So Many Ignorant Reactions to Casey Anthony Acquittal

I was driving to the jail to see a client when I heard on the radio the verdict would be announced at 2:15. The breathless commentators at HLN were in top form. One even announced Casey Anthony's parents were undoubtedly en route to the court, "hearts pounding in their chest" as if they were right there beside them. All of the commentators I heard predicted a guilty verdict -- citing the prosecution's closing argument. A few hedged their bets by saying juries are unpredictable. Not one called it for the defense. [More...]

When I left the jail at 4:15 E.T., HLN was still in full swing. They held court outside the courthouse, asking the crowd, "Who thinks she's guilty?" The crowd roared in approval. The show host asked, "Can I find one person who thinks this was the right verdict?" There was none. She promptly advised the viewing audience, well, there you have it, that's what the public thinks.

HLN then proceeded to blast the defense team for holding a victory party and sharing a toast of champagne. Excuse me? This team didn't work as hard as the prosecution? With fewer resources? The defense team saved a life today. That's as close to G-ds work as it gets for criminal defense lawyers. Why shouldn't they be proud? They held the state to its burden of proof and the state failed to meet it.

Then the imbecilic comments from the HLN viewers, which were so bad I finally turned off the radio.

One viewer said the jury got it wrong because unlike everyone else, they weren't privy to what was being said on Facebook and Twitter. The host agreed, saying the jury was in a vacuum in the courtroom. Hello? The jury was in the courtroom and heard and saw all the evidence. They were sequestered so they would be free from outside influences and prejudice. The jurors were the ones who received the judge's instructions on how to apply the law. Did anyone bother to post or read all the instructions on Facebook and Twitter?

One viewer was so angry she kept sputtering. Something about how dare Casey Anthony, the murderer, be allowed to go home after killing her daughter, just because "the evidence wasn't there."

You can't make this stuff up. The ignorance of so many about their country's system of justice is appalling. Trials, and the media's coverage of them, have moved from being a spectator sport to a spectacle reminiscent of the days of Roman Gladiators.

I wish the news media would stop saying no one will ever be held accountable for the little girl's murder. It hasn't be proven there was a murder. The defense argued it was an accident. The state took its best shot and came up short.

Congratulations to Jose Baez, Cheney Mason and everyone else on the defense team. They represented their client with pride and dedication, and with enormous sacrifices to their personal lives and law practices. They successfully battered the junk science, and prevailed in the long run -- despite the unprofessional conduct of a prosecutor who smirked throughout their closing argument.

< Casey Anthony Verdict In | Tuesday Night Open Thread >
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    we really, seriously need to (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by nycstray on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:32:02 PM EST
    work on our education system. As a plus, the media would prob have to up their game.

    Gobsmacked here (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by Towanda on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:36:21 PM EST
    at much in the post, but especially this:

    One viewer said the jury got it wrong because unlike everyone else, they weren't privy to what was being said on Facebook and Twitter. The host agreed, saying the jury was in a vacuum in the courtroom. . . .

    Whaaaaat??? (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Zorba on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:45:10 PM EST
    Seriously???  You're right- in a "vacuum"?  Jury verdicts should be based on what people on Facebook and Twitter think.....right.  They're supposed to bring their judgment according to the evidence presented in the case, not according to popular opinion- this isn't American Idol (thank goodness), for crying in a bucket.  It certainly argues for sequestration of all juries in criminal trials, doesn't it?  Geez.

    Someone said CSI (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:08:31 PM EST
    is making it harder on prosecutors as jurors now expect a lot of convincing forensic evidence.

    I don't think you can blame CSI (none / 0) (#34)
    by ding7777 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 09:17:29 PM EST
    when a prosecutor tries to make it a death penalty case and cannot even prove it was a murder

    No argument from me (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:35:21 PM EST
    Circumstantial cases may be more difficult to prove now that the expectation is that there be forensic evidence that is conclusive....

    I find it very disturbing they can (none / 0) (#44)
    by nycstray on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 11:23:35 PM EST
    put you on trial for murder when they don't know how the victim died (along with lack of evidence putting you there).

    of course, (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by diogenes on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:05:41 PM EST
    Conveniently, someone buried the body, rendering it quite difficult to get forensic evidence a month after the fact about how the victim died.  

