Monday, July 4, 2011

Casey Anthony, Circumstantial Conviction

Updated July 7, 2011
Freedom on the 17th


Casey Anthony will be released from prison on July 17, 2011. She was given a full four year sentence, the maximum Judge Belvin Perry could mete out for four counts of lying to authorities. Also, she must pay a $4000 fine. She appeared, hair down, way more relaxed and attractive in today's sentencing hearing. 


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They Got it Right
Not Guilty of Murder

Updated July 5, 2011 2:30 PM EDT



American jurisprudence is, under its best cover, inadequate. Just review all of the bad convictions, unfair capital punishments and the myriad acquittals of complicit persons and it's clear. Perfect justice, fair justice, accurate justice is impossible all of the time. Guilty walk free and innocent are punished. Better to let ten guilty men walk free than to convict one innocent person.* Right?


Right now, the Casey Anthony trial is ending. In its closing rebuttal, the prosecution rehashed again all of the circumstantial evidence in this case. With a dash of making the defendant look evil added in, the facts of this sad story still make no sense and remain logically disconected.

The evidence is overwhelming, more or less, in identifying Ms. Anthony as an oddball, tough and inadequate 22 year old mother (Casey was 19 when Caylee was born). Yet, despite all of the science, all of the experts, all of the recriminations and all of the general lack of appeal of the defendant, there is NO evidence, which would convince a detached, unemotional and reasonable person to convict her of murder or felony murder. With a legal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt to be met to convict Anthony, the jury must twist and turn like an ecdysiast to meet the prosecution's expectations.


But, for sure, Casey Anthony is unlikable and she likely committed the murder of her daughter. There seems to be no other obvious alternative, but a conviction cannot be based on the lack of likability of the defendant or the liklihood that she committed murder. Under the essence of the system, the evidence to convict for capital murder must be dispositive, beyond a reasonable doubt! Because Ms. Anthony is a villain is insufficient alone to meet the requisite standard of proof.

So, the Florida jury sitting in on this one, will be left with an OJ Simpson dilemma. Lots and lots of circumstantial evidence, powerful evidence, indeed, but...

Perhaps the major difference between Casey and OJ verdicts will turn out to be popularity, or a Heisman trophy or being a football hero. Perhaps the decision will turn on her "fuck" filled diatribes. Perhaps it will turn on her selfishness or her immaturity or lack of acceptable grief. Perhaps it will turn on the innocence of the child victim, Caylee Anthony. Perhaps it will turn on all of the prevarications... Perhaps it will turn on the prosecution's mantra of, "No person would make an accident look like murder"


The Casey Anthony trial has strained the American legal system's standards of proof construct. Without sufficient evidence, which meets the demanding standard, it is far better to acquit a guilty person. For that reason and that reason alone Casey Anthony should be acquitted. But will her lack of loving mother-like body language, her party ways and her arrogance be enough to incite the jury to convict based more on emotion than the defined legal standard?

The trial closing with this image of Casey Anthony's shoulder tattoo...
The Good Life
Last impressions are critical in a trial-drama. Indeed, the state wants the jurors to take with them the notion that Casey Anthony killed her daughter to live the good life, a life not burdened with the responsibilities of parenthood. Will it work?

The judge is about to instruct the jury and then give them the case to decide. High drama on the 4th of July. The talking heads are giving this one to the state. Early odds are 10:1 against Anthony. 10:1, familiar numbers... The legal system is under high tension.

E cosi va!!

*"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," says English jurist William Blackstone.  The ratio 10:1 has become known as the "Blackstone ratio." http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volokh/guilty.htm#2

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