July 5, 2011

"Casey Anthony's 'Not Guilty' Verdict..."

"...  summons O.J. Memories."

303 comments:

1 – 200 of 303   Newer›   Newest»
Sixty Grit said...
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Saint Croix said...

For the same reason, too, except it's gender instead of race.

Hard to convict a young woman of a violent crime.

Particularly if she kills her own child. One of the oldest crimes known to humanity.

In our culture, feminists claim it as a right of being a woman.

TWM said...

So much to say about lawyers and judges and juries, etc. but the time saying it is time wasted. So let me sum up.

She got away with murder. And a particularly heninous one at that.

I hope her life is a living hell and a long one.

Oh, and if her parents forgive her to hell with them too.

CatherineM said...

I didn't think they proved murder. Could they have proven negligent homicide or manslaughter? Would you explain the burden of proof for those charges had they been filed?

Jason (the commenter) said...

The jury did their job as far as I can tell, the only ones with problems are those obsessing over this case. People got weeks of entertainment off of a dead baby. They should be thanking this woman, not complaining because she was found not guilty.

traditionalguy said...

The lady was judged by a jury of her peers in Florida...of course peers in Florida are psychotic pleasure seekers like her.

Let the media revert to shark attacks!

Anything to keep the public from noticing the death rattles of OUR economy that Obama promised to fix with Windmills in exchange for a Trillion dollar slush fund or two under Dem control.

Saint Croix said...

Also women are allowed to kill men while they sleep.

But you have to cry and appear dainty, that's the sub-rule.

CatherineM said...

St. Croix and TWM - did they prove she intended to kill her child? I don't think they did and the jury has to follow the law. I am glad they did. I think the prosecution shouldn't have charged her with murder. I think she is the reason her daughter is dead, but they didn't prove she woke up one day and said, "I want you dead."

Fred4Pres said...

It sounds like over charging and inept prosecution. Oh well, the burden is on the state.

Nancy Grace is being treated for severe whiplash from shaking her head back and forth after the verdict.

Richard Dolan said...

I didn't follow it either, but from the article it sounds like a case of little to no real evidence to prove the charges. The prosecution had a theory of how the killing was done (chloroform, duct tape) but no evidence to show a cause of death. The main evidence seemed to be circumstantial, but didn't relate to the death of the child. Instead the circumstantial evidence (if believed) showed that the mother was a bad person who didn't exhibit the grief expected of a 'normal' mother when her little daughter died.

If that's how the trial played out, it sounds to me like the jury was right to acquit. The issue in any criminal trial is only whether the prosecution has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (emphasis on proven). No proof = no conviction. The defense doesn't have to prove anything.

Trooper York said...

Is she French?

WestVirginiaRebel said...

The prosecution couldn't provide a motive and the defense really hit the forensics evidence hard. Juries (good ones, anyway) convict or acquitt on evidence, not emotion. The prosecution simply couldn't provide enough of the former.

They probably should have gone for manslaughter IMO.

Trooper York said...

Are there any dingoes in Florida?

mariner said...

She was acquitted of manslaughter as well, so it looks like the jury didn't believe Casey killed her child, at all.

And I'm delighted they refused to talk to the media.

Shanna said...

Caught some of the trial the other day and heard them say they didn't have cause of death! If that's true, I'm not entirely surprised at this. Something shady happened and that girl is pretty sick either way.

Scott M said...

Summons OJ Memories...

Except for all the cheering black people, I suppose. I was in the student union along with a few hundred other people (black, white, toup, you name it) watching on three large screen TV's set up for the purpose.

When they said Not Guilty, there was screams of joy and celebration from the blacks in the audience. I was more watching the people than the TV's, and noticed quite a few white people looking at each other, and simply walking away.

It was stunning.

Seven Machos said...

Jason nails it.

Richard Dolan said...

WVaRebel: She was charged and acquitted of manslaughter as well as first degree homicide.

Pogo said...

A Rorschach of law, TV, celebrity, and women.

I was going to say I saw a duckie and a horsie, but I changed my mind.

Saint Croix said...

They convict men on a hell of a lot less than this. Trust me.

I haven't followed the case at all. I have no opinion on her actual guilt or innocence. But I predicted her acquittal, based purely on photographs I saw of her.

When I saw pictures of that French girl, I said to myself, "That poor girl. She must have been raped."

It is a bigotry that is in my own heart.

It's a bigotry that is common throughout the world. Our justice system is far harder on men than women. It's not even close.

Dustin said...

"The prosecution couldn't provide a motive"

I thought all those party pictures after the death showed a mom who didn't give a crap about her child, and wanted to revert to life before responsibility.

I also thought her internet behavior showed an interest in planning murder.

I also have a really hard time understanding the theory that this was an accidental death, and then for fear of being caught, they taped up the corpse and dumped it in a way that is just too obviously like a murder.

I dunno. I hear the defense's closing argument destroyed the state's case. I'm glad we live in a world where someone as apparently guilt as Casey Anthony was given a fair trial. I just have a hard time accepting that there was no known motive. This person concocted a massive coverup about this babysitter, demonized the person who found the body, and generally showed she was aware of her own guilt.

Saint Croix said...

I'll make another prediction. The woman who made an apparent false claim of rape on DSK will not be charged with anything.

And if she is charged, she won't be convicted.

Shanna said...

Except for all the cheering black people, I suppose.

That was pretty insane and I don't think it's likely to happen again. And even those people are now all "yeah, he totally did it" (of course, when you have oj out writing books that say "i totally did it and here is how" it's pretty hard to continue to live in denial).

AJ Lynch said...

It would have been a crime to imprison her and her smoking hot body.

Pogo said...

Casey should have a community walkathon fundraiser, for postpartum depression or something, then hold a seance.

Crack can fill you in on the details.

Shanna said...

I'll make another prediction. The woman who made an apparent false claim of rape on DSK will not be charged with anything.

Didn't DSK lie at first and say they didn't even have sex? Do you think he's going to be charged with lying to prosecutors? (and we don't know that that claim was false so much as that the woman involved is not perfect and a crappy witness)

Phil 3:14 said...

Didn't follow this case but...

I'm sorry but weren't the alleged perpetrator and victim the same race. Wasn't the jury predominately that same race too.

And this is like OJ how?

galdosiana said...

I absolutely have images of '95 running through my head. The jurors don't want to talk--I bet it's a similar reason to the OJ acquital, too: the evidence wasn't enough to convince them beyond a reasonable doubt...even though probably many of them believe she is guilty.

The Drill SGT said...

No nearly as bad as OJ. (while I thought both OJ and Anthony were guilty, I do have some doubts in the Anthony case)

What we don't have this time is the hugely divisive video's of te divide between the Black reaction to the verdict and the white one.

As far as Nancy Grace goes? After the Duke LAX case, she's just plain sicko.

Rick T. said...

In the words of President Obama's friend and mentor: "Guilty as sin, free as a bird, it's a great country.
!"

Penny said...

If Casey Anthony is as sick as I think she is, just like OJ before her, she will screw up again.

Dead Julius said...

I feel sorry for Casey Anthony. She proved that she was not guilty to the jury. But the American media decided that she was a pariah and a devil long ago, and proceeded to lynch her in the press. In most other countries, she would be able to sue the bastards for libel and slander. But not here.

This case shows that trial-by-jury is the last line of defense for a person who has already been declared guilty by the talking heads and amateur lawyers and lifeless couch-potatoes of society.

Too bad that so-called "conservatives" want to do away with the rights of the accused as they continually insist that we defer ever more to police and prosecutors and the whims of the media-soaked mob.

Maybe the 2012 elections will allow Republicans to solve this "O.J. problem" of the jury not reaching the conclusion that it is supposed to?

...Or maybe the jury just did it for the LULZ?

BarrySanders20 said...

Late term abortion. Not the right time. Didn't fit her lifestyle. Needed it for mental health.

traditionalguy said...

The sane part of the USA applied its standards to this mystery death, the evidence and the surrounding cast of characters covering it up as hard as they could, and they read into it a murder. That HAD to be what happened. But Florida folks just saw everyday Florida folks living their everyday lives. When in Sparta, you do as the Spartans do.

Pogo said...

Casey Anthony signature brands of kleenex, plastic beer cups and duct tape might be big sellers.

The Drill SGT said...

Saint Croix said...
And if she is charged, she won't be convicted.


She'll be on the next boat back to Africa (with prejudice) after they reopen her asylun case and compare her statements to the police and her application.

She doesn't have a Nephew in the WH.

Cedarford said...

The public has been told since grade school that our legal system is the "envy of the world". That only a jury can get it right because they alone "have all the facts". The Sacred Parchment of the US Constitution enshines our brilliance and the legal system is the legacy of the Holy Founders and the wise lawyers who know best adding their kernels of wisdom over the years.