    Headline News (HLN) (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Alvord on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:09:27 PM EST
    HLN has quite a record. First they had crazy Glenn Beck and now they have Nancy Grace who is a different kind of crazy.

    I guess it never occurs to these TV celebrities that poll a mob outside the courthouse that they might not have an unbiased sample. Or more likely it does occur to them but they simple don't care.

    Jealyn (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by glanton on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 08:46:27 PM EST
    I am so thankful for this blog.  This is a message that has been buried in the media and apparently, in the "court" of public opinion.  the simple message that it is a good thing that the bar be extremely high for convicting someone in a trail.  That the burden of proof be on the prosecution.

    I've been thinking an awful lot about The Oxbow Incident today.

    I also have a confession that, as a long time follower of this blog, I feel this is a good place to make.  I am a coward.  I realized that today.  Because of my Facebook page of all freakin places.  Like a lot of people, I have too many FB friends, in my case something close to 500.  But anyway my FB friends are lighting up the page today with outrage over this verdict.  And I have been afraid to raise my voice in protest of trial by media, trial by gut feeling.  I linked to the Wikipedia page for The Oxbow Incident and meekly said both the movie and book should be reuired for all Americans.  That's all I had the nerve to do.

    Cowards like me maybe is how wars get started.  I'm mad at myself.

    Network news was just as bad; (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:23:31 PM EST
    Brian Williams' lead-in to the NBC broadcast was, "Did Casey Anthony get away with murder?"

    I don't know why I was surprised; NBC spent almost 10 minutes on this case last night; I realize it was a holiday and not a whole lot happening, but 10 minutes of breathless speculation, most of which was heavily biased toward the prosecution, was just too much.

    I had a co-worker stick his head in my door this afternoon, and ask if Casey Anthony was OJ all over again - he couldn't believe she was found not guilty.  My response was that while I hadn't been following the details of the case very closely, my sense was that the prosecution never really established there was a murder, and if they couldn't establish that, how could they establish that Casey was responsible?  He spluttered and stammered a bit, mentioned the circumstantial evidence, and all I could respond with was that, as I understood it, the jury needed proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and it seemed the defense did a better job of providing that than the state did in eliminating it.  And that failure to meet that standard accrues to the benefit of the defendant who is presumed innocent.

    That I, a non-lawyer, had to explain this to a lawyer, was a little disconcerting.  

    Honestly, the way the media cover these trials, you'd almost think they were conducting them, to the point where people start to believe that conventional wisdom rendered via social media represents true justice.

    It's very hard to take, and getting worse all the time.

    Sucks (none / 0) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 11:23:29 AM EST
    I like Williams, but there is this mentality in the media that they can never be against public opinion.  Truth is something they will take so long as it doesn't effect viewers/sponsors.

    Seems like we have forgotten the fact that the news, like any other business is at it's core, a revenue generating machine.  The rest is nuance.


    How is anyone's opinion (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 11:06:14 PM EST
    Re the jury verdicts important if sd. person was not a sworn juror present for presentation of evidence, the jury instructions, and the jury deliberations?

    Can't parse your sentence to (none / 0) (#48)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 01:13:35 AM EST
    figure out what you're asking.  Can you try it again?

    Having served on four juries (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by oldpro on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 02:09:24 AM EST
    I am always amazed by the 'public' reaction by those who weren't on the jury.

    The basics of what defines justice seem to be missing from our understanding and from our dialogue as a citizenry...ie. presumption of innocence and beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Most scary of all is to discover a juror who, determined to be on a particular jury, reveals in deliberation that he has lied to the judge and /or the lawyers during jury selection. Said he'd read nothing in the papers about the case but gave us his version of chapter-and-verse in the jury room.  The shocker was that he had mixed up two somewhat similar cases...the one he'd read about wasn't the one we were trying!

    Yes.  I turned him in and had him removed from the pool.  Would you be surprised to know he was a retired public schools superintendent?  Arrogant beyond belief.  Cock sure...and wrong.

    Suspending judgment isn't a skill in our culture.  If there's ever an Olympic event in leaping to conclusions, I think I could easily field the gold-medal team.

