Casey Anthony: What We Have So Far

Prosecution:  Casey Anthony’s daughter, Caylee Anthony is dead.  Casey Anthony is a pathological liar.  Casey Anthony’s car smelled like a dead body after Caylee Anthony died.  Therefore, Casey Anthony murdered her daughter by smothering her with duct tape.

Defense:  Casey Anthony’s daughter, Caylee Anthony is dead.  Casey Anthony is a pathological liar.  Casey Anthony’s car may or may not have smelled like a dead body at some undetermined point after Caylee Anthony died.  The Anthony’s are a very weird and dysfunctional family, with Casey’s father at the center of the storm, and that’s why Casey is a pathological liar.  Caylee Anthony’s death was a tragic accident that George and Casey Anthony tried to conceal.

Notice there is a good deal of agreement.  The prosecution has spent a lot of time and energy demonstrating that Casey Anthony is a pathological liar, something that isn’t in dispute, beating a dead horse to a large extent.  In fairness, though, the sheer depth and scope of the lying is kind of breath taking.  It’s one of those things that leaves you shaking your head in wonder.

Still.  It’s kind of irrelevant.  It’s not that you can’t tell a plausible story that mommy killed her little girl and then lied and lied and lied to cover it up.  The biggest problem is that there’s no connection between all the lying and supposedly murdering the little girl, as the prosecution itself has gone to some length to prove.  They have already shown, for just one example, that Casey Anthony had claimed to have a job at Universal Studios that she did not in fact have, and this was for years before Caylee was dead.  If they are going to argue that the pathological lying was obviously an effort to conceal a murder, then what is the answer to the fact – that they themselves have proven – that the pathological lying was going on when there was no murder to conceal?

So if the connection between the pathological lying and the supposed murder cannot be made, what else is there?  A lot of suspicion and a bad smell in the car, which is also kind of irrelevant because no one is disputing that Caylee Anthony is dead and that her remains were not found for several months.

If the bulk of commentary on the internet is any guide, though, that might well be enough to convict someone of murder and sentence them to death.  That could well make Casey Anthony one of legal history’s most tragic victims:  first at the hands of her dysfunctional family, then she loses her daughter in a tragic drowning accident, then the government – and seemingly the whole world – starts beating the drum for her head, picking apart her every act and gesture, relishing every detail on the march to the gallows.

What’s going on in Florida does not speak well of us.

90 Comments

Filed under wrongful convictions

90 responses to “Casey Anthony: What We Have So Far

  1. Pat

    Even if she is found innocent of murder, there still will be consequences for her actions. Would you hire her? I would not in a million years. She will always be labeled as a pathological liar. You could never believe anything she as said. In my opinion there is absolutely no reason to put a pathological liar on the stand as you could never believe anything she says. Unfortunately needs to be locked up in a mental institution for the rest of her life. Unfortunately pathological liars have little to contribute to society. Another person to take from society versus contributing to it.

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    • The point, Pat, is that pathological lying is not a crime. Well, that’s one point anyway. Also, I should qualify that by saying “unless it’s done to the FBI” or in some cases law enforcement, although even then if it’s “pathological” it might still not be a crime because pathological liars are not really responsible for their lies.

      If your point, on the other hand, is that Casey Anthony should be locked up for the rest of her life or even put to death because she is a pathological liar, I just can’t go along with you there. But it’s a fair characterization of what the prosecution’s argument is right now.

      And it would not be true to say that pathological liars have little to contribute to society. Look at all the entertainment value they have. That aside, it is a little troubling that you would like to see someone locked up or put to death because no one will hire them, or because they “take” from society rather than “contribute” to it.

      I see that argument a lot from …. cops. It’s not that there isn’t something to it, it’s just sort of a reflex portion of the party-line, the group-think that seems to take over the cop brain in certain situations like this.

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  2. DocAce

    Yes, she killed her baby – yes I agree she should not be locked up for the rest of her life, she should be executed in the electric chair.

    Plain and Simple

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    • I don’t know how you expect anyone to respond to a comment like that, other than by calling you names or insulting you or making unwarranted accusations or assertions. So other than pointing that out, I’ll pass.

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  3. April

    You claim that Casey “loses her daughter in a tragic drowning accident”. How do you know this? Cindy testified that she removed the ladder to the swimming pool. The drowning accident story appears to be yet another fabrication.

    What reason did Casey have for concealing the alleged drowning accident from the authorities? To protect herself from Cindy? She is willing to risk her life just to delay conveying the bad news to her mother by a few months? Even if Casey is that stupid, it’s hard to see an ex-cop like George go along with that.

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    • First, a drowning accident is just much more common than a mother snuffing the life out of her little girl. The latter should be treated with skepticism by comparison, not the former.

      Second, I won’t blame you for it, but a close reading of the sentence I wrote would not support the idea that I claimed to “know” that the defense’s theory is true. It is inherently more likely based on human experience; but that doesn’t mean it’s true and I don’t know for a fact one way or the other. On the other hand, I do know for a fact that the murder scenario is far, far less likely to be true, so allegations of that nature should be met with skepticism, not credulity, even if the government makes them. You and a lot of other people are doing the reverse.

      Third, it is quite apparent and not in dispute that Casey Anthony concealed a lot of things from a lot of people for a very long time, not just “the authorities”, which is a phrase you should stop using because it’s clouding your judgment. Jose Baez, being an officer of the court, is an “authority” too, you know.

      Think about it this way: if Casey Anthony had been a relatively normal and truthful person all through her life, and then her daughter disappeared and then she started telling a lot of lies that would be a much stronger set of facts from which to argue that she had murdered her daughter. As it is, her lying and deceitfulness really mean nothing, just par for the course. More of the same.

      I’m not going to credit Baez with a “strategy”, because I don’t think it is one. He has just worked on the case and found that out when no one else did. He’s putting it forward because he believes it to be true, not because he’s out to “win” the case. In a lot of ways, there is no winning a case like this.

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      • April

        If drowning is more likely than murder, are drowning victims typically found in the woods with duct tapes around their mouths? You never address what possible reason Casey could have for hiding the alleged drowning accident from the police? She may have been a pathological liar all her life, but even she has to know she is risking her life by not disclosing the alleged accident to the police. George, an ex-cop, has no discernible reason to go along with the deception either. They did all this to keep Cindy in the dark for a couple of months? Is this what you think happened?

        Casey may have been a liar all her life, but lies told to the ‘authorities’ (i.e. police and prosecutors) have consequences that are far more serious. It’s reasonable to think Casey would have known that. That is why her lying is significant – she lied to the police, which she ought to know could jeopardize her own life. That she saw it fit to carry on the deception despite the risks – that is what makes me equate her lying with a consciousness of guilt.

