But shame, shame, shame!!!!

    Sara Claytor

  36. David Waksman July 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    A few more comments on our new case of the century. First let’s stop talking about professional jurors in the same breath as constitutional rights. The Sixth Amendment to our constitution guarantees the right to trial by jury, not trial by experts. While spoken of as the best system in the world, it is far from perfect.

    Now for the larger picture. There has been much talk about the State seeking the death penalty and how that may have affected the jury. First, talk of penalty is forbidden in the jury room, and the death penalty is not an issue unless the jury comes back with a verdict of first degree murder. If they find for second degree or manslaughter, a prison sentence is determined by the judge.

    There are about a dozen aggravating factors the State may argue. At least four applied in this case.
    Cold calculated and premeditated, if you buy into taping the baby while alive;

    Heinous, atrocious, or cruel, from the victim’s point of view, being suffocated to death;
    The victim under the age of 12;
    And the murder was committed during another felony, the child abuse.

    In mitigation, the only one of eight we know of is that she has no substantial prior criminal history. Her lawyers would also argue her age, although most people on trial for murder are in her age group. There are also several dealing with emotional problems and I am sure experts would have been called to testify that people with a full deck don’t kill their kids. That one is hard to argue when you claim you didn’t do it.

    There is then a catch all that talks about “other factors” that mitigate against the imposition of death, whatever that is. That’s when we hear about the Cs and Ds in junior high school and prenatal problems.

    My point is that with four major aggravating factors, if you do not seek death here, what happens when your typical violent murdering raping robbing thug walks into court with only three factors. He will argue that because he is not a pretty young white female, he is being selected for other reasons and should not be subjected to the death penalty if she wasn’t. That sort of ends the death penalty in Florida. Other than making Marshall happy, seeking death here ensures that all are treated fairly.
    The Equal Protection Clause comes with a price.

    If the jury ever got to a Penalty Phase, once again they would weigh the evidence, this time of the Aggs vs. the Mits and determine which was heavier. That side of the scale becomes the recommended sentence. Then it is up to the judge, but over ruling a life rec is virtually impossible. It could happen, as it did with one of Marshall’s cases in 1976, but that man was an active participant in the murders of six people in a dope rip. I saw those bodies laid out like a pile of logs.

    He was also not young, pretty, white and female.

    David Waksman

    • Scotty July 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm #


      She had a substantial enough criminal history to keep her in jail for four years as determined by Judge Perry. And perhaps the check fraud (money stolen from both her mother and her friend Amy) had something to do with the four-year stay not to mention “obstruction of justice” in misleading authorities in the search for her child’s body. I won’t be surprised if more of her transgressions become known as time goes on.

  37. Al Dillon July 11, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Allthough I am late in joining this discussion due to a computer problem, I did want to commend Mr. Frank for his thoughts and state that I enjoyed the comments of others, especially those by David Waksman.

    Having 31 years of law enforcement experience, I also was not surprised by the verdict, especially when one of the jurors stated during initial questioning that she did not like to “judge” people. Now I do not know how she compared to the other prospective jurors, but I think that if I had anything to do with selecting the jury in this case, I would have passed on her. As the jurors eventually make themselves available for interviews, it will be interesting to see how many would have considered convicting on a manslaughter count if they had been presented with that choice.

    I also agree with most of you in that the defendant is a sociopath and feel that there is very little chance that she will receive any sort of effective treatment and her future, therefore, is very bleak. The big question is whether or not she intends to act on her stated desire to have another baby.

    At this point, one can only hope that she will somehow hook up with Charlie Sheen upon her release. It probably wouldn’t be a good outcome for her but the entertainment value will be immense.

  38. Scotty July 13, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    At the very least, the jurors should have considered her of the manslaughter charge. The fact that they found her innocent of child neglect is ridiculous.

    The only thing that might have prompted a “guilty” vote would be a video of Casey actually committing the crime. These jurors in no way were able to connect the dots once they swallowed Jose Baez’s “rabbit hole” theories.

    They were perfectly willing to believe drowning without any evidence and that it was an accident that snowballed out of controll, just the way Baez said. And yet they rejected all of the prosecution theories about the smell of death, the duct tape that kept the mandible attached to the skull, and the obstuction of justice that Casey presented to the police when she refused to divulge any info about a missing child except lie after lie.

    And to top it all, the jurors thought George Anthony (the devoted grandfather) might have been the killer all along. Another tribute to Baez.

    Evidently they sided with Baez from the beginning because it was easier to believe than all the forensic evidence, even that from the FBI.