    I have no legal training but I suspect my early experience as a high school debater gave me a basic understanding of 'two sides to every issue' and the importance of evidence and persuasive argument in making a case for any proposition.  At tournaments we had to be fully prepared to take either side at the drop of a hat...usually both in one afternoon.  It made you think.

    heh . . . (none / 0) (#50)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 02:51:54 AM EST
    I am always amazed by the 'public' reaction by those who weren't on the jury.

    You didn't by chance hear Nancy G tonight did you? I caught her on Nightline after the local news, and she was all about blaming the jury ('they are stupid' and we know more etc). And then she continued to blame everyone else for her behavior during that past couple years regarding this. It was a real head/desk thumper, until they went out and interviewed folks around the courthouse etc in FLA. Oy.


    No. Can't watch her for over 30 seconds. (none / 0) (#61)
    by oldpro on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 07:38:53 PM EST
    Can't stomach the tone and delivery, much less the 'content.'  Yuck.

    Hire OJ Simpson (1.00 / 2) (#8)
    by diogenes on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:57:21 PM EST
    Since Casey Anthony must be as broken up about her daughter's death as OJ was about Nicole's death, maybe Casey can hire OJ Simpson to find the REAL killer.

    and maybe it was an accidental (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:58:37 PM EST
    drowning and there is no killer.

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Jackson Hunter on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:05:06 PM EST
    with that theory. I think the pool picture along with Baez' great closing really helped Ms. Anthony have her case go down as non proven, because it simply wasn't. The whole case was, as Baez argued, "She's a liar and a sl*t, so convict her!" and he was right on the money.

    I'm actually proud of this jury for following the law instead of hating Casey Anthony and doing its job. This case was tragic, but every time a defendent get's an unfair trial, we as a people are a little less free.



    I agree (none / 0) (#27)
    by loveed on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:46:56 PM EST
    Amend that... (1.00 / 2) (#17)
    by diogenes on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:07:57 PM EST
    Maybe OJ could find the person who buried the body of the child who accidentally drowned.
    Bestcase scenario is that it was an accidental drowning and that Casey Anthony responded to the accidental drowning in a way which is unique in the history of humankind.

    I knew a woman who lost her kid (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:13:02 PM EST
    years ago to dysentery.....Her daughter was too dehydrated to survive.    I took the daugher to the hospital but she died.

    I saw the mom later that night in town totally drunk and "partying"....She told me in a mocking yet tragic tone that she was drinking because she lost her daughter.  In terrible pain.

    Partying after the loss of a child?.....It does happen for some and is a means of escape....


    A wee bit different (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by diogenes on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:08:15 PM EST
    "She told me in a mocking yet tragic tone that she was drinking because she lost her daughter.  In terrible pain."

    Getting drunk for one night while admitting that your child had died is just a WEE bit different than Casey Anthony's actions and statements for the entire month after the death.


    And who knows what happened (none / 0) (#65)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 10:19:05 PM EST
    after I saw the mother that night....I got the impression she would be a a bender for awhile.....

    Seems most likely (none / 0) (#12)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:00:05 PM EST
    And the Dad's suicide note, at least as it was described, was unusual.

    Good for him. (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:38:11 PM EST
    We need more like him.

    watched CNN a bit (none / 0) (#5)
    by desmoinesdem on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:42:26 PM EST
    Yesterday and for about 15 minutes before the verdict was read today, everyone called it for the prosecution (even several defense attorneys) except for one defense attorney, I forgot her name. One of the defense attorneys was pretty scathing about Baez: you can't set up some big theory in your opening statement and then fail to produce any evidence for it during the trial.

    After the verdicts were read, several of the CNN commentators expressed shock, but none of them said the jury got it wrong--they all pointed out that you never know what juries will do, that the lack of a time/cause of death was a big problem in the prosecution's case. Several apologized for having criticized Baez's strategy as the trial was going on.

    defense strategy (none / 0) (#10)
    by diogenes on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:59:06 PM EST
    "One of the defense attorneys was pretty scathing about Baez: you can't set up some big theory in your opening statement and then fail to produce any evidence for it during the trial."

    If producing evidence means calling Casey Anthony as a witness and opening her up to perjury charges, then it's better to make insinuations in the opening statement and hope for the best.