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        • You make a good point. No, drowning victims are not later found in the woods with duct tape around their mouths. That requires an explanation. One explanation is that the the victim didn’t drown at all, that the defendant murdered the little girl with duct tape and hid the body. Another explanation is that the grandfather killed the little girl and hid the body. No one is alleging that at this point. Yet another explanation is that some third person did it. No one is alleging that either. And yet another explanation is the one the defense gave: the little girl drowned, the father didn’t want the authorities poking around in his personal life because of what they would find, so he orchestrated this whole thing. That is an outlandish and freakish explanation, but so is the “mommy killed her” explanation.

          And George, an ex-cop as you say, not only had a motive to “go along” with such a deception; he had a motive to initiate it, if the dark family secrets alluded to by the defense exist. And, being a cop, and this is really important for you to understand, he would be much more confident than the average person that the “system” would go along with him and give him his way regardless of the truth of the matter, because that is overwhelmingly his experience of the system. It’s what the system does. It ratifies what the cops want. Every cop can tell you a story about the system backing him to the hilt when he was obviously 100% wrong or even lying. The more jaded among them find that amusing or even a source of pride.

          And I can’t go along with you on the idea that Casey Anthony lying to the police is significant. If what the defense has said is true, her father was a police officer and lied all the time, lied about this very incident. As far as Casey Anthony would be concerned, police officers would be inveterate liars and not much else. And if that’s true, why shouldn’t she be a liar, too?

          Assume, just for a moment, that what the defense said was true. Now look at George Anthony. What do you see? A pathological liar and a psychopath, the very things that his daughter is accused of being. Of course, his daughter is the one who is accused. So what? How much weight would you like to give that? You should give it zero. Actually, you should give it less than zero, because there is supposedly a presumption that goes the other way. Not that anyone ever really does.

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          • April

            Do you contend that a missing child case is less likely to lead to an investigation of the family than a drowning accident case? You have it backwards. If George is hiding dark secrets from police, he is much better off reporting the alleged accident than engage in this alleged elaborate deception and drag the case on for months and months.

            I highlight the fact that George is an ex-cop not because I think cops are more moral than others, but because he ought to know better than most others that lying to the police is a dangerous game. Even Casey ought to know that lying to the police places her own life in jeopardy. The only reason to take on such a big risk is that the alternative – telling the truth – places her life in worse jeopardy. So the “Casey is just a pathological liar” defense doesn’t cut it. Lying to the police shows a consciousness of guilt, just like running from them.

            If we were to believe this ridiculous story of dark secrets and people that can’t help lying to everybody, this is what we must accept: Casey not only lied to the police to protect her father, but she went on lying even after she was indicted for first degree murder! She kept on telling all of these outrageous lies just to protect her father, even when she is at a grave risk of losing her own life.

            The defense has a hard time selling this to anybody and so do you.

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            • >>Do you contend that a missing child case is less likely to lead to an investigation of the family than a drowning accident case? You have it backwards.<<

              You forget that for 31 days there was no case. The scheme to keep it that way arguably unraveled only because the mother, who is as in the dark as anyone else, finally pulled the plug and called 911. If the father is as much of a psychopath as he would have to be, he might well have thought that he could keep the ruse going forever. And before you claim that's "ridiculous", if you believe that Casey Anthony is guilty you would have to believe the same thing about her. Why would you? Because the government has accused her and not him?

              Lying to the police is a much less dangerous game for the police themselves. That's one thing that makes it more likely that this was George's idea. That, and of course if it's not working he can always frame his daughter both to deflect scrutiny from himself, while at the same time discrediting her in advance, in the minds of most people at least, should she start really talking. He would know how vulnerable she is to an accusation.

              You have no basis whatever to call this scenario “ridiculous”. It’s as plausible at this point as the prosecution’s allegations against the defendant. Unless something has come out today that I haven’t seen yet.

              And, not to quibble or anything, but lying to the police or running from them does not “show” consciousness of guilt. It permits that “inference”, as we say. But it permits many others as well. Once again, your firm conviction that a permissible inference is a mandatory certainty reveals an unfortunate bias you should examine in yourself.

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              • April

                Sorry for posting again. Some of my earlier comment was snipped out when it was posted.

                ” If the father is as much of a psychopath as he would have to be, he might well have thought that he could keep the ruse going forever. ”

                It’s easily foreseeable that Cindy would do exactly what she did.

                ” Lying to the police is a much less dangerous game for the police themselves. That’s one thing that makes it more likely that this was George’s idea. ”

                But it was Casey that lied to the police and put her life in jeopardy.

                “You have no basis whatever to call this scenario “ridiculous”. ”

                I certainly do, and I have hinted at some of it already. Why would Casey Anthony put her own life in grave danger to protect her father (only to turn around and give him away anyway)? How is that preferable to reporting an alleged drowning accident?

                Why would anyone think the police are going to dig out the alleged sexual abuse by the father while investigating a drowning death, assuming even that the investigation lasts more than a few hours, especially if drowning deaths of children are as common in Florida as they say?

                “Once again, your firm conviction that a permissible inference is a mandatory certainty reveals an unfortunate bias you should examine in yourself.”

                You are right – that is only one possible inference. But in a circumstantial evidence case, that inference about lying is one more nail in the coffin for Casey. Similarly, it’s not a crime to get a ‘beautiful life’ tattoo and participate in hot body contests immediately following your daughter’s death, but for many people, it shows a certain amount of callousness.

                You keep wondering why people have no trouble calling Casey psychopathic as opposed to doing the same to George. Yet you seem to ignore Casey’s own behavior in all of this. That shows your bias.

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              • Me: ” If the father is as much of a psychopath as he would have to be, he might well have thought that he could keep the ruse going forever. ”

                April: “It’s easily foreseeable that Cindy would do exactly what she did.”

                It’s foreseeable, sure. To normal people. But apparently you haven’t known too many criminal psychopaths. What George knows, under this scenario, is that he’s been molesting his daughter for years and Cindy, her own mother, has been oblivious the whole time. As it is, Cindy didn’t finally lose it until she hadn’t seen a toddler – a toddler, for chrissakes – that she had in fact seen every single day of the toddler’s life, a toddler who lived at her house, for 31 days. More than a month. Isn’t that more than a little weird in and of itself? Who knows how long it could have gone on?

                George might have been very confident about his ability to keep Cindy in the dark for a very long period of time. Why wouldn’t he be? And psychopaths are just like that, especially the control freak ones.

                Me: ” Lying to the police is a much less dangerous game for the police themselves. That’s one thing that makes it more likely that this was George’s idea. ”

                April: “But it was Casey that lied to the police and put her life in jeopardy.”

                But again, under this scenario, George is running things, not Casey. Casey’s just doing what she’s always done – giving him what he wants and demands. She’s a very good little girl, lying for daddy, and no one will hurt her if she does it right. See how it works? It’s a terrible little story, just God-awful. But it’s no more terrible than the prosecution’s little story about Casey.