Later, as adults having to pay for all the lawyers running around that say a law degree is a basic prerequisite to be a leader or a high elected official, with lawyers seeming to get a money cut of any transaction or project in government and the private sector. As adults, we wonder why we seem to have to have more lawyers than any other nation. And why we should be proud of that "world's envy" fact as well. (Actually, we are second to Israel in lawyers per capita).

Well, anyways, congrats to Casey Anthony and her lawyers - as well as to the wisdom of the jury which alone "weighed all the facts". And since she is innocent, maybe she can adopt a kid to help her and the Anthony Family achieve the healing and closure that a new little tyke will facilitate.

Saint Croix said...

The Prom Mom served 3 years in prison for killing her baby.

She gave birth at her senior prom, in the bathroom. Dropped the baby in the trashcan. Went back out on the dance floor.

Baby died of dehydration.

3 years in prison is a severe penalty for a pretty woman who kills her baby. Mostly we let them go.

Pogo said...

The Casey Anthony drinking game is a combination of beer pong and hide-n-seek.

Sixty Grit said...
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Robert Cook said...

"I feel sorry for Casey Anthony. She proved that she was not guilty to the jury."

No, she didn't prove any such thing, and it is never the defendant's obligation to prove anything.

Although we can't know the jury's collective mind, the most we can say is that the prosecution failed to prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that she was guilty...a very different thing.

I'd bet at least some (or possibly all) of the jurors suspect or believe her to be guilty, but they couldn't find cause in the evidence to support their sending her to prison or death.

Hagar said...

Casey Anthony is a pretty screwed up young woman, but that is not against the law.
The prosecution failed to prove anything, but that Caylee Anthony indubitably is dead, and that Casey had lied about some things in odd ways, but not that the lies are conclusive to her guilt.

I very much feel that the Brits had the right idea (I do not know if this is still so) when they prohibited any mention of a criminal case in the press from the time an arrest was made and until the court rendered a verdict.

Saint Croix said...

People got weeks of entertainment off of a dead baby. They should be thanking this woman

Why don't you substitute "Jew" or "Negro" for "baby" and see if you can spot a problem.

loopyloo305 said...

I haven't been following this case but I am totally pro-life. Are the readers here and some of the writers in the blogoshere saying that our justice system is irrelevant? I love our Constitution and believe in it's precepts and the way I understand it is that a person is judged by their peers and that they are innocent until proven guilty. It's fine to disagree, but it is wrong to decide that just because you disagree that therefore they are guilty. In point of fact the verdict says different. Either we are ruled by laws and the laws work, or they are broken. We can't decide that if we don't like the answer given that it is therefore the wrong answer. That road leads to chaos.

Pogo said...

Sometimes it leads to the liquor store.

Mark O said...

I think she is as guilty as sin (not to put too fine a point on it).

One of the alternate jurors opined that the state had not proven how the child died. She had duct tape on her nose and mouth, but was so badly decomposed from being hidden in a swamp that better examination was not possible. That the exact cause of death could not be determined strikes me as a poor excuse for a not guilty verdict. It seems to me to be a wild extension of the idea of "reasonable doubt." What doubt was reasonable considering the remainder of the evidence, including Casey's unending lies and the fact that for weeks she claimed she did not know where the child was but made up some elablorate lie. What is the reasonable doubt?

Sad day for the little girl.

Pogo said...

And a half mile further, on the left, is where the new Walgreens will be.

holdfast said...

Damn, the second time in a year that I have to endorse a Robert Cook comment.

Is the US justice system flawed? Sure, it was created by humans. Is the jury system perfect? Nope, but it serves a very important purpose, making sure the general public has a place in the justice system so that it is not completely hijacked by connected lawyers and disconnected (from reality) judges.

Anthony said...

Seems to me a case of not being able to provide a cause of death or tying it directly to Casey. I tend to think the biggest culprit in all this will be the police who ignored the guy who first discovered the body when it might have provided more evidence for CoD, and then allowed the guy to go back and potentially disturb the remains. Probably after some time it will be seen as a justifiable verdict legally, though unless she provides a story of the death that can actually be corroborated -- she just started blathering about the "accidental drowning" years after the fact -- she'll probably end up being thought guilty by the majority of people.

Michael Haz said...
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LL said...

I just don't get the fascination with this case. Unfortunately, this isn't a terribly unique crime and it happens all the time. Why did this one catch the fascination of the media and all those following it? I just don't get it.

Cedarford said...

Shanna said to...
I'll make another prediction. The woman who made an apparent false claim of rape on DSK will not be charged with anything.

"Didn't DSK lie at first and say they didn't even have sex? Do you think he's going to be charged with lying to prosecutors?"
============================
I see your point, Shanna! A lie is a lie. And no difference between a liar making false major felony accusation and a lie like "Oh, *cough, cough* I am just too sick to come to work today,

Do you have a level of critical reasoning skills on that level? Honestly??

And in circumstances where someone in authority demands you engage in self-incrimination and answer them so as to gift wrap your being busted - you are at a level of discernment where you believe anyone must answer honestly?

An incident from my wayward past...me and three buds smoking a joint in a park. Cop in shorts on a bike sees us. Wheels on a dime to intercept. Thinking quickly, I swallow the joint and turn my pocket out in case any seeds or stuff was there.
"I saw you smoking weed you little punk college fucks..."
"No, you saw us sharing the cigarette that my friend is still smoking. We all wanted a puff."
"I smell it on you, admit it!"
"I'd like to say you are right, but we CERTAINLY would not be in a public park doing that..in fact, we were all at this party where there was second-hand pot smoke late last night."
"You turned out your pocket."
"And, if I did turn out my pocket because I felt some sand in it?"
Cop mounts his bike. "I'll remember each of you and if I get you, your ass will be in jail a long time."

Thats how the world works.

A planted gun, a false child molestation accusation in a child custody case, a false rape accusation to railroad someone - is not lying "morally equivalent" to denying you did a crime in paying a whore to blow you, telling your wife that her new painting is "beautiful" when it looks like vomit to you,

Michael Haz said...

Prosecutors have spent two decades convincing people that DNA evidence is the irrefutable gold standard evidence of guilt.

The downside is that prosecutors who bring a death-penalty case before a jury, and who don't have any DNA evidence (or witnesses) linking the accused to the crime are bound to lose the case, simply by not meeting the standard for guilt that they had established.

vnjagvet said...

The biggest problem with the prosecution's case was its inability to tie the defendant to the victim's death beyond a reasonable doubt. IOW, there was nothing really to show her responsibility for her daughter's death.

Plastic bags with no tie-in to the defendant, duct tape with no fingerprints or other identifying forensic evidence, no dna, burial in a swamp which had been searched months before without result, no finding of the cause of death, no evidence as when death occurred, etc., etc.

The prosecution did a good job making the jury dislike the defendant; it convinced me she was a narcissitic, spoiled brat whose parents enabled her bad behavior, and I suspect the jury agreed.

But the evidentiary link between her suspicious behavior, lying and generally bad character was missing.

She had no duty whatever to prove how her daughter died. That duty was solely the prosecution's. It failed to do that.

The jury did its job and I believe did it well.

Unfortunate wv "hotto".

mariner said...

Dead Julius,
Too bad that so-called "conservatives" want to do away with the rights of the accused as they continually insist that we defer ever more to police and prosecutors and the whims of the media-soaked mob.

Only in your imagination. I'm a conservative and I don't want any of that crap.

I want return to a Constitutional federal government, complete with limits on government power and robust protection for the rights of the accused.

Chef Mojo said...

I'm just astounded that the prosecutors pursued a capital murder conviction. Seems foolish and vain, given the evidence, or lack thereof. This will go down as prime example of when not to go for the death penalty.

The jury knew that if they convicted on murder one, they would be called to sentence her to death (In Florida, the jury must pass that sentence unanimously.), and I think that focused them on the fact that all the prosecution had were theories. No witnesses. No DNA. No freaking cause of death!

Just smells and bizarre behavior.

Not surprised by this verdict at all. The prosecution over-reached.

vnjagvet said...

While I was writing, Robert Cook and Anthony made much the same point as my comment, butmuch more succinctly.

Chef Mojo said...

The lack of a cause of death is this trial is crucial, I think. How can it be determined that it's homicide of any sort, if you can't determine the cause of death? This is the thing that's really bugging me about the whole thing. How can you say someone has committed homicide when you can't determine if, in fact, a homicide took place?

Sure, the other evidence sure looks bad, but if the coroner can't determine a cause of death, then I'm left wondering.

Am I missing something here?

Icepick said...