    Scoreboard, baby (none / 0) (#15)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:05:08 PM EST
    Maybe the Dad was involved...Maybe the duct tape was some kind of burial ritual.

    And the parrtying after the loss of her child, parents who lose their kids do weird stuff.


    I thought it was a slam dunk she (none / 0) (#11)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:59:13 PM EST
    was guilty--based on casual viewing when washing dishes, etc....

    Then, last night I watched one of these cable shows where everyone said how clear it was she was guilty....

    But the more they talked, the less it looked so to me......What got my attention was both side's experts did not know the cause of death.....That seems pretty important in a murder case.

    Juries are not so unpredictable--if you know what they see and hear as evidence, and you know a little about their backgrounds.

    You don't always know the cause of death (none / 0) (#45)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 01:03:20 AM EST
    If a body isn't discovered for months, after all tissue has melted away and there's nothing left but bones, you can't tell the cause of death unless it was by brutal hacking of some kind.

    Makes sense (none / 0) (#57)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 04:25:24 PM EST
    It just stood out for me....

    Without a cause of death, one would need to lean more heavily on other evidence.


    The male prosecutor (none / 0) (#13)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:02:13 PM EST
    in the snippets I saw was good in closing argument but blew it by his juvenile behavior during the Defense agruments....

    More proof the media ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:07:13 PM EST
    has just become lackeys of the state.  When was the last time they took the defense's side in a high profile case?  Hell, not even taken its side, just understood its argument.

    Maybe U.S. v. Bush?  Other than cases like that I'm hard pressed to think of a recent one.

    You mean when was (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:36:17 PM EST
    the last time someone spoke truth to Woodward who thinks he is the power.....

    It is truly sad about Kaylee (none / 0) (#23)
    by loveed on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:15:55 PM EST
    this child was loved and adored by mother and grandparents.

     I never believed she was murder by the mother.Ever wonder why there are so many beautiful pictures of Kaylee? Kasey took them she wanted to be a photographer.

     It amazed me during the trial the media kept saying the jury don't know what we know. It got so bad some of the non-evidence was introduce into the trial (the gatorade bottle with the syringe, the so call jailhouse confession ect..) by the defense.

     The defense attack the media first on there coverage of the trial. I think Mason was referring to Nancy.

     Alternate juror:  agreed with the verdict. Don't believe anything George Anthony says.

     If the media want to make amends for there lousy coverage. Find out what truly happen to Kaylee.

    The facts (none / 0) (#25)
    by loveed on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:44:39 PM EST
     1.No 84 searches for chloroform - 84 searches to my space page.
     2. Kasey was not home alone with Kasey- George was there.
     3. No drugs was found in her body.
     4. George Anthony is a liar.
     5. The body had been moved.
     6. No duct tape over the mouth.
     7. No heart shape stickers on duct tape.
     8. The body was not in the car.
     9. her boyfriend loved Kaylee
     10.No cellphone records for George.
     11. The car did not smell of death(eight witnesses 6 were police officers
     No body in the car,no heart shaped stickers on duct tape,no drugs these were validated by the FBI  

    Hide...hide (none / 0) (#26)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:46:38 PM EST
    Best to hide in such times.  It feels and looks like a western with the mob throbbing for a hanging.  Leave it to the Onion to call it like it is:  

    This was a tragedy all around that was reduced to a travesty.  

    so true, that was a great piece by (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:13:33 PM EST
    the Onion.

    the more i read about this case, (none / 0) (#28)
    by cpinva on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 08:25:12 PM EST
    the more i wonder who pushed for arresting and trying ms. anthony? i ask because the prosecution's case was so weak, it came nowhere close to the level of achieving "beyond reasonable doubt". by comparison, the prosecutors in the OJ case actually had substantive evidence supporting their theory of the crime, but did such a miserable job of presenting it, the jury couldn't buy into it. heck, neither could i, and i believe he did it to this day.

    this was even weaker than the scott peterson case. at the end of the day, we still have a baby who died tragically, without knowing how.

    Her father George Anthony (none / 0) (#30)
    by loveed on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 08:41:46 PM EST
    She lied so extensively and (none / 0) (#46)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 01:08:20 AM EST
    so extravagantly in so many ways over so much time and so many versions to the police investigators about what happened to Caylee, where she worked, etc., that they smelled a very stinky rat and arrested her for some kind of complicity in her daughter's death.