                April: “You keep wondering why people have no trouble calling Casey psychopathic as opposed to doing the same to George. Yet you seem to ignore Casey’s own behavior in all of this. That shows your bias.”

                Have to disagree again. How am I ignoring Casey’s behavior? I’m looking at the same behavior the prosecution is offering as proof, albeit second hand through news reports and whatnot. I just read the behavior differently. So far. That’s not the same as ignoring it.

                I know it’s troubling that after her daughter died she went out and got tattoos and partied and all that. But I’ve seen that very kind of behavior from women around the same age that was in response to what I can only call horrific victimization. In reality, despite the troubling appearance, these women were extremely – unimaginably – depressed, desperately alone in their inner torment, and explicitly suicidal. Not because they had done anything wrong to anyone else, but because such terrible wrongs had been done to them. On the rational level, this is behavior that doesn’t make any sense, but we are not entirely rational creatures, none of us. The point is, it’s a fact that this happens. And others who have worked with women who have been raped or molested or abused in some other terrible fashion would all tell you the same thing. And it isn’t just women, either. Children exhibit these or similar behaviors if they have been similarly abused.

                Now, is that a bias of mine, because I have some experience in this area? It’s a fine line sometimes between drawing upon one’s experiences and becoming biased, I’ll grant you that. There’s a saying: to a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

                But, you know, I’m doing a lot of posting the last few days about this and I’m trying to be careful. I’m open to any actual evidence that Casey Anthony smothered her daughter but I haven’t seen any. I haven’t even seen any evidence that points to it any more than it points to a dozen other things, including what the defense said in its opening. A lot of people hear these accusations and imagine what it must be like to be the little girl who’s mother is murdering her, at the very moment it’s happening, and it’s an upsetting image and I can understand people getting upset about it. I just did when I wrote that.

                But I see another very upsetting image, too: a young lady who’s father is a psychopathic monster who has warped her from the time she was a little girl, like her own little girl, and who can’t break free of the power and control of it over her, and then she loses her daughter in an accident, or maybe even the father killed the daughter – nobody’s been talking about that – and the father, like the truly evil monster he is, spins a giant trap for his own daughter because better her life than even a chink in his narcissistic armor: in the end he doesn’t care about anyone but himself. And here’s the poor girl, like a deer caught in the headlights waiting for the end to come because in some twisted way she feels she deserves it. He has always made her feel that way about anything bad that happened to her. And look how right he is: the whole world agrees with him and wants to kill her. She probably just wants it to be over and done with. Caylee is very close, all right.

                You see? There’s no bias there. Neither one of those stories is any better or worse than the other. They are both plausible. It is not bias to think so, it is bias not to think so.

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              • April

                “Isn’t that more than a little weird in and of itself?”

                Casey wasn’t living with her parents for a month or so from June 16, 2008, so its’ not all that weird. If Cindy didn’t know about some alleged sexual abuse, it doesn’t follow that she wouldn’t notice a missing granddaughter. It’s foreseeable that she will ask to see her granddaughter sooner or later, and there is nothing George or Casey could say to her that will keep her quiet. As it happened, Casey acted like she is hiding her daughter from her mother, and that was what drove Cindy to call the police. So if George and Casey were trying to hush up an alleged accident, they went about it in the worst possible way. That is the first strike against the theory.

                “Casey’s just doing what she’s always done – giving him what he wants and demands. She’s a very good little girl, lying for daddy, and no one will hurt her if she does it right. See how it works? ”

                Except this mythical “good little girl” turned around and exposed her father’s alleged crimes in front of the whole world. When did this transformation from her being a daddy’s good little girl to being her own person take place, and what caused that transformation? This is the other problem with the theory – it doesn’t explain Casey’s behavior very well.

                Now, if Casey went along with George’s alleged lying as long as she herself wasn’t in any danger, but came clean as soon as she got arrested and there started talk of her being indicted, the theory would have been believable. Coming as it does now, it looks like a concoction by the defense as a last ditch effort.

                Who would think an investigation of the alleged drowning accident – something that is apparently very common in Florida – would expose George’s alleged sexual abuse to the world? That makes no sense (and paints you as desperate for even thinking it)! Who is going to tell the cops about the alleged sexual abuse? Casey, who is allegedly under the thumb of her father? Or, is it Cindy, who is allegedly unaware of the alleged abuse?

                You seem to be trying very hard to sell the idea of an evil George to your readers – I have seen some of your other posts too. Most of the observable bad behavior in this case came from Casey. She lied to the police. She ignored a missing or dead child, and danced in night clubs. She stole from people. She admitted to punish her mother by being a vindictive bitch. This is why people think she is evil. If people have to see George as being responsible for Caylee’s death and Casey’s behavior, they need to see some evidence. All we have is hand waving from the defense and you.

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              • April: Good comment. We’re wrestling with the facts here, which is what you have to do in these situations.

                Let’s start here: to say that the circumstances surrounding this little girl’s death are suspicious is an understatement. But suspicious deaths don’t always, or even often, translate into murder. And even when they do, a great deal of care should be taken in pointing the finger. There are three plausible scenarios in this case, so far as I can tell. First, an accidental drowning followed by an attempt to conceal it. Second, the little girl was killed, accidentally or on purpose, by her mother. And third, the little girl was killed, accidentally or on purpose – but in this scenario far more likely on purpose – by her grandfather.

                The evidence so far does not give any basis to pick which of the three is the right one. And in any case, the mother purposely killing the little girl is the least likely of them. For that reason, it is the first one to be eliminated because it’s the easiest.

                Now, I wouldn’t say that there is anything so far that can eliminate it, so it’s still there on the table. But if you credit the sexual abuse claim, the case against George is better. It gives him a motive. He has the better opportunity – his house after all, where all of this takes place. Plus he’s a former homicide detective who knows a lot about how evidence and the system work. Plus, he’s a little shady and untrustworthy for other reasons. Plus, his effort to implicate his own daughter is both horrifyingly unnatural and under the circumstances sinister.

                Casey is just a mess. But that would not be surprising if her father is the culprit here. By contrast, it’s a bit tougher to fit George’s behavior into some sort of benign, familiar pattern if his daughter is just a bad seed/psychopathic monster. Protecting her would be familiar, but he sure as hell isn’t doing that. Abandoning her entirely because he knows she’s a monster would be less familiar, but still plausible if he thinks she killed his granddaughter. But what he’s doing is just too weird for words: implicating her to every law enforcement agency on earth, enthusiastically testifying for the prosecution but swearing his undying devotion at the same time. A lot is not right there.

                So if George and Casey were trying to hush up an alleged accident, they went about it in the worst possible way. That is the first strike against the theory.

                Worst possible way for Casey. Not for George, if he was busy and using the time to set up his daughter to take the fall.

                When did this transformation from her being a daddy’s good little girl to being her own person take place, and what caused that transformation?