What doubt was reasonable considering the remainder of the evidence, including Casey's unending lies and the fact that for weeks she claimed she did not know where the child was but made up some elablorate lie. What is the reasonable doubt?

Casey Anthony had been lying for almost three years about what was happening with herself and Caylee BEFORE Caylee died. The fact that she kept lying for 31 days after Caylee's death and before the police got involved (and the lawyers) is not indicative of anything other than that she continued to lie as before. She didn't just start lying after Caylee's death.

Or was the evidence of all her lying before Caylee's death evidence that she was likely to become a killer?

Almost Ali said...

Well, the media's usual suspects are simply outraged by the NOT GUILTY verdict - especially Snot-Mom Nancy Grace and her many, many co-vipers.

Regarding the trial itself, special thanks has to go out to prosecutor Jeff Ashton, now and forever known as the "Laughing Man." And to Linda Drane-Burdick who never met a ham sandwich she wouldn't convict - who stamped her foot and demanded a verdict of guilty in the first degree (ala Marcia Clark) - but without a single piece of direct evidence.

What this trial represented was the utter and absolute arrogance of the state, and those in the state's employ. This case should have never been brought to trial.

Period.

TWM said...

"What this trial represented was the utter and absolute arrogance of the state, and those in the state's employ. This case should have never been brought to trial."

Seriously? I can see someone arguing there wasn't enough evidence to convict (I disagree), but not enough to bring her to trial?

Bullshit.

vnjagvet said...

Nancy Grace: Pheh! She's been selling her indignant schtick for over 15 years.

For example:

In 1997, the Georgia Supreme Court skewered Grace for her actions in prosecuting Weldon Wayne Carr for allegedly setting fire to his house and murdering his wife. Carr later was freed when Fulton prosecutors waited too long to bring him up for a retrial. While the court reversed Carr's 1994 conviction for other reasons, the justices said Grace withheld evidence entitled to the defense and made improper opening statements and closing arguments.

"We conclude that the conduct of the prosecuting attorney in this case demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness, and was inexcusable," wrote then Chief Justice Robert Benham. Carr v. State, 267 Ga. 701 (1997).

In 1994, the Georgia high court voted 6-1 to reverse a heroin trafficking conviction won by Grace because she "exceeded the wide latitude of closing argument" by referring to drug-related murders and serial rape, which were not at issue. Bell v. State, 263 Ga. 776 (1994).

edutcher said...

The people who acquitted her are also the ones who can't figure out chads.

TWM said...

So much to say about lawyers and judges and juries, etc. but the time saying it is time wasted. So let me sum up.

She got away with murder. And a particularly heninous one at that.

I hope her life is a living hell and a long one.


There's a writer named Julia Gorin who says, in cases like this, the kids eventually get their revenge.

I can't wait.

Carol_Herman said...

Not this time.

Same media type of assassination. She had a wonderful lawyer, though!

Shouldn't be trying people in the media. Our jury system works fine.

Yes, the little girl is dead.

And, yes, the mother seemed indifferent to her toddler. What if the little girl drowned in the pool? And, what if Casey had been abused as a child, herself?

Not so sure "grandpa" here, is any different that "grandma" on the Wisconsin Supreme Court?

It's an act.

For the defense lawyer? He got through to the jury!

OJ? You know the prosecution was awful! The glove didn't fit. Then, of course, it was black people on the jury. Jury NULLIFICATION works for me, too.

ken in sc said...

I recently served on a jury. The case involved sex abuse of a three-year-old girl. Every one on the jury thought the guy was guilty, but nine of them voted ‘not guilty’ because they thought the prosecution did not do a good enough job. It was a hung jury. I voted guilty. Some of the jurors had an exaggerated idea of what ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ meant. They thought it meant beyond ‘all’ doubt. I think this is the ‘CSI’ effect. I think that's what happened here. After the trial I was in, I contacted the prosecuting attorney and found out the guy was definitely guilty. There was evidence they were not allowed to present to us. For one thing, the guy had raped his retarded sister as a juvenile, and had a long history of sex offences. The attorney said she was planning on offering him a generous plea deal to avoid putting the now six-year-old victim through another stressful trial.

Pastafarian said...

Jason: "They should be thanking this woman..."

Gee, thanks for murdering your child, Casey. It was a lot of fun looking at pictures of you partying a few days after she vanished.

As for those of you defending the system, because guilt wasn't proven beyond a "reasonable doubt": Wow, go fuck yourselves.

3 days after her daughter disappeared, she went out and got a tattoo that read "Beautiful Life". She made up so many fucking stories (Zanny the nanny, Zanny took her to Brooklyn, "I know more but I can't say") that were proven to be bullshit that it was obvious to any "reasonable" person that she was guilty.

The hair from a cadaver in her trunk, the stench of death coming from the trunk, the duct tape from her house, the internet searches for "how to break a neck" and "how to make chloroform" performed when only Casey was home, those were all gravy.

Pastafarian said...

Carol Herman: "And, what if Casey had been abused as a child, herself?"

Who gives a shit? She's still responsible for her actions, and she's still a murderer of children.

Cedarford said...

Can't wait for those that say "the jury got it right!" to start up a Casey Anthony Adoption Fund for Casey and the Anthony Family.
They miss the pitter-patter of little tyke feet so much! And an adopted kid would help them get healing and closure.

Unfortunately for those believers! in Casey, and wise juries and the American legal system...the unwashed masses think she did it and will treat her like a pariah.

And her only path to redemption might be chloroforming Nancy Grace, duct-taping her face with a little heart thrown in. Then dump her or "parts of her" in some garbage bags in a swamp.

The public would accept that as a good act of atonement and "getting who deserves killing" right the 2nd time around.

Grace has made a lot of money with her "rabid outrage" act - she doesn't care who is innocent or guilty anymore than when she was a nighmare prosecutor more interested in getting heads and advancing her career than in justice. What a true POS she was was clear in the Duke Lacrosse Case.

Alas, if Casey and Nancy Grace had met in other circumstances, they probably would have taken a liking to one another and partied down.

Michael said...

OJ was able to fall into the loving arms of African Americans. Unlikely this poor chick will be well received outside the tattoo parlors and wet tee shirt bars. The jury pool and the gene pool are each reflecting the other as we descend into universal redneckery. If you are a nitwit you must acquit. Unless, of course., you are rich and white and male. Pathetic.

Lucky for her she got a jury of her peers.

Pastafarian said...

Icepick: "Or was the evidence of all her lying before Caylee's death evidence that she was likely to become a killer?"

No; but when you combine it with the tiny corpse in the swamp 200 yards from her fucking house, that's pretty convincing.

Almost Ali said...

TWM said...
Bullshit.

Go tell it to the jury.

Pastafarian said...

Chef Mojo: "How can you say someone has committed homicide when you can't determine if, in fact, a homicide took place?"

Hell, in that case, I'll make damned sure to do a thorough job of disposing of my next victim. OK, so I took into my possession a 55-gallon-drum of hydrofluoric acid a few weeks before the person's disappearance; and yes, I googled "what acid would dissolve a human body", and I had motive and opportunity.

That's not proof, after all. You can't even show how they died.

Jose_K said...

The woman that killed her children and accused a black man of abucting them avoided death penalty and haa a tv series honoring her.
And yes, the jury system is preposterous. The wisdom of teh crowd, i willbelieve it when someone defending that freak system go to a commoner to perfom on him-her a neurosurgery

Pastafarian said...

Almost Ali: A lot of people voted for Obama a couple of years ago; it doesn't prove they were right.

traditionalguy said...

Power corrupts because unchecked power always shows off. The 12 person jury was the check on power showing off.

In Florida the State is in the habit of showing off power to keep some order among its unique population.

I Celebrate a Defense Attorney who tried the hell out of this case and won it.

Revenant said...

I'm just astounded that the prosecutors pursued a capital murder conviction. Seems foolish and vain, given the evidence, or lack thereof.

I agree. Going for a capital murder conviction with nothing but circumstantial evidence is irresponsible.

Seven Machos said...

I'm getting old at Althouse because I know I've told this story before...

Law school. Criminal Procedure 101. Far left professor. Some case involving a defendant who was obviously guilty as hell but the state ran roughshod over his rights during the trial.

I was called on that day. "What you do think, Mr. Machos?" "Well, I think the guy was guilty as hell and it doesn't matter if he got a fair trial at all."

My point was not well-received.

I'm all for rights and people following the rules. Especially and most importantly the state. But things can go too far in the direction of rights or doctrine -- perhaps in this case, doctrine concerning "beyond a reasonable doubt." Guilty is guilty, rights and theories be damned.

Michael said...