    When the child's body was found near the Anthony home and surrounded by objects from the home, they had more than enough reason to charge her, seems to me.


    I did not follow this case at all (none / 0) (#33)
    by pitachips on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 09:12:15 PM EST
    What was the explanation for all of those pictures that allegedly showed Casey partying while the child was missing?

    An accusation with no evidence (none / 0) (#47)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 01:11:35 AM EST
    and no testimony that she'd been sexually abused by her father and her brother, and therefore was not capable of behaving normally.  Or something along those lines.  The only thing we have to go on is the defense opening statement and some incoherent testimony by a "grief expert" about how different people grieve differently.

    gotcha...thanks (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by pitachips on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 11:24:04 AM EST
    I think on one hand I'm "happy" to the extent that one can be in a situation like this, that assuming there really was no direct/physical evidence tying her to a murder that she was found not guilty. Obviously many people in her situation don't have the luxury of being appointed such competent counsel.

    Also while I completely understand that TL bends towards the side of the defense, and agree that there are many instances of prosecutorial misconduct etc - the "spiking the ball" that seems to be going around in here is misguided. But this seems one of those situations where one side dislikes the other so much that any "victory", no matter the end result is cheered. Yes the defense won this time, and maybe deservedly so, but the release of this clearly manipulative, disturbed, callous, and possibly homicidal person isn't anything to be cheered.  


    I don't see any spiking of the ball (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 09:44:07 AM EST
    There seems to be more of a relief that cable t.v. blow hards are not the be all and end all.....

    That the system worked in terms of requiring the state to prove its case.....


    Was the Defense lawyer (none / 0) (#58)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 04:29:51 PM EST
    smart like a fox in stating things in Opening Statement he knew he could not prove?

    .....The conventional wisdom is that juries punish lawyers who overpromise in Opening Statement....

    Here, I'm not so sure.  And the Defense really seemed to be in a tight spot, so planting the seed in Opening Statement may have seemed worth the risk back then.....and may have been what in part created the appearance of reasonable doubt.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#66)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:42:22 AM EST
    but my guess is that prosecutor Ashton is right when he said in an interview today that defense counsel probably thought he would be able to present evidence, at least in the form of testimony, at the time of the opening statement.

    It's possible defense counsel learned something in the interim that made him realize it was a horse&&&& claim and that his client is profoundly disturbed.

    The guy is incredibly inexperienced, but it seems unlikely to me that he would try something so incredibly risky as what you suggest.  But who knows.

    The jurors who've spoken don't seem to have paid much attention to it either way, so he lucked out on that score.

    Not so George Anthony, who's been portrayed by his daughter through her lawyer as an utter monster.


    To know all the evidence (none / 0) (#67)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 09:40:36 AM EST
    you just had to be there.....

    And, the jurors appeared to have taken their job seriously and were not all that happy with an acquital.

    It really is hard (for me at least) to figure out what happened.....It does seem that much of the evidence of guilt was overblown by cable t.v.  


    True (none / 0) (#71)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:52:54 PM EST
    But there oughta at least be testimony, and there wasn't.  People accused of crimes are entitled to face their accusers in court-- unless, of course, you're a bystander at whom the defense attorney points a finger in order to cast doubt about his client's culpability, or so it seems.

    No question this was an almost entirely circumstantial case, lacking DNA because of the time the body had been decomposing in the Florida summer.  But as I've said before, convictions even for murder based on circumstantial evidence are not particularly unusual, and this case had far, far more and stronger circumstantial evidence than there ever was against Scott Peterson, who was convicted.

    I confess I'm deeply ambivalent about the whole thing, but I guess it's just one of those unresolvable dilemmas of the human condition-- or something.


    The Defense counsel was very good (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:24:20 PM EST
    Most commentators seemed to say he was inexperienced and even clownish.

    I just saw a few minutes ago some of his closing argument on t.v. and he was real and emotional and convincing....

    He had an emotional authenticity and was not slick....so his Opening Statement had a huge impact.  

    He knew to fight the case on the emotional edges and unspoken sympathies.....If you win the emotional battle, and the jury will find the facts to rationalize their decision.....just as people do all the time.  Or so I believe fwiw.