                When she got some very good lawyers.

                Now, if Casey went along with George’s alleged lying as long as she herself wasn’t in any danger, but came clean as soon as she got arrested and there started talk of her being indicted, the theory would have been believable. Coming as it does now, it looks like a concoction by the defense as a last ditch effort.

                Unfortunately, coming out with evidence of exoneration before the trial is most likely a mistake. Once the government’s position has hardened into a prosecution, it is only an exceptional prosecutor of high character who will stop prosecuting, no matter what evidence comes out. The only thing that will usually happen if you go to a prosecutor with evidence exonerating your client before the trial begins is that the prosecutor will try to destroy your evidence, or you. Or fabricate “evidence” to refute it. He can still do all that after the trial begins, but it’s not as easy. It’s sad that it works that way, but an attorney can’t afford to take the kind of risk you’re suggesting.

                Most of the observable bad behavior in this case came from Casey. She lied to the police. She ignored a missing or dead child, and danced in night clubs. She stole from people. She admitted to punish her mother by being a vindictive bitch. This is why people think she is evil. If people have to see George as being responsible for Caylee’s death and Casey’s behavior, they need to see some evidence. All we have is hand waving from the defense and you.

                You’re just wrong here. There’s plenty of “observable bad behavior” by George. There are reasons to think that he is evil, but very few do. There are fewer reasons to think that Casey is evil, but almost everyone does. The difference is in who has been charged, that’s all.

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              • April

                “Worst possible way for Casey. Not for George, if he was busy and using the time to set up his daughter to take the fall.”

                Wait. You were arguing until now that George wanted to cover up the alleged drowning accident because he wanted to avoid a police investigation that migh unearth his alleged sexual abuse of his daughter. Now, you say he is trying to frame his daughter? You just want to blame it on George, but you haven’t made up your mind on how you want
                to do it, right?

                What is the purported benefit for George in framing Casey for an alleged accident? Framing her means there is a police investigation, and there’s likelihood (according to you) that his alleged sexual abuse comes to light!

                I also pointed out earlier that George has no basis for fearing that his alleged secret will be exposed by an investigation. Your own theory paints Casey as being under his thumb. Why would she expose his alleged secret? You also claimed Cindy is unaware of the alleged sexual abuse.

                “There’s plenty of “observable bad behavior” by George. There are reasons to think that he is evil, but very few do. There are fewer reasons to think that Casey is evil, but almost everyone does. The difference is in who has been charged, that’s all.”

                Nonsense! Casey is the one that lied to police. Casey is the one that acted like she didn’t care about her daughter. Casey is the one that drove around with a dead body in the car trunk. Casey is the one that lied to cover up the stink. The police have excellent reasons to believe Casey murdered her child.

                Now, if George sexually abused his daughter, and then caused his daughter to do all of the suspicous things, then let’s see some evidence of it. You got nothing. Not only is there no supporting evidence, your theory is full of holes on its own. Casey’s defense’s theory is even more ridiculous – they claim the cover up was meant to protect Casey from Cindy’s wratch. What absolute rot!

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              • Oh, April. Too bad you have stopped wrestling with the facts and started arguing.

                What is the purported benefit for George in framing Casey for an alleged accident? Framing her means there is a police investigation, and there’s likelihood (according to you) that his alleged sexual abuse comes to light!

                But only at that point from a discredited witness who is already accused and who therefore will not be believed by most people. Something your own opinions demonstrate is not only possible, but has in fact occurred. I could run a lot further with what George can be suspected of based on the evidence if you grant, for purposes of argument, that there was a history of sexual abuse. But it appears you may not be able to follow scenarios where you disagree with the assumptions, only those where you agree.

                Casey is the one that lied to police. Casey is the one that acted like she didn’t care about her daughter. Casey is the one that drove around with a dead body in the car trunk. Casey is the one that lied to cover up the stink. The police have excellent reasons to believe Casey murdered her child.

                I have not said that the police do not have reasons to believe that Casey murdered her child. I don’t agree that they are “excellent” reasons, if by that you mean that they unambiguously and insurmountably point to it. But there are definitely reasons.

                There is no evidence that I am aware of, by the way, that “Casey drove around with a dead body in the car trunk.” There is evidence that there was a dead body in the car trunk at some unknown point. Whether anyone drove around with it, and if someone did whether it was Casey or her father or some third person remains to be seen. I’m not aware of any lies of Casey that are transparently designed to “cover up the stink”, although there are certainly a lot of Casey Anthony lies to sort through. But we’ve been over that.

                There’s a lot we don’t know right now about what happened to the little girl’s body between the time she died and the time the body was found. It’s an upsetting subject. You’re jumping to some unwarranted conclusions.

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              • April

                “Too bad you have stopped wrestling with the facts and started arguing.”

                Your theory is full of holes, and you keep changing it. The only constant I can see
                is that you want to say “George did it”. You have it in for George for some reason, or you are trying to get hired by Casey’s defense team or something. There are no “facts” that support your theory.

                “But only at that point from a discredited witness who is already accused.”

                But why even try to frame Casey for the alleged drowning accident? What is the purported benefit? You had claimed he was trying to avoid the police investigation of the alleged accident. Then you claim he was trying to frame her, which contradicts your earlier claim.
                You also sidestep the question of why George felt he had to fear Casey’s exposing of his alleged sexual abuse if Casey is completely under his thumb as you claimed. When it became clear that your “conclusions” came a lot before any of your “facts”, you claim I am not receptive.

                >> There is no evidence that I am aware of, by the way, that “Casey drove around with a dead body in the car trunk.” <<

                There was the evidence of the 'smell of death', and of the hair from a dead body in the trunk. Casey told a friend of hers that an dead animal's body is plastered to the car, and the FBI expert found no traces of any dead animals plastered to the car. Why Casey had to lie about the smell is for the jury to wonder about. If "George mad her do it", there needs to be some supporting evidence for the claim.

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              • But why even try to frame Casey for the alleged drowning accident? What is the purported benefit?

                This is an easy enough question to answer in a number of ways. Why don’t you try? It would be good for you. Keep in mind that a scenario you find credible is that a mother murdered her little girl because she wanted to go out and party, so anything at least that plausible is fair.

                You had claimed he was trying to avoid the police investigation of the alleged accident. Then you claim he was trying to frame her, which contradicts your earlier claim.

                The two aren’t really contradictory. Maybe it would be better to say that under that scenario, he needed to avoid the investigation until he could steer it towards his daughter and away from him.

                Casey told a friend of hers that an dead animal’s body is plastered to the car, and the FBI expert found no traces of any dead animals plastered to the car. Why Casey had to lie about the smell is for the jury to wonder about.