Traditionalguy. The defense attorney pulled the rabibit out of the hat when the jury was seated and when in summary he reminded them that if you did not personally witness the crime you had to carefully consider the possibility that martians did the vile act. He saw his yaps and he played to their redneck love of the fine print, the backwoods theories of riparian rights and blood feud. It was masterful and it was nasty and it scored by hitting the very marrow of the jury's prejudices. The trial was won when the eighth juror was seated.

Chef Mojo said...

@Pastafarian:

You're comparing apples and oranges. In your case, there is no body, which is indeed problematic.

In this case, there was a body, and the coroner could not determine cause of death. Again, I ask, in all seriousness - think about this Pasta! - if you can't determine the cause of death, how can you say that a homicide has occurred?

Regardless of lack of cause of death, this case was doomed by the pursuit of a capital murder conviction. The prosecution over-reached.

What they should have done is prove that she's a bug-fuck crazy sociopath who committed negligent homicide or manslaughter. I think, at the time, the defense would have jumped at the opportunity to plead guilty but insane to manslaughter or negligent homicide.

But, no. The prosecutors had to go for the whole enchilada; the death penalty.

As I said, foolish and vain.

Fred4Pres said...

Jose K: And yes, the jury system is preposterous.

No it is not. They would love you to think that. Then they could go to some European system where juries have mostly gone away.

The jury system is a crucial link in liberty. Is this case some sort of abomination? I do not know, I did not sit through days of Court TV of what was presented to them. It could be as simple as a prosecutor who screwed up. If that is the case the jury did the right thing in aquitting.

You think a single judge is better? They are human too, good and bad. Remember Judge Sumi in Wisconsin. She was a real peach. And a few years of law school and sitting on some bench do not necessarily cause you to have a hightened common sense. Judges can be pathetically bad.

And I would rather guilty people going free than innocent people going to jail.

somefeller said...

Regardless of lack of cause of death, this case was doomed by the pursuit of a capital murder conviction. The prosecution over-reached. What they should have done is prove that she's a bug-fuck crazy sociopath who committed negligent homicide or manslaughter. I think, at the time, the defense would have jumped at the opportunity to plead guilty but insane to manslaughter or negligent homicide. But, no. The prosecutors had to go for the whole enchilada; the death penalty.
As I said, foolish and vain.


This is probably true. You can easily lose if you overplay a good, but not great, hand.

galdosiana said...

Just heard on ET: "Now, WHO will score the first interview? WHO will play her in a movie??!"

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Michael said...

Chef Mojo. The mouth of the childs remains were covered in duct tape as were her nostrils. The body had so decomposed that it was impossible to confirm the cause of death. Common sense might lead one to think of suffocation. But it could have been martians. The defense said that she had drowned and the grandfather and the accused buried her to cover up the accident. Happens all the time that people try to make accidents look like murder.

Fritz said...

Pastafarian said...

Chef Mojo: "How can you say someone has committed homicide when you can't determine if, in fact, a homicide took place?"

Hell, in that case, I'll make damned sure to do a thorough job of disposing of my next victim. OK, so I took into my possession a 55-gallon-drum of hydrofluoric acid a few weeks before the person's disappearance; and yes, I googled "what acid would dissolve a human body", and I had motive and opportunity.

Pick a better, and cheaper acid. Google isn't always right.

Seven Machos said...

And I would rather guilty people going free than innocent people going to jail.

This is what my far-left liberal law professor would have said, and in the long view, of course, I agree wholeheartedly.

In any immediate case, though, when justice is obviously not being wrought, it's hard to see the long view.

I take no position on Casey Anthony. I do think it's made a fine soap opera for a lot of people for a long time, though. And they should face their own sick voyeurism and ask what it all means.

Pastafarian said...

Chef, I think you're right, they shouldn't have gone for the death penalty; but not for the reason you've cited, but because a jury's not going to impose death upon a woman unless they personally witness her taking a meat-cleaver to someone.

Plus she's a somewhat attractive young girl.

It appears to me as though you're saying that no one can ever be convicted if the body can't be found. I'm not a lawyer (and about as far from one as I could be), but wow, that doesn't sound right to me. I'm pretty sure that sort of conviction has happened before.

WestVirginiaRebel said...

As an update to my previous post, I wonder if part of the reason she was cleared of manslaughter was because it was part of the more serious murder charge? It seemed to be all or nothing, so the jury most likely had no choice but to go with nothing.

As for all this talk about the jury and knowing she was guilty...she probably is, but the prosecution had to prove it and couldn't. In retrospect, the evidence (or lack thereof) seemed to be the defining factor in this case.

Anyway, now we can get back to the more important news-like Ahnuld's divorce...

Chef Mojo said...

@Michael:

Common sense might lead one to think of suffocation.

True, that.

But, it doesn't matter. We're not talking about common sense. We're talking about the law, and only one concept mattered here.

I know the child's mouth and nose were duct taped, but they could not prove that was the cause of death. Hypothetical example: What if the child died of SIDS, and the mother went bug-fuck crazy and heard her child talking to her and she felt guilty and taped up the child's face to keep it quiet before disposing it in a swamp?

Now, you're saying, "Well, Chef, I think you're fucking nuts."

But without a cause of death, my hypothetical example is just as valid in the eyes of the law as what the prosecution presented.

Yes, the assumption would be that the woman suffocated her child with duct tape, but you can't convict on capital murder and impose the death penalty on a fucking assumption!

Pastafarian said...

Chef -- and that's without a body. They have a body here; they just can't be sure whether she was asphyxiated or poisoned or drowned.

What does it matter? Pick one. Hell, pick the one that would be most favorable to the defense. Let's assume that to be the case -- let's assume that the girl was drowned.

She was found wrapped in duct tape in a swamp a few hundred yards from the Anthony house. The mother went out partying after the little girl "disappeared." And made up wild stories and tried to implicate other people, real and imagined.

I think people have pretty different ideas of the meaning of the word "reasonable."

But I would like to hear more about these Martians. That shines a whole new light on this case. You can't trust those fucking Martians.

Phil 3:14 said...

Too bad that so-called "conservatives" want to do away with the rights of the accused as they continually insist that we defer ever more to police and prosecutors and the whims of the media-soaked mob.

I guess I missed that news story. Which prominent conservatives have called for the end of the jury system? Or are you speaking of angry commenters on a blog?

Do you also call the police and SWAT team when someone in a bar exclaims "They should shoot 'em all and let God sort it out!"

Clyde said...

The difference is that O.J. was infamous, wealthy and retired, with the ability to fall back on signing his name on sports memorabilia for money. Casey Anthony is infamous, young and jobless. Who would want to hire her, even in a good economy, when her dishonesty has been made manifest on national television? Who would want to become personally involved with her in any way, given her chameleon personality and dysfunctional family? She may not be going to jail, but she might have been happier there getting three hots and cot and not having to face the opprobrium of people who think she got away with murder on a daily basis.

WV: lahero. O.J. ante.

Pastafarian said...

If there were 3 witnesses, wouldn't it be an assumption that the 3 witnesses didn't all conspire in a frame-up?

If there was a single 0.45 diam hole in the victim's head and a video of the accused firing a round from a 1911 at point blank range at the victim, wouldn't conviction require us to leap to the conclusion that the accused didn't miss, and that the wound wasn't caused by an unseen sniper with a 45/70?

And on and on and on. Nothing outside of mathematics is ever really proven.

Synova said...

"And they should face their own sick voyeurism and ask what it all means."

Amen.

MayBee said...

Parents: If you want to get away with killing your kids, buy yourself an above ground pool and throw the body in a swamp. Once the body decomposes, they'll never be able to prove your kid didn't drown.

Chef Mojo said...

@Pastafarian:

Everything I'm presenting is in the context of pursuing a capital murder conviction.

That was, I repeat, foolish and vain of the prosecutors.

I think she's guilty as hell, but I'm not the prosecutor, and the prosecutor did not prove his case to to the jury's satisfaction in order to to convict on murder one, and then have the burden to sentence her to death. That is what was being asked of them.

Now, excuse me if I'm a little uncomfortable with that threshold. As a juror - and I've been one on a manslaughter case - I have to follow the law as presented to me by the judge. Beyond that, if I'm an honorable and decent man, I cannot let anything else determine how I vote. Only the law matters.

This is something that I don't think the majority of Americans grasp. This is not a sport. This is not about revenge or lynch-mobs-by-proxy. This is about following the law.

I'm not a lawyer, and I have no desire to be one, but that's not what they, the jury, were asked to be. They were asked to follow the law, as presented to them by the judge.

That's all that matters.

traditionalguy said...

Last thoughts: Casey Anthony will not die because of a good trial attorney who understood the jurors and did a workmanlike job.

No reporter could have done that.

No Ladies Clothing Store Owner could have done that.