    Defense Counsel is very good imo.

    It appears that the jury thought the Dad did abuse Casey and may have been involved in the death of Caylee....And a wacko like Casey might not kill on purpose but could go "partying" afterword.....

    The lead prosceutor was I thought very good in a Sam Waterston way--until the immature smirking during Defense Counsel's Closing....Who was the inexperienced one again?


    Actually (none / 0) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 12:17:22 AM EST
    the several jurors and alternates who've now spoken said the contrary, that they didn't give any consideration to the accusations against George Anthony.  They didn't like him, but what that mostly extended to was non-confidence in his saying the trunk of the car smelled like a decomposing body and the like.

    Baez did give an excellent closing, no question.  The commentary on his competence had to do with his very apparent lack of familiarity with the rules of evidence during the course of the trial.

    But the main reason for the jury verdict, it's becoming clear, is that they wanted actual evidence, not circumstantial.  They were apparently originally 6 to 6 for manslaughter, but in the course of discussion, even that melted away for lack of concrete evidence.

    And if that's the case, the skill of the attorneys on both sides had very little to do with the verdict.  The one juror who's spoken extensively is effusive in her praise of the prosecution attorneys, she just didn't think they had enough hard facts to work with.

    And btw, you can't really evaluate Baez's closing until you've also heard Ashton's followed by Drane Burdick's, IMO.  Baez's was very emotional and passionate.  The other two were jaw-droppingly skillful in they way they structured and developed their argument.


    Reason v. Passion (none / 0) (#74)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 09:34:24 PM EST
    Which holds more sway in human decision making?

    Are the reasons given just rationale?

    If it is Reason, then the CSI effect may explain the not-guilty verdicts, i.e., there was not enough forensic evidence on the cause of death, and the circumstantial case was thin.

    If it is Passion, then the jurors may have absorbed and believed the Opening Statement, and that is why they said they did not believe George Anthony.

    You are more familiar with the facts than I am....But sometimes that can get in the way of understanding what happened with the jury....

    Who knows?

    I would be interested in your take....Was it the lack of evidence? Mebbe....But that has not always been a stumbling block for conviction.

    I also think that because the Death Penalty was on the table, the jury was using a very high standard of proof.....It should have been the same guilt beyond a reasonable doubt standard....but I don't think that is how people would actually view it.

    Maybe it was all of the above....

    Definitely an interesting topic and a distraction from the terrible economic news, etc....


    Two things (none / 0) (#40)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:37:54 PM EST
    1.  Jeralyn likens the tenor of some commentary heard on HLN today to Gladiator-like entertainment. The Gladiator comparison is rather kind since there was theoretically a chance of survival and release. Myself, I shiver to read the report of what Jeralyn heard and to see repeated on the networks tonight the "outrage" of those gathered near the courthouse...it sounds & looks like the kind of hysteria that demanded the burning of witches in Salem and other parts of the western world. This truly is the infamous pitchfork crowd calling out "burn lady burn."

    2.  We talk in so many places about "accountability."  What is the responsibility of HLN? Who owns HLN? Who is reponsible for the operation? Are there any guidelines for cable "news?" Should there be? How can there be?  BTW, the lecture directed openly toward cable news hype & hysteria by the defense @ the press conference today was perfect pitch.

    Best advice I could give anyone would be (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:51:58 PM EST
    to avoid these kinds of programs as much as possible, and I have to include most of the network news shows, covering any number of issues, in that advice.  Most evenings find me muttering in the kitchen as I listen to the reports and to the "experts" who manage to deliver a lot of erroneous information before being thanked for their contribution.

    It makes me a little crazy, knowing that most people who watch the news think they are being given the straight story, and many nights it is anything but.

    The reporting being done on the debt ceiling is particularly bad, geared more to keeping the fear going than educating anyone about US fiscal and monetary policy - I'm not even sure I've heard a reporter or expert even explain how it came to be that we even have a debt ceiling.

    Truth is, I think, that we don't have "news" anymore - we have "entertainment," or narratives built on and designed to evoke basic emotions like fear; look how fear was used to get us into Iraq - now it's being used to scare us all into accepting draconian and counterintuitive spending cuts, which - oh, by the way - will severely affect the ability of the government to be of much help to anyone who isn't making it in this terrible economy.