    Clearly, the jury system has faced a gigantic blow when defense attorneys are allowed to run amuck with red herrings to confuse impressionable jurors of facts in their opening argument that were never proven.

    Sad day for the jury system when a woman gets away with murder because of skeletal remains and nobody capable of connecting the dots.

  39. NancyB July 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    I am stunned that this jury discarded all the lesser charged options and basically have set this psychopath free. I am disgusted that Baez had the arrogance to publicly state that this was justice for Caylee. Did the jury have no understanding of the definition of reasonable doubt? Did they think any doubt was equivalent?
    As everyone knows, trials are won or lost in jury selection. While I do think that Judge Perry is a stellar jurist, I believe that he rushed the jury selection process in a significant way. Because he is also the chief administrative judge his role and responsibilities encompass the financial constraints and considerations involved in the costs incurred with 2 weeks in . He also had to contend with the small window of time that he was allotted for use of their court room. Just as a comparable reference the Scott Peterson case took 11 weeks to seat the jury.
    I do wonder why 4 members of Casey’s jury have criminal records. Why would they have been selected by the Prosecution? I do remember that they were running out of jury pool candidates and also the time deadline was fast looming. I do not place any blame on the Prosecution because I think that they’re hands were tied. I do think that it was very unwise for Judge Perry to have such an arbitrary deadline fixed for this most all important process. I also think that regardless of budgetary constraints the Prosecution needed to use a jury consultant just as the defense did, to their overwhelming benefit.
    Juror #3 said: “You can’t punish someone for something if you don’t know what they did.”
    Juror #3, it was NOT YOUR JOB to PUNISH Casey Anthony. It WAS your JOB to LISTEN TO THE EVIDENCE and USE COMMON SENSE. You were not handing down PUNISHMENT in this phase. Did you skim over the words “Caylee is Dead” on the Juror Instruction sheet?
    Juror #3, Ms. Ford spoke on Nightline a few nights ago. Ms. Ford felt that one could not convict if you didn’t know how someone died or the motive.
    I totally disagree. You don’t need to know a motive. You don’t need to know how someone died. It’s my opinion that often times people don’t realize that behavior is evidence, powerful evidence.
    She stated that the prosecution did not provide the jury with those facts. She also stated that she did not believe the defense case. On the Nightline show, she completely sidestepped the evidence of the duct tape on Caylee’s skull. She never addressed it.
    I can’t believe what some of these jurors believed! Juror #2 stated that “it didn’t matter at what point in time she came home and found out her daughter missing”. I can’t believe it. They also said they weren’t sure who the caretaker was. How in the world did this happen? Were they sleeping when the PT told in detail the calls from Cindy to Casey over the 31 days asking where they were? She kept making excuses as to where Caylee was. We all know this, CLEARLY Casey was the “caregiver” (term used loosely).
    This is unreal…..they thought Casey came home and found out Caylee was missing??????????? This tells me they could not have been paying attention at all.
    Done is done but Judge Perry made a huge mistake not telling the jurors they had to disregard the opening statement from Baez as he proved none of it. This jury believed it with not one iota of proof but disregarded the evidence the PT had.
    How did 12 people agree Casey “came home and found out Caylee was missing”? It’s like one of them made it up and they all went along with it….they gave no thought whatsoever to the 31 days. What a huge huge mistake these people made by not taking the time to ask questions and look at evidence, and most of all, use common sense.
    I think this jury was totally taken in by the CSI effect. They were unable to make any type of conclusion about Casey’s post-incident behavior and wanted all the evidence tied up for them in a neat package. They wanted to know when she died, where she died and how she died before they were willing to convict on any charge. It shows us a jury that is unable to analyze evidentiary behavior critically, and come to a conclusion about it. This jury also rejected the prosecution’s motive that was presented to them. I believe they rejected it because they didn’t understand it.
    Even though Casey Anthony lied to every person in her immediate orbit, law enforcement officers, the general public and beyond about having a job, what she was doing and when, having a “Zanny the nanny” and a kidnapping, that behavior by Casey was rejected by the jury as having any weight as evidence that a crime had been committed. They basically said, Casey Anthony’s post incident behavior means nothing without a motive or cause of death.
    Even though the prosecution presented strong evidence that there was a dead body and high traces of chloroform in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car, they still could not come to the conclusion that a dead body had been placed inside it. Even though the prosecution presented powerful evidence that three pieces of duct tape were attached to the child’s skull, mandible and hair, the jury did not see that as evidence that a crime had taken place. Many of us are wondering what person in their right mind could think that how and where little Caylee ended up, in plastic bags, in a swamp, with duct tape wrapped around her head was the result of an “accident?” To me, this tells me that this juror, and most likely the rest of the jurors were unable to connect the dots and put the pieces of evidence together.
    When you have jurors that are unable to make reasonable conclusions about post-incident behavior and powerful scientific evidence this is the type of verdict you get.
    I am disappointed by a jury foreman, juror #6 negotiating media deals for 5 figures. I am disgusted that juror #3 has been awarded a trip to Disney World, courtesy of ABC/Disney for an interview. I find it disgusting that these people would decline a press conference, but are negotiating with the highest bidders for media time.
    The jurors, IMO are accountable to society for their actions. As they step forward to give their reasons for their utterly incredible verdict and reap financial benefits for speaking, they become fair game for investigation. They let a murderer, a psychopath free onto society!