                Are you sure about what Casey supposedly told her friend? Maybe she thought there was a dead animal when there wasn’t. That wouldn’t be a “lie”; it might just be incorrect. Again, there are a lot of details about what happened to the little girl’s body that we don’t know at this point. It’s a fair inference from some of the evidence that the body was in the trunk of the car at some point. How it got there, if it did, we don’t know. At least I don’t. If there is evidence establishing or even suggesting anything I’m all ears.

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              • April

                “This is an easy enough question to answer in a number of ways. Why don’t you try? It would be good for you. ”

                You are the one that proposed this theory of George allegedly framing Casey.
                You have to know why you did it. You should state your theory in full. And then
                you can list your evidence for it.

                “Keep in mind that a scenario you find credible is that a mother murdered her little girl because she wanted to go out and party, so anything at least that plausible is fair.”

                I didn’t say Casey killed her child to go party, and plausibility is not the only issue. You need some supporting evidence for the theory. Otherwise, you can throw it out there, but the people won’t buy it.

                “The two aren’t really contradictory. ”

                You claimed George wished to hush up the alleged accident. I said that he and Casey went about it in the worst possible way if that is what they wanted. They haven’t made any attempt to handle Cindy, and Casey actually acted like she is punishing Cindy, and this is what ultimatley caused Cindy to call the police. Then you said George is framing Casey. You switched your position from George trying to hush up the alleged accident to George trying to frame Casey for it without offering any explanation.

                Where is the need to frame Casey at all for the alleged accident? Why is there a need to gear exposure by an allegedly docile daughter in the investigation of an alleged accident? You are running away from questions, and strengthening my suspicion that throwing some dirt on George is all you care about. You don’t have a coherent theory of what happened, and when asked about details, you invite me to think something up. This is why I said your conclusions came way before your facts.

                >>That wouldn’t be a “lie”; it might just be incorrect. <<

                There is no reason for Casey to offer *any* explanation for the stink. The jury will wonder why she felt the need.

                Like

              • You are the one that proposed this theory of George allegedly framing Casey.
                You have to know why you did it. You should state your theory in full. And then
                you can list your evidence for it.

                If you want to analyze or weigh evidence, you need to learn how to understand someone else’s point of view. You can make some progress by interpreting evidence in a way you don’t necessarily agree with. The questions you asked were not difficult to answer at all. Here’s some help: motive, opportunity, means. This is what makes a circumstantial case. Make an argument, based on what you know of the evidence, that shows all three are present for George. Assume as a fact that there is a history of him sexually abusing his own daughter, Casey. Regularly. From childhood all the way up to Father’s Day 2008, the day after which the little girl died by all accounts.

                I didn’t say Casey killed her child to go party, and plausibility is not the only issue. You need some supporting evidence for the theory. Otherwise, you can throw it out there, but the people won’t buy it.

                Remember: witness testimony is evidence. People are convicted of crimes on the basis of witness testimony every day. The only evidence that is required to establish that George sexually abused Casey is Casey’s testimony. It does not have to be corroborated by anything to be accepted by the jury as true. They may choose to believe it, or disbelieve it, taking into account all of Casey’s lies. A person can be truthful sometimes and untruthful at other times. Indeed that is probably true of everyone, including you.

                Notice, I have not said that the case against Casey Anthony is “ridiculous”. I have said the opposite in fact. But there’s a very plausible case against George, too. At least so far. If they have a smoking gun against Casey that will eliminate George. If they have a smoking gun against George that will eliminate Casey. If all we get to, when all is said and done is that it’s more likely Casey or more likely George then nobody should be convicted of anything. You do agree with that, right?

                Like

              • April

                >>If you want to analyze or weigh evidence, you need to learn how to understand someone else’s point of view.<<

                I will speculate. It's hard to see why George would want to frame Casey if she is a good little victim, obeying his every wish. She is not a threat to him. So she has probably ended her participation in the abuse. (She said something about a changing relationship in one of the jailhouse talks.) George is resentful, and secretly worried that Casey may expose him at any time. Then something happens that results in Caylee's death. George sees an opportunity to get rid of Casey for good, scares her thoroughly about how the police may blame her for Caylee's death. Casey, being the naive person that she is, believes him and goes along with his suggestion.

                George suggests they should stage a kidnapping and killing. They apply chloroform and put on the duct tape. George suggests they keep the body in the trunk of Casey's car until they decide what to do with it. George deliberately delays the decision by a week or so until the body is badly decomposed, and then suggests the woods as a hiding place. He tells Casey to present the 'Nanny took it' story when the time comes. Casey goes along with it, and is ultimately indicted by Florida to her complete surprise.

                George, meanwhile, does what he can to dig the grave for Casey. He implicates her thoroughly without appearing to do so. He completes his cunning plan when he gives testimony for the state.

                This doesn't explain Casey's dancing in the clubs after Caylee's death. Also, Casey has to be the star witness for all of this to get in. It's basically her word against George's, and George appears more credible.

                The evidence against Casey doesn't depend on the testimony of a low credibility witness. That she lied on several occasions is clear. That she acted callously is evident. That she covered up can be reasonably inferred. If she did anything at someone else's suggestion, the onus is really on her to produce evidence of it, especially at this late stage.

                There is also the matter of a fight between Casey and Cindy that ultimately led to Casey's departure from her parents' home with Caylee in tow. Cindy's myspace update in early July confirms it. Casey's myspace update a few days later appears to be a reply to Cindy. That might also explain Casey's motive – she killed her baby in anger against her mother. "Everyone lies. Everyone dies."

                Like

              • Pretty good. I once had a client whose father had abused her sexually from childhood through to adulthood. It went on and on, almost like it was the man’s main sexual relationship. When the daughter would try to break away with boyfriends like a normal girl, the man would get very angry and sabotage her relationships and play weird head games with her to manipulate her back into his control. And she would often succumb. This seems very strange, but it happens. At least it happened there.

                Here is an old link reporting that neighbors reported a big fight at the Anthony home over Father’s Day weekend.

                Father’s day weekend. Perhaps George was expecting something from Casey on his special day and Casey said no, no more. Then the anger. The big blow up. Then the retaliation, maybe directed at the person Casey loved most in the whole world, to punish her. Then show her what she did. You see, by turning him away she made him do it. It was her fault. Look what you’ve done, he says. You’re going to prison for a long time, unless you return to the way we were before.

                She basically goes nuts. He knows enough, being an ex-cop, that this will never last, so he has to pin it on her. She deserves it anyway. It was getting harder and harder to keep her as she got older. There were other men. She had already betrayed him too many times to count. Screw her. Let her take the fall for it.

                Okay, Casey. Go to your boyfriends, if that’s what you want. I won’t stop you. I’ll take care of it. Don’t worry, just do what I tell you.

                All the while he is methodically planting evidence to implicate her he is assuring her that she can trust him to protect her and keep her safe from law enforcement. He knows how to do it. He’s a cop himself. Casey believes him, but as he already knows, she is not up to the task.

                Terrible story. But plausible, on the assumption that he’s an abuser.