    Sorry for the rant.


    News ousted by Infotainment :( n/t (none / 0) (#52)
    by Nemi on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 06:56:24 AM EST
    I think we should watch (none / 0) (#60)
    by loveed on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 06:28:58 PM EST
     It help you understand why there is so much hysteria. And why people are so passionate.

     If it was proven she put duct tape over her mouth and suffocated her, I would be angry to.

     I watched the trial and the media. The media was only watching the prosecution case. They think defense lawyer are scum (until they need one). And the defense lawyer on the shows never stand up for the defendant,or there profession.

     Every time NG says " Tot mom droves for days with little Kaylee in the trunk". This a gross misstatement of fact. She a lawyer she should know better.
     AS she continue to fan the flames of hatred for this young women. The mob mentality increases. One of the callers into HLN said "someone needs to shoot her".
      The best part of this trial was the defense. The prosecutor had already leaked there whole case to the media. So there was no surprises. The defense blew everyone away with their opening arguments.
      They proved enough to get reasonable doubt.
      I would like to hear from Kasey after she gets some help. I want to know what happened.
     She will need protection for a long time.


    Americans are addicted (none / 0) (#59)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 04:58:27 PM EST
    to these tragic freak shows in which the devil incarnate is located in the flesh and sent to hell once and for all. Again and again and again.
    It's some kind of primative catharis for some people.

    Witness the continued popularity of all the endless, moronic cop shows..

    I swear some of those sun-baked-brain trial gawkers down there brought handkerchiefs with them to dip in Casey Anthony's blood.


    Human nature (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 09:46:55 AM EST
    We have always been so.....

    The sensational, the lurid always gets attention.

    Almost anyone can understand and get emotionally wrapped up in a murder trial like this....


    I wasn't sure (none / 0) (#43)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 11:09:17 PM EST
    the verdict would come back as guilty because I read this blog.  So I appreciated your coverage in the last week or so J.  I try not to subscribe to the "GUILTY!!" mentality that apparently many Americans harbor.  Some of the reactions to the verdict I have seen are just ridiculous.

    Casey's jury (none / 0) (#55)
    by reinaldok on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 01:37:42 PM EST
    We have now have been suffering through one whole day of absurd an even disgraceful comments.  One guru on tv was ranting about how the jury was made up of all imbeciles and drug addicts. I mistakenly commented this to a family member and was startled to find that there was general agreement to this nonsense. The prevailing attitude is that they just pick anybody off the streets and make them a juror.
    It gives the impression that no one has ever taken the trouble to go to the court house and witness a trial.  Whether it be for a traffic violation or first degree murder, all trials are open and free to the public.  A number of years ago I was on the jury in a first degree murder case. On the first day of the trial, we were all excused for some technical problem.   The selection of the jury is something to contemplate.
    I was grilled and regrilled by the prosecution and the defense.  It was thorough and enlightening. That the Casey Anthony jury was in some way defective is just plain bull.  More of the sensational media propaganda.

    Jurors try hard to get it right (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by MKS on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 09:56:01 AM EST
    They do labor under great disadvanatages, however.....

    They must listen to oral testimony.....and the opportunity to study documents or transcribed testimony or instant video replays is minimal.  They only hear it once.

    They are orally given jury instructions at the end of the case when the judge reads them aloud.  Those jury instuctions represent years of legal thought and for a lay person to absorb it all in a few minutes is asking a lot.

    But, still, on the whole, juries are imo more "objective" than judges.....Because you only have one judge and his or her biases are not subject to the immediate correction of 11 peers.  With 12 jurors, you get hopefully the cancelling out of oddball opinions--assuming everyone participates and you don't have just one or two leaders and the rest followers.


    Yeah! (none / 0) (#56)
    by rdandrea on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 02:31:56 PM EST
    And they were probably all born in Kenya too!

    I'm on the road right now (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:12:22 PM EST
    But yesterday the desk clerk called it for the defense :)  I have to give kudos to the desk clerk. I have not kept up with the trial but my daughter did, and she would tell me certain things to look video up on.  The prosecution did not prove it, doesn't matter if I think she's guilty of something....they didn't prove it.