Many people across the country and across the world followed the Casey Anthony trial. Close to the same amount of people may still be fuming over the verdict of 'Not Guilty' Casey received for killing her toddler, Calyee.
But even today, Wikipedia may have more factual information than the prosecution provided the jury. Overall, was the 'deck' really stacked against Casey in the trial? Who is to blame? The jury? The defense? The prosecution?
Not following any news about the case until the trial began, I found myself wondering why I disagreed with legal analysts and news anchors, such as Nancy Grace, Jane Velez-Mitchell and others. For instance, when Defense Attorney, Diana Tennis was interviewed on FOX News, she said, "...Two and a half years ago I told you Jose Baez (Casey Anthony's lead defense attorney) needed a time machine. I wish we could get him a little one back to opening statement. He did not need to involve dad as a co-conspirator. It is ridiculous."
So many people know someone, or someone who knows another who has been sexually abused. I guess I wasn't ready to say it was 'ridiculous' to consider Casey's father, George Anthony as a co-conspirator. A lot of actions seem ridiculous, unbelievable and much worse or much better. But they happen. Consider O.J. Simpson's decision to write the book entitled, "If I Did It."
As I listened to those put on the stand and the prosecution and defense asking questions, I just ended up having many more questions myself. I wasn't in the courtroom. I also wasn't following absolutely everyday of the trial. But I didn't see or hear the prosecution provide the direct link or any strand of evidence that indicated Casey killed her adorable daughter, Caylee without a doubt.
Because of this, when I heard the verdict I wasn't surprised. I honestly thought that justice was done. The jury followed the law based on the evidence that was provided.
Was it because I felt Casey was innocent? No. I was overwhelmed with the sense that the prosecution hadn't proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Because of this, how else could the jury vote but 'Not Guilty' on the murder?
Nancy Grace, host of her own cable TV program, "Nancy Grace" on HLN talks about the 'web of lies' that Casey provided on the jail video that the jury may have overlooked. But the tapes that I saw, shown repeatedly, and again I didn't see all of the trial, nor was I able to be there firsthand, indicated that Casey was lying about her father abusing her.
On the videotapes, Casey basically told her father that he had been the best father that anyone could have ever asked for or wanted on the jail videotapes. However, the defense claimed that her father, George Anthony had sexually abused her as a child.
But this wasn't a lie that connected her directly with the murder. If it was a lie, it was a horrendous lie against her own father and what he may or may not have done to his daughter, Casey and not to his grand-daughter, Caylee. But George wasn't on trial in the first place.
Then, on the stand, George Anthony made things more unclear. George admitted in court that he was talking 'negatively' against his own daughter when talking to police. But he said he was being positive and comforting towards his daughter in jail to, in short, help lift Casey's spirits behind bars.
So, was Casey's father, George hiding something? Whatever you believe, these comments and others such as Roy Kronk, the utility worker who found Caylee's remains took the focus off of the one on trial, Casey Anthony. (Roy Kronk's 911 call)
This also provided fuel enough for a small portion of people to actually believe that George Anthony had sexually abused his daughter. One example of such belief in George's guilt can be found in an article online titled, "George Anthony Knows the TRUTH." Do I have the have the same opinions as the author of this article does? No. But like I said, the focus was repeatedly taken off of the one on trial for the murder of two-year-old Caylee Anthony.
When the verdict was read aloud in the courtroom, it was so aggravating and so disheartening to hear that no one would be held responsible for little Caylee's murder. But what was the jury to do? No DNA. No eye witnesses. No way to find Casey guilty 'beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt.'
The old cliche, 'actions speak louder than words' offers the most damning evidence of all for me.
In fact, if Casey's actions, such as:
- Photos of Casey dancing the nights away only days after her daughter was supposedly 'missing' (these were by far the most damning actions for me, as a mother)
- Facial expressions in court such as rolling her eyes at her mother when her mother mouthed 'I love you' to Casey in court
- Self-centered focus that Casey showed on jail videotapes
- Continuous, flippant attitude and ongoing smiles that she displayed in the courtroom during her trial
Well...Casey would have been found guilty. But until 'actions' such as these are admissable in court, only actual evidence can be used to find someone guilty or innocent. We can only hope that prosecutors take the time necessary to consider any and every charge against a defendant possible, allowing jurors to factually find the one charged with something 'Guilty.'
It's the 'beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt' that must be proven by the prosecutors in the first place, afterall. Whatever the opinions we each have, the United States' legal system did not fail Caylee.