                Had I not had a client like the one I mentioned, I would never have even thought of such a scenario. I sympathize with people who are struggling to understand this situation for that reason, among others, and the story I just told is, at this point, just that – a story. It would only fit if there was, in fact, that kind of abuse going on. And even then, it might fit, but that doesn’t make it true.

                But think of the nightmare – the gargantuan and very public torture being inflicted on someone who has already suffered so much if it is true.

                And that is why this case should not have been brought, unless there is something yet to appear that makes it clearer the lurid tale about her is the right one. If the story I told, or something like it, is true, then prosecuting Casey Anthony has been an act of unspeakable cruelty.

                Like

              • April

                Unfortunately for Casey, her own words seem to contradict the story of ongoing sexual abuse by father. She wrote to an inmate with the details.

                “Anthony claimed her brother would walk into her room at night and feel her breasts.”

                “Anthony said she informed her mother about the incidents, but that Cindy Anthony turned on her.”

                “Anthony also claimed she thought her father, George Anthony, did the same things to her when she was much younger.”

                http://www.wesh.com/news/23064066/detail.html

                If sexual abuse by father continued until recently, why not mention that instead of referring to something that happened when she was much younger? Prosecution could use this to impeach her if she takes the stand and claims ongoing abuse. Her credibility is suspect as it is.

                Like

              • It gets complicated. She may be mixing and matching quite a bit. Being groped by your brother is more acceptable, less gross, than having actual intercourse with your father. So she tells the one because she wants to tell something but not the whole truth because that’s too embarrassing. The mind does strange things sometimes. Look at this, about “fugue states”, which might be pretty close to Casey Anthony’s condition after the death of her daughter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugue_state

                I’m not saying you could, or should, ever convict father or brother on evidence like that. But that’s not the issue. It explains some things that are very hard to explain otherwise, and tends to point away from any intentional murder scenario.

                Now, if they really nail Casey Anthony with that chloroform web search, or otherwise and better show that she was chloroforming the little girl to make her sleep or make her docile, that could shift things in the sense that an accidental death which is then covered up becomes more believable, and you don’t necessarily have to get into any strange or unusual stories about sex abuse at all. The difference between that accidental death scenario and the “drowning in the pool” scenario is that the former would be some kind of homicide, negligent or involuntary manslaughter. And that is a very plausible scenario. But you might still have to be able to rule out the other possibilities before you could find guilt on that one. As long as the evidence supports more than one theory, and any of the theories are inconsistent with a finding of guilt, then the verdict should be not guilty. But that’s not the way it works.

                One thing that seems clear is that although an intentional murder scenario where Casey is guilty cannot be definitively ruled out, there is almost nothing which suggests it, and I think it was improper to charge her with it. But they do that sometimes when they’ve been lied to because they are mad. That is not an excuse. Threatening someone with the death penalty with no good basis to believe it is warranted is an abuse of power, and the talking heads should be discussing that rather than “hot body contests”.

                You did a real good job with your hypothetical by the way. I said “pretty good” before, but that didn’t do it justice.

                Like

              • April

                “One thing that seems clear is that although an intentional murder scenario where Casey is guilty cannot be definitively ruled out, there is almost nothing which suggests it, and I think it was improper to charge her with it.”

                I think there is plenty that suggests it. It all depends on how much benefit of doubt you are inclined to give to each person. This is a circumstantial evidence case, and nobody saw anybody do anything that is criminal. It’s all about drawing inferences.

                You have web searches about ‘neck breaking’, household weapons and making chloroform. Someone looked up missing children web sites. There is the duct tape around Caylee’s mouth, placed in such a way to indicate that the person that put it on had no intention of removing it. There is that spat between Casey and Cindy about the money that Casey stole from people, and Casey’s decision to walk away from home in anger. There are the myspace entries indicating Casey has removed Caylee from Cindy to punish Cindy. The prosecution could argue that Casey has been considering getting rid of Caylee for some time, perhaps to lead a carefree life. When Casey and Cindy had that fight, Casey finally snapped. She has one more reason to get rid of Caylee now – to punish Cindy. She used chloroform and duct tape to kill her daughter, then drove around with the body in the trunk until she got rid of it in the woods. Casey then told story after story to explain Caylee’s absence, and finally settled on the accident and sexual abuse story at the time of trial.

                One could make a case against George too, as you point out. George may have coerced a naive Casey into covering up an accident while he worked to implicate her behind the scenes. The prosecution didn’t believe George had any criminal role in the proceedings. Perhaps they didn’t uncover any independent evidence of sexual abuse by George. The remaining pieces won’t stand up without the sexual abuse.

                To my mind, it’s the lying to the police by Casey that paints a big red target on her back. People expect people to defend themselves. If Casey is in big trouble with the police, people expect Casey to do her best to get out of that trouble. If Casey tells lots of lies for the purpose, people think that is the best she can do. And the best reason she can only lie to the police is, the truth puts her in even bigger trouble with the police. i.e. She has to be trying to cover up her crime. What if it’s something less than murder one? Well, why didn’t she fold when the stakes are raised? So goes the thinking (at least my thinking, and I suspect, that of most people clamoring for her punishment).

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              • It all depends on how much benefit of doubt you are inclined to give to each person. This is a circumstantial evidence case, and nobody saw anybody do anything that is criminal. It’s all about drawing inferences.

                I’m beginning to wonder about the very word “circumstantial”. Maybe every case is circumstantial. The classic non-circumstantial case is where you have the proverbial “eye witness”. But don’t you have to infer that the eye witness is not involved, doesn’t have an agenda of their own, and so on, in order to believe him? Then there is the typical case brought by the feds. They have everything on tape, often in real time. Game over, usually.

                I don’t know about those computer searches. “Chloroform” sounds more like Casey. “Neck breaking” sounds more like George. I can see chloroform for George, too: Casey isn’t giving him any, that’s one way to subdue her. Can’t see “neck breaking” for Casey, though.

                Neither one of us sees anything to pin on Cindy, other than being a sort of victim here. That’s interesting.

                You’re more sensitive to Cindy’s plight, and more ready to make negative inferences about Casey from some of the strife there. From my perspective and what I know about their relationship, it’s one of the strongest indicators of sexual abuse by George. It’s classic that the daughter blames and resents the mother for what the father has done. And then there’s this other element, a kind of disdain, because after all the daughter has sort of displaced her mother in relation to her father. They both kind of know about this, but do not say. They fight about other things – money, for example – but the real conflict is much deeper and left unsaid.

                The prosecution could argue that Casey has been considering getting rid of Caylee for some time, perhaps to lead a carefree life. When Casey and Cindy had that fight, Casey finally snapped.