    I also do not believe that this jury understood the validity of circumstantial evidence and pooh-poohed it. What the defense would have us believe is if there is no eyewitness to a murder and there isn’t any DNA because the body isn’t found until it’s skeletonized, then nobody should ever be charged with the crime regardless of what the circumstantial evidence shows.
    Apparently, the jurors did not understand the meaning and/or the significance of circumstantial evidence. Most criminal cases are based on circumstantial evidence. Because most criminals do not commit their crimes in front of witnesses. A witness provides direct evidence. All other evidence is circumstantial. When properly investigated, the circumstantial evidence put together by law enforcement and prosecutors can be just as persuasive (sometimes more so since witnesses can lie or be mistaken) as direct evidence. If circumstantial evidence was not considered strong evidence (when obtained through proper and thorough investigation) then no criminal would ever be successfully prosecuted. I assumed that the case would be decided on the preponderance of the evidence against which the defense of reasonable doubt is offered. From the jurors that have spoken so far, I am convinced that this did not happen.
    To me it seems that the jurors were summarily picking and choosing what they wanted to believe, and disregarded the tons of hard evidence presented to them. They capriciously exercised their personal prejudices, and by ignoring the jury instructions they have violated/subverted the justice system, IMO. We will never know how Caylee died, but defendants have been convicted time and time again with far less evidence.
    This jury had to sort through a mass of lies rather than weighing the truth. Baez only performed well if you believe that the rights of one citizen (Casey Anthony) take precedence over the rights of many others (her dad, Dr G, Roy Kronk, Zenaida Gonzalez, Vasco Thompson, multiple police and FBI personnel–all smeared and lied about– and, of course, Caylee). That was never the intent of the justice system and raising reasonable doubt is not justification for it. That we have allowed this to become acceptable is our bad. To characterize this vile type of practice as ‘doing a good job’ is simply not accurate, IMO. The perversion of our justice system is more complete with this verdict, because it is so high profile.
    I am a firm believer in the right to representation and that a strong challenge to the State is the only way we keep from becoming a police state. And I think Casey has an absolute right to a strong defense. I don’t, however, think her rights as a citizen are any more sacred than anyone else’s and to ruin reputations, smear character and generally trash other citizen’s rights–even some who had nothing, nothing to do with this trial–in service of her ‘rights’ is just plain wrong. The fact that her counsel could do this with impunity because they can’t be held accountable for what is said in court is a big gaping hole in the system. I’ve heard several talking heads suggest that people are just projecting their dislike for Casey onto Jose Baez. This is BS. Jose Baez needs to own his behavior. Casey didn’t make him perform like a cocky little rookie, lie to the court, suborn perjury, publicly vilify George, Dr G, Zenaida Gonzalez, Roy Kronk, the OCSO (Orange County Sheriff’s Office) or Vasco Thompson. He did that on his own. Baez is devoid of any ethical compass and that’s why I don’t like him.
    I do want to address some clear disinformation that was presented in Baez’s and Mason’s arguments. If we define misinformation as an unintentional conveyance of an error in fact, and disinformation as an intentional misrepresentation of fact, we have to outright call these blatant errors disinformation. We either have to do that or claim that in the almost 3 years of this case, and over 2-1/2 years since Caylee’s remains were found, the number of defense lawyers who either currently are or formerly have represented Casey never bothered to look at the evidence disclosed over the past 3 years, or to even reread the transcripts of testimony that have been produced in this trial.
    George never outright denied the Henkel brand duct tape was his. In fact, he has never denied it was his in almost 3 years of interviews, depositions and trial testimony. He has stated, and been consistent in this response, that he didn’t pay attention to what type of duct tape he had, so he couldn’t say. Jose Baez outright stated that George DENIED the tape was his. FALSE
    When removing the people who state they DID smell decomposition in the car, Baez’s clear intention was to remove everyone who either wouldn’t have lied because of possible involvement in Caylee’s death or cover-up of same and reduce it to one person, George. When he got to Cindy’s picture he stated that she had made the statement in the 911 call (that the car smelled like a dead body had been it) because she had made 2 prior calls and hadn’t got law enforcement at her house yet. Of all the witnesses who have been impeached to some extent or another, Cindy is the ONLY witness to have been proven, before the jury, to have committed perjury. For Baez to remove her as not possibly having knowledge or being complicit in the alleged cover-up of an accidental death by using her own words to excuse her statement in the 911 call is an obvious “stacking of the deck” and cherry-picking in order to get to his goal of leaving George standing alone as the sole “suspect”. As Baez stated about the State, you can’t not only impeach Cindy, but prove she committed perjury and then use SOME of her statements as truthful. The statement made by Cindy in that 911 call will forever remain an excited utterance immediately after she had been told Casey’s story that Caylee had been kidnapped.
    After 2-1/2 years of the evidence found at the remains site being available to the defense, I find it impossible to believe the defense does not know that there were 3pieces of duct tape on Caylee’s skull with a 4th piece a few feet away. It was not 2 pieces of duct tape on Caylee’s skull with a 3rd piece a few feet away. This is the third time that Cheney Mason has stated this blatant misrepresentation of evidence in the case, and this time to the jury. He did it again on Greta’s FOX show last night.
    Dr. Werner Spitz did not say that suffocation will, by golly without a doubt, cause the tell-tale staining behind the ears on the inside of the cranial cavity. He stated it can. So the lack of staining does not mean that suffocation could not have taken place, as stated by Baez in his closing arguments.
    And there are several more, but those are the more egregious lies presented to the jury during the defense’s closing argument.