MayBee said...

And they should face their own sick voyeurism and ask what it all means.

Perhaps it means people are interested in seeing how justice is practiced in this country.
Court cases are open to the public for good reason.

I'm trying to figure out what goes through the mind of someone who calls following this case "sick voyeurism". What cases are ok to follow? When is it ok to be interested in the lives and possible crimes of others?

Seven Machos said...

MayBee -- Think about the implications of the fact that you -- or, if not you, apparently millions of other people -- have chosen to follow this particular case closely. Why this case? Why these facts?

Do you suppose that it's mere coincidence that a fantastically high percentage of the people following the case are women? That they're white? That they fit a certain age demographic? A certain income demographic?

Why do you suppose that so many similar people have followed this case with such angst while so many other people couldn't give a single shit?

Saint Croix said...

What if the child died of SIDS, and the mother went bug-fuck crazy and heard her child talking to her and she felt guilty and taped up the child's face to keep it quiet before disposing it in a swamp?

Is this before or after she googled "how to make chloroform"?

You've changed the legal standard to beyond a fucking idiot doubt. That's a hard standard to meet.

NYTNewYorker said...

I do believe that Almost Ali had this trial called from the beginning.

Kudos Ali!

Pastafarian said...

traditionalguy: Yeah, those lawyers are heroes. Rah, rah.

And yet, I sort of doubt you'll be interviewing Casey for the position of nanny for your grandchildren. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Lucius said...

Michael said: "Happens all the time that people try to make accidents look like murder."

That about sums up the real-life defense for Ms. Anthony.

Chef Mojo said...

@St. Croix:

Is this before or after she googled "how to make chloroform"?

I've Googled far more sinister things than that, I assure you.

Should it be held against me in a court of law?

Example: If I did google searches on white power and anti-semitism and the local Jewish cemetery is defaced with swastikas, am I therefore a suspect based on my google searches?

The woman did Google searches on chloroform? Well, ok. Why does that matter?

Especially if there is absolutely no evidence that chloroform was used in this case?

Saint Croix said...

Why do you suppose that so many similar people have followed this case with such angst while so many other people couldn't give a single shit?

Maybe women care more about babies than assholes in ski masks.

MayBee said...

Why do you suppose that so many similar people have followed this case with such angst while so many other people couldn't give a single shit?

What makes it sick and voyeuristic?
A lot of people don't care about a lot of things other people care about. I asked you what makes it cross the line? Is it different than the Phil Spectre trial, or the Amanda Knox case, or the Watergate hearings, or OJ?

I've often seen people with a personal connection to a case beg to have the public stop talking about it. "This is our personal pain!" they'll say. I understand that, but that doesn't mean the public will stop being interested or the press will stop covering it. I don't know what makes someone who is unconnected to a case take such personal umbrage at the interest of others.

Pastafarian said...

Seven, do you suppose that a lot of mothers follow this case because they consider the murder of one's own child to be particularly horrific, and that it calls out for justice?

Or do you suspect something more...sinister, or scandalous?

I really don't know what you're driving at here.

Seven Machos said...

Croix -- Possibly.

Or possibly the millions of women who relished watching this unfold have had thoughts -- conscious or not, repressed or not -- of killing their own children and thus becoming free of the burden of motherhood.

Probably, though, it's all much more complex than you or I could parse out here in blog comments.

Saint Croix said...

If I did google searches on white power and anti-semitism and the local Jewish cemetery is defaced with swastikas, am I therefore a suspect based on my google searches?

It would nullify your argument that you were putting tape on the mouths of dead Jews you just happened to find in your pool.

Seven Machos said...

Is it different than the Phil Spectre trial, or the Amanda Knox case, or the Watergate hearings, or OJ?

Interesting list. One of the names doesn't belong, because it involved a boring crazy murderer. And it didn't really titillate. The others did titillate precisely because they clearly tap into deep and latent social issues.

Chef Mojo said...

@St. Croix:

It seems you would nullify the law for the sake of a satisfactory lethal injection a decade or so down the road.

Pastafarian said...

Chef Mojo: "Example: If I did google searches on white power and anti-semitism and the local Jewish cemetery is defaced with swastikas, am I therefore a suspect based on my google searches?"

Better example: If you were already suspected of the vandalism for another reason (let's say you're the caretaker of the cemetery and when questioned you make up wild stories about "Zanny the Nazi") and then they find google searches of "best spraypaint for marble and limestone" and "how to spraypaint swastikas" on your PC...you might be in a little trouble.

Unless you have a jury of body-lice from America's wang.

Trooper York said...

No ladies clothing store owner would get a baby killing sociopath off.

You got that right.

You lawyers should be proud.

Sabinal said...

i did not follow the issue much, but it looks like the prosecution believed the jury could be easily swayed by the story not the facts. If that is true, they knew from the get-go that they did not have the connections. And the jurors had the pressure of the death penalty. No matter who the persons is,(black white, male, female) the idea of playing God - especially when the public begs for it - is not easy.

Trooper York said...

I was recently called for jury duty.

My opinions of lawyers and the law were only more forcefully reinforced.

The law is an ass. The people who practice it are the holes.

The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

Never more true than in this case.

Revenant said...

Common sense might lead one to think of suffocation.

Or the duct tape was used to secure the blankets and trash bags in which the already-dead body was wrapped.

Or she was duct-taped to keep her quiet and then died accidentally -- which to me makes a heck of a lot more sense than "she was deliberately suffocated with duct tape". But prosecutors didn't go for that theory because it would rule out a capital murder conviction.

Saint Croix said...

Probably, though, it's all much more complex than you or I could parse out here in blog comments.

Fine. The women who are upset about this case might not have a voyeuristic enjoyment of infanticide. And people in ski masks who don't give a shit might not be callous assholes who don't care about infanticide.

Glad we got that straight.

Seven Machos said...

Long ago, Althouse posted about that poor little Ramsey girl who was murdered in Colorado. This compelled me to waste part of my life looking into the case. Clearly, I decided, the mother accidentally killed the child in a fit of rage and there was a poor but successful cover-up thereafter.

That case received similar national attention, and for similar and similarly complex reasons. And while I know nothing about this Anthony case, I am prepared to suggest that there was probably an accidental murder here. As people have suggested, there was no need for the death penalty. Prosecutorial overreach probably doomed the state here. Very simple.

Chef Mojo said...

@Pastafarian:

Is the jury required to follow the law or not? Does the law supersede what they, the jury, feel is "society's" expectations to come up with a capital conviction regardless of the evidence in the eyes of the law?

Really, because this is what it boils down to.

Synova said...

I think that the defining trait of "sick voyeurism" involves the elevation of one case above all others into a national circus that absolutely none of the "voyeurs" can impact in any way.

Scott Peterson
Jon Benet
Natalee Holloway
Casey Anthony

A person has to wonder... Did no other men kill their wives, no other child die mysteriously, no other incredibly cute teenaged girl disappear, no other mother kill her child?

Without these people, would Nancy Grace even be employed?

Call in to vote! See the numbers on the bottom of the television screen. For "Scott Peterson is guilty!" dial 555-1234. For "Scott Peterson is innocent!" dial 555-4321.

Seven Machos said...

Croix -- You are right. I'm not too interested in the case. It looks like a garden-variety accidental child murder to me.

However, I am utterly fascinated by the public reaction to the case, and the way people have been following it like demented voyeurs.

Pastafarian said...

Revenant -- or the Vatican and the Bilderbergers planted that duct tape there, to throw us off the trail of the Martians.

caplight said...

Were there any wise Latinas on the jury?

Can Nancy Grace's nostrils survive tonight's orgy of flaring in indignation and anger?

Will the jury system, the Magna Carta and the U S Constitution survive Jose K's elitest, totalitarian inclinations?

Will the Media be able to blame everyone else for their own greedy, self righteous excesses?

Saint Croix said...

Or she was duct-taped to keep her quiet and then died accidentally

Yeah, that's manslaughter. They acquitted her of manslaughter. They acquitted her of everything. Now she gets to write her book about why she did it.

Seven Machos said...

Did no other men kill their wives, no other child die mysteriously, no other incredibly cute teenaged girl disappear, no other mother kill her child?

This!

There are clearly, clearly psychological issues at play among the people who get involved in watching these cases so intensely. You've got ask yourselves: why those cases. Why those doomed middle class white women?

Pastafarian said...

Chef Mojo, if there were three witnesses and video tape of the murder, would that be enough evidence?

Because witnesses can be bought, and video staged -- just look at what they did with the "moon landing."

MayBee said...

Did no other men kill their wives, no other child die mysteriously, no other incredibly cute teenaged girl disappear, no other mother kill her child?