                I think they would almost have to argue that. The “carefree life” thing is the only motive they have, not that I’m making a criticism there because it’s the only motive you or I can think of, too. And it’s one of their big problems: it’s a very forced interpretation. It’s possible, you could draw that inference from the “31 days”, maybe, but it’s so unlikely. The motive only fits with a cold, calculating monster. The objective evidence indicates that Casey is a mess, not a cold calculating monster. Cold, calculating monster would fit George a lot better.

                To my mind, it’s the lying to the police by Casey that paints a big red target on her back. People expect people to defend themselves. If Casey is in big trouble with the police, people expect Casey to do her best to get out of that trouble. If Casey tells lots of lies for the purpose, people think that is the best she can do. And the best reason she can only lie to the police is, the truth puts her in even bigger trouble with the police. i.e. She has to be trying to cover up her crime. What if it’s something less than murder one? Well, why didn’t she fold when the stakes are raised? So goes the thinking (at least my thinking, and I suspect, that of most people clamoring for her punishment).

                It’s true, lying to the police paints a target on your back. Much more than it should. It’s largely due to the fact that the police over-emphasize it. It’s like they think there is something especially unfair about them being lied to, when lots of people are lied to: attorneys especially, but therapists and doctors and teachers and I could go on and on. The difference is that cops get to retaliate by concluding the worst possible thing from the fact that they are being lied to and then charging it.

                Lying is almost always to “cover up” something. The question is, what? The police become mentally lazy, and basically assume the worst possible thing. And respectfully, you’re a little naive about how it goes with the police. Once their position has “hardened”, there is no point trying to “defend yourself”. You may as well get a lawyer at that point and go to the mat in court. I’ll agree with you – disagreeing with some of my colleagues here – that there is a narrow window of opportunity early on where you might help yourself by coming clean. But once that’s closed, forget it.

                Like

              • April

                “The motive only fits with a cold, calculating monster. The objective evidence indicates that Casey is a mess, not a cold calculating monster.”

                Casey is a bundle of contradictions. She was a loving mother that had a special bond with her daughter. And she was the callous monster that was having a good time after something terrible happened to her daughter. But she does look like she doesn’t think ahead by much. All those lies she told – she had to know the police will easily find out she was lying. It’s almost like she made no attempt to come up with some good, solid lies. It’s hard to think of her as the calculating type.

                “The difference is that cops get to retaliate by concluding the worst possible thing from the fact that they are being lied to and then charging it.”

                You are probably right. The fact that she takes pride in her lies is enough to drive any self-respecting cop crazy. And, it’s leverage.

                “You’re more sensitive to Cindy’s plight, and more ready to make negative inferences about Casey from some of the strife there. From my perspective and what I know about their relationship, it’s one of the strongest indicators of sexual abuse by George.”

                I am going by the tone of their myspace messages – Cindy comes through as the reasonable one, and Casey the impudent one. You are probably right that Casey is mad at Cindy for George’s abusive acts. (On the other hand, Casey did steal money from people, so they did have something genuine to fight about.) A lip reader looked at Casey crying during recess in court, and wrote out the words. Casey was apparently berating Cindy for coming into the court room and supporting George. There is definitely sexual abuse there, though the extent of abuse is anybody’s guess, and what actual adverse effect it had on Casey is too.

                Casey’s behavior after her child’s death – that was natural, not forced. Everybody said she looked like a normal 22-year old, genuinely happy and enjoying life. So, I don’t buy the “sexual abuse produced the disconnect” theory. No matter whatever a defendant does, there’s always a psychologist somewhere that can trace that behavior to some past trauma or whatever. It’s too pat, too much of a silver bullet for defense attorneys. Can Jose Baez sell it to the jury? We will see. (The fact that Casey seems to enjoy lying works against her. People hate to be deceived.)

                Like

              • A lip reader looked at Casey crying during recess in court, and wrote out the words. Casey was apparently berating Cindy for coming into the court room and supporting George. There is definitely sexual abuse there, though the extent of abuse is anybody’s guess, and what actual adverse effect it had on Casey is too.

                One young woman I know who had been brutally raped would become non-responsive when you tried to discuss it with her. It was the weirdest thing. I was having lunch with her trying to get her to talk about it. Maybe not the best idea but that’s another subject. She stopped chewing, put her fork down, her eyes began to flutter and for two or three minutes she wouldn’t talk or respond to questions or conversation at all. It resembled a seizure of some kind. Then she would come out of it and more or less terminate the meeting. Once after coming out of it, she complained of being “cold” although we were in a perfectly warm room the whole time.

                The rest of the time she was engaged in escapist behavior – partying, “going out”, romantic dalliances. This is a typical reaction, part of a process called “dissociation” by psychologists. Its subconscious purpose is precisely to erect a disconnect between the person and the traumatic experience(s).

                Prior to encountering this in the real world, I probably would have thought it was bullshit, too. But I saw it, and it was quite powerful. Tough sell to a jury, or for that matter anyone else, in a context like this? Yes.

                Like

              • April

                It came up during one of the HLN shows tonight – Casey was apparently offered immunity in exchange for coming clean about Caylee’s disappearance. This was before Caylee’s remains were found. Casey apparently rejected the offer. Once the state saw the duct tape, they have decided Casey killed Caylee, of course.

                It wasn’t mentioned on the show, but I’m guessing the immunity was probably offered on the condition that Casey didn’t intentionally kill Caylee. If this is true, it puts a damper on the accident theories. Casey could have probably walked free just by explaining everything, but she apparently chose not to. You have to wonder why.

                I hope more details come out about this alleged offer.

                Like

              • Interesting here, too. These immunity offers are complicated, April. You have to think it through. They may have offered it to her because they suspected her father more than her, and wanted her to implicate her father, which maybe she didn’t want to do at that time. Maybe she still doesn’t: even the defense hasn’t accused him of an intentional homicide.

                And it’s not like there’s no downside. She would go through the rest of her life being suspected by many people of murdering her little girl. No one would believe her innocence claims because she made a deal.

                But the immunity offer is interesting in another way. The fact that they offered it to her means that they didn’t believe she intentionally killed her daughter either. If they thought that, they would never have offered it. It makes the whole murder prosecution look disingenuous. An ethical prosecutor does not offer immunity to a person he believes is a cold, calculating murderer and then overcharge when the offer is refused, in a sort of petulant retaliation.

                Overall, the immunity offer makes the prosecution look bad, not Casey Anthony. See how that is a lot of times? It’s not the fact itself, it’s what you infer from it.

                Like

              • April

                “An ethical prosecutor does not offer immunity to a person he believes is a cold, calculating murderer and then overcharge when the offer is refused, in a sort of petulant retaliation.”

                The prosecution did not know at the time about the duct tape around Caylee’s mouth.

                In any case, I don’t know if there really were two immunity offers. It is possible that I misunderstood. The HLN guests could have been referring to the one Casey was offered when the police were actively searching for Caylee. That immunity offer was a lot different – Casey can help the searchers without fearing that her words will be used against her. Casey didn’t take advantage of that offer, of course.