  40. Bahia Abrams July 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Casey Anthony is as guilty of killing her daughter as OJ was about killing his ex-wife and her friend. There is something terribly wrong with our justice system. Casey will now get millions for a book deal and a movie. The media builds her into a celebrity. Our media is pathetic. We need to get rid of our two jokes destroying our country: the U.S. government and the American media.

  41. Ron Kenerly July 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    Everyone is Monday Morning Quarterbacking the jury for its findings. In no way am I defending this woman and that Family but everyone is down on the jury and the judicial system, but I sincerely feel they did their job with the info they had to work with.
    Everyone except for these few people got to hear all the arguments, see all the evidence and got the benefit of many different points of view from the media and 100’s of others during the trial which the jury was not able to have in-hand to formulate their decision…and I am glad that they did not. Our system is designed in a certain way and I am thankful for it as there is many times all of this “outside” opinion and evidence does more harm than good…I feel if anything should come from this lesson is that the media be prevented from presenting a case or opinion about any on-going trial for any crime. It should be OK to report the daily proceedings but without comment or conjecture of any type…. The defendants in any trial must be given every opportunity to have a truthful and correct defense.

    • Scotty July 16, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      Ron, the key words here are “a truthful defense.” That’s the kind of defense never used in this case. Instead, they threw out a lot of red herrings casting suspicion at George Anthony and Roy Kronk as the real suspects.

      The jurors were misled by Jose Baez to believe that the real culprit was George Anthony, the grandfather who had been pleading with his daughter to tell him what happened to Caley. The jurors were shown video tapes of Cindy and George at the jail pleading for an explanation which Casey never offered.

      The “truthful defense” included a made up story about a swimming pool accident which only emerged shortly before trial. A new lie made up by Casey and her defense team. Casey had plenty of time to suggest it was an accident when Yuri Mellich questioned her and told her he had seen many “accidents” which were reported to police–and Casey never took the bait and mentioned the swimming pool “accident” (that never took place).

      The jurors strongly believed that things Baez described in his opening argument (and were NOT evidence), were true. They were completely in his corner by the time it came to deliberate, taking the easy way out and not even charging her with the lesser “manslaughter” option.

      The jurors could not believe that a mother could kill her own daughter after witnessing Casey’s reserved behavior in the courtroom day after day. The more they now read and hear about the case, they will learn the huge mistake they made in freeing her.

      Casey herself never helped anyone look for the real killer during those 31 days–a big guilt factor completely overlooked by the jurors who did not connect the dots between her obstruction of justice and the missing child whom she knew all along was already dead.