The Florida 12-person jury in the Casey Anthony case did reach the right verdict by acquittal of Casey on felony murder of her daughter Caylee based upon reasonable doubt. In order to convict Casey Anthony the jury would have had to hold the highest standard based upon truth and the facts in evidence and it was or should have been apparent to everyone involved in this case for over 3 years that there was too much uncertainty.
The prosecution was convinced from the very beginning, once young Caylee’s body was found near the Anthony home, that Casey was the killer. Once their minds were made up and realizing that no help was forthcoming from ANY of the witnesses in this matter, and particularly the Anthony family members, that they would need to rely upon circumstantial and forensic evidence that was at hand and readily available. Unfortunately, between Najame (the Anthony family’s first legal council), Kronk (the disgruntled meter-reader who found Caylee’s remains), and Leonard Padilla (the bailbondsman and security officer who could not get past Casey’s veil of lies) not to mention the Anthony family’s doubletalk, it appeared that the police weregoing to be overwhelmed with misleading information from the public and the media frenzy that surrounded this most unusual family drama.
I believe the true heroism rests in Jose Baez, the underdog and underrated defense attorney who did his best to keep his cool and give Casey Anthony the representation that she deserved under the law. First, he understood (unlike the rest of us) that it was the prosecution’s job to present the evidence which would convict Casey Anthony of murder in the first degree. The defense had no obligation to present what actually happened, and Casey’s lame explanation that Caylee died by accident in the Anthony family’s backyard swimming pool was as good as any the defense could bring forth considering all the lies and coverups Baez had been given to work with. Apparently the investigators early on did not have any truthful information with which to work the case either. Second, Baez played to the prosecution’s weaknesses. Most notably the rather strange facial features and laughter coming from the prosecution’s lead council. This had to have had an impact on the jury. Baez also did his level best to knock down the prosecution’s so-called evidence at every opportunity, such as the searches for chloroform on the computer, the stains and smells coming from Casey’s car trunk. Defense attorney Baez would have had a much more difficult time, if the State of Florida had at least had some solid idea of how Caylee died instead of changing their minds from chloroform to the duct tape as the means or mode of death. Last, but certainly not least, Baez understood that Casey’s lies were irrefutable and she was sentenced with time served for lying to the police. Baez clearly made no excuses for Casey or her odd family when it came to lifestyle choices, their lies and odd behavior. He even was bold enough to introduce sexual exploitation by family members into the court based upon nothing more than Casey’s personal disclosures to him. This is very telling, since it is standard practice for lawyers to never introduce questions of witnesses that they do not already have the answers to definitively beforehand. Oddly, neither he nor the prosecution brought forth witnesses to the stand who might have shed light on Casey’s early testimony.
Unlike most criminals accused of crimes, Casey Anthony was not being truthful about anything with anyone at anytime in this case and it actually played to her advantage. Why so many people, investigators, law enforcement, security officers, attorneys, media and even psychics and the public could not come up with clear answers is what made this case so monumental and exciting. We still to this day do not know who Caylee’s biological father is and I sincerely believe that therein lies the mysterious answer to what truly happened to Caylee. Although Casey could be held responsible for child endangerment, neglect, abandonment and the like and there are those who are now trying to pass a kind of “Caylee’s Law” making it a felony for parents who do not report their children missing immediately, no one can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was in fact Casey who murdered her own daughter Caylee.
1) there were too many people in and out of the crime scene over many months; 2) there were too many new scientific techniques upon which the prosecution relied that were unreliable; 3) the witnesses were all unreliable; 4) the evidence was compromised, old, tampered with and handled by so many; 5) Casey although very vocal about the case, lied at every turn in the preliminary investigations right on through the trial apparently; 6) there were no eyewitnesses to the crime and in fact, Casey’s friends and family supported her as a “good mother.” and finally 7) Casey and her family were apparently acting extraordinarly bizarre either because they felt they would incriminate themselves or under pressure by outside forces and/or the media.
Hopefully the jury, like the O.J. Simpson jury, will be able to move on with their lives with a clear conscience that they arrived at the only decision that they could when weighing all the evidence in the Casey Anthony case as presented by the Florida prosecution. This should serve as a lesson for anyone involved in a capital murder matter, to listen carefully, act switftly, do not stand for out-and-out lies always striving for the truth based upon concrete evidence or hard-won logic, but expect the unexpected and prepare carefully leaving no room for doubt.