Would it be sick and voyeuristic to talk about them?

traditionalguy said...

Pastafarian...Lawyers seldom get days to celebrate. But there are moments in time. We are not heroes.

But there are special times when one lawyer and the Jury that he wins over can establish a reality that the Judge, the DA, the Court of Appeals, CNN and the rest of the TV talking head panels working together cannot erase, for all time.

Judging people is a God given office that seems to be watched over by the Creator of Judging, and He uses fair Judges and good hearted lawyers.

Althouse needs to tell her students that.

Seven Machos said...

MayBee --- The theme is the issue. Why do people keep attaching themselves to these cases involving middle class white women or children (or, better, both) in extraordinary peril or calamity?

Think in terms of literary criticism here. Think in terms of narrative. Why does this same basic narrative keep coming up and seizing people? That's what's interesting.

Chef Mojo said...

@Pastafarian:

Revenant -- or the Vatican and the Bilderbergers planted that duct tape there, to throw us off the trail of the Martians.

Snark? Really? Bitter, much?

This is a time to learn. Prosecutors should look at this case in wonder and amazement. And learn.

Learn what?

Well, you don't pursue a capital conviction way below the threshold of evidence of the vast majority of capital cases. That is foolish. And vain.

You don't stack the lesser charges into the trial with capital charge. Why? A juror might wonder why you've got fall-back positions. Could it be they think you're not confident on making the capital case that require you to sentence a person to death? You're trying all the charges together, based on the same evidence! If the evidence doesn't support the most serious charge, then where does that leave the lesser charges?

Carol_Herman said...

This is democracy. This is how it works. We've all gotten notices to serve on juries. And, we've all come away thinking a lot less of prosecutors and judges.

At least I did.

And, again. This is how the system is supposed to work.

While the media gets very aggressive at assassinating characters.

I bet the good news, when the verdict got read out loud, there were journalists who crapped in their pants!

See? Justice for all.

I'm glad the journalists couldn't carry off their prize.

MayBee said...

However, I am utterly fascinated by the public reaction to the case, and the way people have been following it like demented voyeurs.

I'm utterly fascinated by how the fact that *you* aren't interested in this particular case translates into "People who are interested in this case are sick".

Pastafarian said...

Synova -- speaking of Scott Peterson: He was convicted, if I recall correctly, on much less evidence than we had in this case.

One of the pieces of evidence was some of her hair on a pair of pliers.

Her hair, on a boat that it was acknowledged by the defense that she was on, that could have come out when she was alive.

Contrast that with the Anthony girl's hair found in the trunk of Casey's car -- hair that came out of a cadaver.

Gosh, I wonder what the difference is here.

Seven Machos said...

MayBee -- Dude, really.

Scott Peterson
Jon Benet
Natalee Holloway
Casey Anthony


Do you not see a fascinating trend here?

Synova said...

It would be sick and voyeuristic to get emotionally invested in them.

These mega-cases develop a following... if it involves emotional investment, and I think perverts like Nancy Grace actively push that in order to push ratings, it's similar *emotionally* to fandom. The emotion isn't *love*, but so what?

A person can be interested without "going there" and I wouldn't say who is merely interested and concerned and who is inappropriately interested and invested, but I think it's outrageous to suppose that there are not a great many people who are, right now, in emotional distress because they were in a sick, voyeuristic relationship.

Seven Machos said...

Pasta -- The difference is that one jury chose to convict and another did not.

It's not easy to get 12 people to agree on something, even something unimportant. You have to respect the fact that there was agreement.

Saint Croix said...

I'm not too interested in the case. It looks like a garden-variety accidental child murder to me.

It's bizarre to me that you have harsher rhetoric for the people following this case than you do for a woman you suspect accidentally murdered her child.

I mean, you think she killed her kid. She's walking around free. And you're going to yell at the people who are mad about it?

Weird.

Erik said...

"What doubt was reasonable considering the remainder of the evidence..."

The prosecution should have considered that before going to trial. Cause of death is important. If they don't know how the child died, they can't easily tie a person conclusively to the murder. In this case, the prosecution went forward with a circumstantial case and lost as a result.

I don't know if she did it or not, but the reality is that sometimes there simply can't be enough evidence for a conviction due to circumstances. This seems to be one of them.

Pastafarian said...

Chef: "Learn what?"

If you're going to kill someone,

a) do it in America's Wang, and

b) obliterate the corpse.

Other than that, feel free to go out and party like it's 1999, swing from a stripper pole, get celebratory tattoos, and make up any bullshit stories you want. You're golden.

Seven Machos said...

Synova -- I just had occasion to visit Facebook. When I'm there I always look at the page that tells me what people are saying.

It's a chorus of middle-aged white women spouting -- wailing, gnashing teeth -- about this case.

MayBee said...

Think in terms of literary criticism here. Think in terms of narrative. Why does this same basic narrative keep coming up and seizing people? That's what's interesting.

It isn't really that interesting or unique that people are interested in real cases that fit a certain narrative. We do the same when it comes to books, movies, and any manner of news stories. Fiction and non-fiction.

It is certainly a far cry from sick.

Seven Machos said...

Croix -- I am not yelling. I am merely giving my opinion, which is that the case itself is not very interesting. What is interesting is the crazed reaction of people who, for reasons they themselves should stop and think deeply about, emotionally invested themselves in a criminal case and followed it exactly like The Young and the Restless.

Seven Machos said...

It isn't really that interesting or unique that people are interested in real cases that fit a certain narrative. We do the same when it comes to books, movies, and any manner of news stories. Fiction and non-fiction.

I think on your fourth or fifth gruesome murder of a middle class woman or child, you've got to stop and ask yourself why exactly this is an avid interest of yours.

Chef Mojo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pastafarian said...

traditionalguy: "...good hearted lawyer..."

OK, I get it now. I'm pretty thick sometimes. You're fucking with us. You need to indicate your sarcasm with a little less subtlety next time.

Good-hearted lawyers -- I'm wiping my eyes from that one.

"...one lawyer...can establish a reality..."

His reality. So much for this absolutist "there's only one reality" bullshit, huh, tradguy? There's his reality, and yours, and mine. And in their reality, Casey Anthony was mourning up on that stripper's pole. And thanks to those noble lawyers, she won't have to do another day in jail, plus she won't be burdened with that pain-in-the-ass child. Rah-fuckety-rah-rah.

caplight said...

Pasta can hope that he or his are never in the cross hairs of the State.

Chef Mojo said...

@Pastafarian:

Sigh.

Have another drink. Might wash the bitterness away after awhile.

You want a head on a pole.

I would have wanted justice intelligently served, had the prosecution really given a rat's ass about justice instead of the big enchilada.

They fucked up. I don't see what you don't understand about this.

wv: truce: 'nuff said.

MayBee said...

I think on your fourth or fifth gruesome murder of a middle class woman or child, you've got to stop and ask yourself why exactly this is an avid interest of yours.

Would you say that to Joe McGinnis? Ann Rule? A defense attorney? A prosecutor?

Pastafarian said...

Chef: "Have another drink."

Oh no you didn't. I'll have you know that I haven't drunk-commented in days. Days.

Now, my annual NC vacation begins in less than two weeks, and that will be a shameful drunken marathon.

No, I agree, you're right, the prosecution was stupid and reckless. But I still think there was enough evidence to convict. There was a hair from a cadaver in her trunk, for fuck's sake, with DNA from either the grandmother, the mother, or the victim; and only one is dead.

Again, I think my "reasonable doubt" is not the same as yours or the jury's.

Seven Machos said...

Would you say that to Joe McGinnis? Ann Rule? A defense attorney? A prosecutor?

To the authors, certainly. Look at McGinnis. Clearly, crazy. He moved in next to Palin.

Ann Rule I know nothing about other than my white-working-poor mother was a huge fan.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors are not voyeurs. They are participants. That's a whole different psychological enchilada.

Revenant said...

Yeah, that's manslaughter. They acquitted her of manslaughter. They acquitted her of everything.

Let me clarify my earlier statement.

Yes, accidental death would have been manslaughter, but the prosecution never made an argument for accidental death. They claimed the tape residue was evidence of first degree murder. Jurors are NOT supposed to say "well I don't buy that but I've thought up my own theory that she suffocated accidentally so I'll vote to convict on manslaughter". The prosecutor is supposed to make an argument for manslaughter, and this one didn't (presumably because it would have undermined the capital case).

Michael said...

Chef Mojo: Sorry to say but I believe the defense lawyer would have popped you on that jury before you could fry an egg. Because you can't just assume that the tape was put on the child's mouth when she was alive, it could have been put there by a meteorite or by someone trying to test out the holding power of that particular, unusual, brand of duct tape. Because if you can't determine the cause of death how can you prove death itself? Riddle me that.

