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.