Chef Mojo said...

@Pastafarian:

Now, my annual NC vacation begins in less than two weeks, and that will be a shameful drunken marathon.

Heh. OBX?

Have fun, regardless!

Erik said...

This idea that people react only a certain way to tragedy is silly, and all the recent famous cases seem to exhibit people who didn't behave the way people expected them to. That, however, isn't convincing evidence. It may look horrible, but it's not illegal to not meet people's expectations. It may throw suspicion on a person, but conviction requires evidence. And the evidence offered clearly wasn't enough for what the prosecution wanted.

As for the interest in the case: I don't think it's really a surprise or any big deal. Some people find these sorts of things interesting in the way others find murder mysteries interesting. Lots of people get caught up in the fictional lives of characters on TV, and it's no surprise that they're similarly interested in the non-fictional lives of people on TV. Some stories are more interesting than others.

Again, it's about expectations. Thinking that everyone should share your own preferences and choices is something most people grow out of at adulthood.

Synova said...

What is an "untangle server" error?

It was even a short comment, too. Sigh.

Essentially: The Jury in the Anthony case MAY have felt an overwhelming responsibility to avoid reacting emotionally, in effect causing the standard of "proof" to become unrealistically strict BECAUSE of the never-ending national drama beginning with Scott Peterson (and OJ).

Will the media vultures ever ask themselves if they contributed to the not-guilty verdict?

(Yes, that was a trick question.)

Michael said...

I happened to see the prosecutions rebuttal, their last word. And it was the chick lawyer, of course, who got in the last word. And to what did she compare her moment? To that of a field goal kicker sent in after the other guys had gotten the ball to the two yard line. Now imagine if you are on that jury. She is saying, out loud, that the game is tied and it is up to her stupid ass to kick the field goal. Well chick lawyer, you missed. From the two.

Pastafarian said...

Seven: "You have to respect the fact that there was agreement."

Did you respect the fact that there was agreement in the OJ Simpson case, Seven?

Now, I have to admit -- I did follow the OJ Simpson case pretty closely. Was that dirty and voyeuristic of me? Or was the female victim in that case sufficiently middle-aged to allow interest without it being creepy?

Maybe it means I secretly want to murder my wife...

Seven Machos said...

Erik -- So there's nothing fascinating to you about the fact that lower and middle class white women are constantly getting emotionally involved in criminal cases where a lower or middle class white woman is thrust into exciting but doomed circumstances, as either an evil bitch or a sort-of princess who meets a bad end?

That's just humdrum to you? That says nothing to you about our national character or our current national mood? Seriously?

Jason said...

Its pretty hard to prove a murder case when you have no weapon, no witnesses, and no DNA evidence. The prosecution had none of those in this case.

I paid attention to the case a fair deal, and most of the prosecution's case rested upon "air samples" taken from the trunk of her car, and a piece of duck tape stuck to the jaw of the girl. That, and the fact that a 22-year old woman liked to drink, party, and was promiscuous.

In the end she is probably guilty, but there is a difference between being guilty in the court of public opinion and actually holding someone's life in your hands if you return a guilty verdict. Hence the reason Im not overly surprised she was acquitted.

The part that surprises me is that they needed only 11 hours of deliberation.

Michael said...

Pastafarian: Hope for heavy rains between now and your vacation. A southwest wind is bringing a lot of smoke, visible smellable smoke to the OBX from whence I have just returned. Magnificent fireworks last night at Manteo.

Pastafarian said...

Synova at 8:00: That's an interesting take on this.

Chef Mojo said...

@Michael:

Because if you can't determine the cause of death how can you prove death itself? Riddle me that.

Michael, that's not really bright of you, to say the least.

Death is a provable state. Dead is dead. The state had a body. That it was dead is not in question. It is totally irrelevant to the case, because there is no argument that there is a dead body.

What is relevant to the case and trial is how that child became a corpse.

And you don't try a capital case without a cause of death.

What about this is so complicated to you?

"Riddle me that," my ass.

Erik said...

Seven: this sort of interest isn't new, isn't unique to this nation, this moment in history or this moment in culture. So yes, I think it says very little. It is an incredibly humdrum example of base human nature. There has always been interest in the tawdry, the macabre, and the sensational. We're exposed more to it because of the nature of media and the internet, but it's not new.

Seven Machos said...

Now, I have to admit -- I did follow the OJ Simpson case pretty closely.

So you followed the O.J. case "pretty closely" and you seem to have followed this case "very closely" as well, as you seem to have a huge emotional investment in the outcome.

Yes, without question, you are a murder voyeur.

I've got plenty of fucked up interests that say plenty of things about me, dude. But let's face those things. Wail with them.

That's all I'm saying to you.

MayBee said...

That's just humdrum to you? That says nothing to you about our national character or our current national mood? Seriously?

I've seen grown men cry when their baseball team loses. I've known men who actually develop a hatred for other baseball teams and players. Baseball. It means nothing. It has no real affect on their lives. It's sick. Our nation is sick.

Seven Machos said...

Erik -- When did I say it was new or different?

Also, as great as I am, I don't think merely criticizing Seven Machos is any way to be relevant in a thread.

Seven Machos said...

MayBee -- Baseball is actually interesting.

Erik said...

Seven, you did express surprise that interest in this was "humdrum" which suggested that you thought it actually *wasn't* humdrum. And so I don't think it was much of a jump to think that you were implying this recent interest was something new and different.

Pastafarian said...

Chef and Michael: Holden Beach.

I plan on constructing a rubber replica of a sea turtle and running up and down the beach shouting "turtle soup!" at least one night. They take their turtles pretty fucking seriously down there, and this won't end well. With some luck, they'll banish me from the state. Should this happen, it's entirely possible that you'll read of my death at the hands of my wife.

Avenge my death. I sure as hell can't count on the legal system to do it.

SunnyJ said...

Agreed, not enough evidence for murder or manslaughter with all the liars in this family but, explain to me how the law looks at this:

Mother has child with her for 3 yrs, and then for 30 days she does not know where child is, if she is being fed, clothed, molested, beaten, tortured, sleeping on the streets, dead or alive and she is responsible for this child. After 30 days someone else (Grandmother) reports the child missing. Lots of lies and child found dead.

How is this not at least a neglect charge? How is there no charge of any kind on the accountability for this childs welfare? The counts guilty were lying to police.

traditionalguy said...

Pastafarian...I meant a NEW legal reality.

She can never be tried again.

There will never be a conviction on her record.

The DA will never run for governor bragging about the Big Case he won.

She will never be fodder for the jailers, nor the executioners, nor for the CNN Special Reporters.

That is a PERMANENT legal reality that one lawyer and a jury just created.

That is where Abraham Lincoln learned to exercise one man's power... in the court rooms of Illinois. He did so well that he was later promoted, using those same skills, to make some good hearted proclamations.

And Abe never lost a case until John Wilkes Booth went insane over Abe's string of victories and shot him in the back of his head. Booth was was just another Democrat who hated Republicans.

RLB_IV said...

"Nancy Grace is being treated for severe whiplash from shaking her head back and forth after the verdict."

Put her neck in a brace and wire her mouth shut.

Pastafarian said...

MayBee: "Baseball. It means nothing... It's sick."

I agree whole-heartedly. Trooper York and Lem are a couple of pre-verts.

When does hockey season start?

Lucius said...

I didn't follow this case; but insofar as it became a public obsession, I don't think this was an instance of White Woman in Trouble, a la Holloway or what have you.

If anything, it's because Casey Anthony's story(s) are so ludicrously fabulous, she's like a psychobitch character off "The Young and the Restless."

The kind of woman that makes the audience (guys too) yell at the screen: "C'mon, Paul, you can't possibly buy that sobstory bullshit!"

I have a mother and stepfather who watch TY&TR religiously. I know how that plays.

To take Anthony at anything remotely like face-value, we'd have to be mentally functioning at whatever Piaget stage a five-year old is on.

I'm not saying the prosecution didn't overreach: basically, I accede that they did.

But common sense is screaming loudly that Anthony should be locked up for *something*. I'm not going to argue law; I'm just talking about, as SevenMachos suggests, 'narrative.'

Pastafarian said...

tradguy: "There will never be a conviction on her record."

Well, thank goodness for that, and thank goodness for lawyers. Otherwise poor Casey would have to list that conviction on her application for the daycare center.

Mel said...

I served for a murder trial in March. We found a man guilty of 1st degree reckless homicide. We could just as easily have found him not guilty, because the state didn't (in my opinion) prove their case. It was all emotions. The deliberation room was a madhouse. It's what the prosecution was hoping for.

Pastafarian said...

Chef Mojo: "And you don't try a capital case without a cause of death."

Well, what about manslaughter? Because she was acquitted of that too.

That pretty much just leaves the Martian theory, doesn't it?

What's the average IQ down there in Florida? Does the tropical sun actually bake people's brains? Or are stupid people drawn to heat and humidity like flies to shit?

Big Mike said...

Do sequestered juries lapse into some variation of "Stockholm syndrome"?

Seven Machos said...

Dudes, think about this. Murders happen all the time. Wives die all the time. Children are murdered all the time. Americans die abroad all the time. Americans are imprisoned abroad all the time.

There is no national sensation -- no 24-hour coverage, no tabloid headlines.

But why is it that the American public seems to become fascinated with these kinds of cases only when a white female is involved?

That's a fascinating question.

Seven Machos said...

Well, what about manslaughter?

Rev explained this nicely. Juries are told explicitly not to manufacture their own theories of the case. The fact that you don't know this merely means that you don't understand the very system you are bitching to high heaven about.

vnjagvet said...

Upthread, someone explained the prosecution's problem with manslaughter, Pasta. It didn't even try to get a conviction for that offense, preferring instead to go for the long ball. As long ball hitters often do, they struck out.

Pastafarian said...

Hey, I just tuned in to Nancy Grace. They had a split screen where they showed the lead defense attorney, Jose Baez or something like that, somberly announcing "There are no winners here...", while trying like hell to hold back a smile...

While in the other screen, other noble attorneys can be seen literally jumping up and down, dancing, high-fiving each other, and I shit you not, popping champagne.

Noble, Godly, good-hearted attorneys. Like Lincoln, really.

Seven Machos said...

The facts of a case cannot simultaneously point to first-degree murder and manslaughter. Or, anyway, it would take a very agile prosecutor to pull it off.

Indeed, this prosecutor whiffed.

By the way, the best portrayal of a prosecutor in fiction is in Bonfire of the Vanities, and there the prosecutor does not come off well.

Saint Croix said...

Yes, accidental death would have been manslaughter, but the prosecution never made an argument for accidental death. They claimed the tape residue was evidence of first degree murder. Jurors are NOT supposed to say "well I don't buy that but I've thought up my own theory that she suffocated accidentally so I'll vote to convict on manslaughter". The prosecutor is supposed to make an argument for manslaughter, and this one didn't (presumably because it would have undermined the capital case).

Yeah, that's wrong. The jury was give a manslaughter charge and they can conclude from the evidence that mom put the tape on the kid to shut her up and accidentally killed her.

It sounds to me like she probably killed her daughter intentionally, but I haven't heard the evidence so I don't know for sure.

MayBee said...

Juries are told explicitly not to manufacture their own theories of the case.

The prosecution offers their theory of how the death occurred, given the evidence. The jury is supposed to evaluate the facts presented along with the evidence and come to their own conclusion. There was nothing in this case that precluded the jury from believing Casey didn't mean to kill Caylee with the duct tape. In fact, that's why the prosecution included that charge.

traditionalguy said...

Pasta...It wasn't the Martian theory. These jurors were from another county but probably recognized a normal Floridian family...all screwed up and lost, but not the murdering kind.

Why not accept that opinion rather than apply NYC and LA standards to Floridians.

Apart from the coastal resort areas (NYC South runs from Hollywood south to Miami,) Florida has an agricultural and fishing heritage with some light industry added lately. The only other jobs there are variations on conning the retirees, which makes them all into good story tellers.

MayBee said...

The facts of a case cannot simultaneously point to first-degree murder and manslaughter.

Of course they can.

Pastafarian said...

Seven, there are only two plausible possibilities here: Either she killed the child intentionally (first degree murder) or unintentionally (manslaughter).

Unless you want to entertain theories involving Martians.

If the fact that the prosecution tried exclusively to prove the first means that the only other option has to be ruled out, then that's a flaw in the system. So yes, I'll continue to bitch about it, if that's alright with you, oh credentialed one.

My, but you're a judgmental little man; ironic given that no one else is allowed to judge anyone else about anything unless given slam-dunk evidence.

Pastafarian said...

MayBee said: "The jury is supposed to evaluate the facts presented along with the evidence and come to their own conclusion."

Oh, pish posh, MayBee. They're mere jurors, they're not anointed Attorneys, the only people capable of developing a theory of the crime. Per Seven, only Attorneys have the intellectual wherewithal required; and according to traditionalguy, Attorneys are actually descended directly from Heaven, like angels only with nicer cars and suits.

Saint Croix said...

The facts of a case cannot simultaneously point to first-degree murder and manslaughter.

Yeah, no kidding. First degree murder requires premeditation. Manslaughter is accidental death.

Just because there is a conflict there for the jury to settle, does not mean the jury should conclude, "she put tape on her dead child's mouth."

Pastafarian said...

traditionalguy: "the jurors...probably recognized a normal Floridian family..."

Oh, well, they looked normal. Why didn't you say so? White, middle-class; straight white teeth, they could apparently afford orthodontics.

Must be innocent.

So that's how this works. I see. My faith in the legal system is restored.

By the way -- Casey accused her father of molesting her. Is that considered normal in Florida? Because that would help explain the verdict too, in another way.

MayBee said...

I'm just trying to imagine why giving a jury the choice between manslaughter and first degree would even be in existence if it were true that the prosecution actually had to choose which one happened and then prove that only and the jury could not- could not- consider the other.

At the same time I'm trying to imagine the trial where the prosecution actually has to make the case for BOTH manslaughter and first degree as if they are equally likely.
"This duct tape was put on the baby to suffocate her. Also, this duct tape was put on the baby only to keep her quiet! It was murder! It was manslaughter. "

Roy Lofquist said...

Couple or three thoughts....

Those of you who carry on about various things such as duct tape obviously didn't follow the closing arguments. Lot's of folks out there have a fondness for fish - I speak specifically to red herrings.

For those who denigrate the character of the people in places where you have obviously never been - Fuck You. Sideways. With a halibut.

We have trial by jury for exactly the same reason we have the right to bear arms - Don't Tread on Me!

Saint Croix said...

In our society, "baby" is the new black, the new Jew.

I can't wait for the insult, "babylover."

Ha ha, those stupid babylovers. Listen to them whine.

MayBee said...

Oh, pish posh, MayBee. They're mere jurors, they're not anointed Attorneys, the only people capable of developing a theory of the crime.

Yeah, Pasta. This jury wasn't allowed to think the duct tape might have been put on the baby to keep her quiet and thus accidentally killed her.
Instead they had to go with the defense theory that *something* happened in the pool yadda yadda yadda...the baby ended up in a plastic bag and duct tape, and also Roy Kronk!

JAL said...

I am one of the people who only saw a few glimpses of the ex-mom's face during this trial. Didn't follow it. Accidentally know some things about it.

Question: Who on this list has searched for "chloroform" on the internet? How many times?

Prediction: Look for the ex-mom to make the national news again in the future connected to a violent act.

(And will the grandmother be charged with perjury?)

traditionalguy said...

Pasta... LOL! Attorneys are sometimes used to argue above and beyond our natural abilities in a case. But we soon turn back into pumpkins like the attorneys that Trooper always tells us we are. But any trial lawyer will report experiencing a supernatural wisdom which will descend upon Juries who always seem to get it right for all of the wrong reasons. This is not scientific territory. And I know that Trooper knows that truth.

WoW Lawbringer said...

It's this kind of story that reminds me of Kurt Tucholsky's quip: "The death of one [person]: that is a catastrophe. One hundred thousand deaths: that is a statistic!" During Casee Anthony's 17 day trial for murdering her daughter, three hundred thousand children died of starvation ... but that's just a statistic. There's no wailing and gnashing of teeth for child soldiers in Africa or the underage sex slaves in Asia; just a lot of insults toward Floridians dumb enough to let this "obviously guilty!" woman off.

MayBee said...

At one point, Casey's attorney's were planning on blaming the murder on Roy Kronk.

Judge Perry banned them from using that defense in January 2011.
At some point after that, Casey apparently remembered it was not Roy Kronk who killed her daughter, but the pool.

flenser said...

How can you say someone has committed homicide when you can't determine if, in fact, a homicide took place?


I'm sure that Scott Peterson, currently on death row, would agree with you wholeheartedly. So would a great many other men currently in jail for murder where the cause of death was never determined.

Pastafarian said...

tradguy: "...supernatural wisdom which will descend upon Juries who always seem to get it right..."

Oh, you mean like the OJ jury. There was some wisdom. If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit.

Always right, juries.

Should Perry run, we'll certainly hear more about how juries can be fallible, when they convict an innocent man (seems to always be a man) and send him to his death.

Seriously, tradguy, you're messing with me, aren't you?

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