                Meanwhile, we heard about how the duct tape completely covered little Caylee’s nose and mouth. I actually think now that Casey killed Caylee intentionally. That duct tape makes no sense. If dad and daughter were staging a fake kidnapping, why wasn’t there a fake ransom call?

                One of the talking heads was saying today that even if Caylee died as a result of an accidental overdose of chloroform, it will still count as a felony murder, the felony being the aggravated child abuse. I don’t know if it’s one of the lesser included offenses in this case or not.

                Like

              • Hi April.

                Well, first, the duct tape could have been applied post mortem, and in fact that makes more sense than using it to kill by suffocation. I don’t know why the prosecution committed itself to that idea. There will never be any proof of it, unless someone confesses to it.

                Felony murder. That’s a stretch, but then felony murder always is. It is important to note that felony murder is not intentional murder. It is an old rule of law that should have been abolished long ago, but in fact results in a lot of murder convictions. The usual case is a robbery gone bad. A and B agree to do a robbery, unarmed, which is still a felony. Unbeknownst to B, A brings a gun, and in the course of the robbery he shoots and kills the victim. B, who never agreed to a killing and in fact did not kill anyone, is guilty of “felony murder” because he agreed to do the robbery – the felony – in the first place. Thus the term “felony murder”. Even the term is misleading, because it implies some sort of aggravated murder, whereas really it is not “murder” as most people understand it at all.

                It is a strange thing to find someone guilty of murder when they neither killed anyone nor intended to, but the law permits it in almost every jurisdiction. In some places I believe it is a death penalty eligible offense, which is really wrong in my opinion.

                In the case of an accidental overdose of chloroform or something else, that would fit involuntary manslaughter like a glove. It’s almost the textbook case of involuntary manslaughter. Trying to find some way to jam facts that are so plainly one thing into a more serious crime is prosecutorial excess at minimum, but this happens a lot, too.

                The immunity offer(s), assuming it was made, would reflect a belief that Casey Anthony did not intentionally kill her daughter, and even a belief that she did not accidentally do it, at least not by herself. In fact it most likely means that at least at some point they suspected someone else more – probably the father – but figured she was involved somehow and they couldn’t get him without her. They would never offer immunity if they thought she was primarily guilty of a serious crime, even manslaughter. And in fact, refusing such a deal pisses them off even more, not because they think you’re the really guilty one because if that was true they would never have offered immunity in the first place. It pisses them off because you are obstructing them in getting the real bad guy. They hate that. And they punish you for it. And they can.

                I can practically guarantee you that the duct tape didn’t make any difference in their decision to offer immunity or withdraw the offer.

                Like

              • I should add that it is possible – not likely, but possible – that the authorities, or at least some of them, still don’t really believe Casey Anthony is guilty, that they believe her father is, and that their only hope of getting him is to get her to turn on him, so this prosecution is a last ditch effort to do that. That might also explain why there is such antipathy for her attorney. They may believe he is ill serving his client and forcing them to do this, whereas if he helped them to turn her she would be better off. Apparently, unless I missed something, there was a paternity test done on the brother that excluded him. I have not seen anywhere that a paternity test was done on the father. They may have asked him to submit to one – I can’t imagine that they didn’t, since they asked the brother – and he refused. This would arouse a lot of suspicion, obviously. A test could exclude the brother because he has genetic markers from his mother as well, but if I’m not mistaken that does not mean that the father would be excluded.

                The first degree murder charge is just too strained an interpretation of what they have. But everyone in the system knows that strained interpretations of evidence are often believed, if it comes from the prosecution. Not so for the defense.

                Like

              • April

                “Well, first, the duct tape could have been applied post mortem, and in fact that makes more sense than using it to kill by suffocation.”

                What reason is there to apply the duct tape post mortem? If George and Casey were staging a fake kidnapping, you’d think there would be a fake ransom call at some point. If it has to look like some outsider killed Caylee, the heart sticker shouldn’t have been there with Caylee’s body.

                Casey killed that girl with duct tape and chloroform. She felt a little sorry for the kid by the time she dumped the body. Why she killed her could be a matter for speculation. She may not have planned it like the prosecution is alleging. The web searches for chloroform could have been just for Casey to learn how to make it. Casey could have been using it on Caylee occasionally. I think the fight with Cindy is significant. Cindy says jealousy has taken Caylee away from her, and Casey says what is given can be taken away. Killing Caylee is Casey’s way of punishing Cindy.

                “The immunity offer(s), assuming it was made, would reflect a belief that Casey Anthony did not intentionally kill her daughter, and even a belief that she did not accidentally do it, at least not by herself.”

                The immunity offer that we definitely know they offered – that doesn’t show they didn’t think Casey is responsible for Caylee’s death. It was a pretty bad deal for Casey. It’s almost like they wanted Caylee’s body so they can wrap this up. Casey’s words to the searchers won’t be used against her so she can feel free to assist the search, but everything else will be used.

                Once Caylee’s body was discovered with the duct tape, the prosecution decided this is a murder case.

                Like

              • What reason is there to apply the duct tape post mortem?

                What reason is there to apply it pre-mortem? There are lots of ways to suffocate someone. The duct-tape-as-murder-weapon thing would implicate a handy man, not Casey Anthony. A “home improvement” child murderer stalking Orlando. I mean, c’mon.

                There are so many reasons. To hold the mouth shut. Have you ever seen a dead person with their mouth open and you can’t get it closed? A woman I know died in the hospital and that’s what happened. Believe me, you’d rather the mouth be closed, but the dead person can’t do it themselves, can they?

                Casey killed that girl with duct tape and chloroform.

                Possibly. That’s it? You know I should mention something. 15 years ago a very pretty little girl was murdered in Colorado, and that time there was no doubt but that it was a homicide and not an accident of any kind. And there was an enormous amount of pressure, and some very cruel criticism, directed at the police and the district attorney because they supposedly messed everything up and never delivered Jon Benet Ramsay’s killer to the braying mob led by the press. And to their great credit, since despite their best efforts they were never able to identify the killer with reasonable certainty, the police and district attorney never charged anyone. In my mind they were and have been heroes. If they ever did charge anyone for it, I would be so confident that it was the right person I might not be as skeptical as I probably should be.

                Anyway, that’s the way it comes out sometimes.

                I could be as adamant as you and categorically state “George molested his daughter, fathered Caylee and then murdered the little girl by drowning her in the pool cause he was mad he wasn’t getting anymore sex from Casey, especially on Father’s day, and then framed Casey for it because she’s just a dumb 22 year old kid who’s been under his thumb her whole life as his sex slave and he’s an ex-homicide detective who knows what he’s doing.” But if they were prosecuting George for this I’d probably be pointing out that it was just as likely that Casey had done it.

                Like

              • The immunity offer that we definitely know they offered – that doesn’t show they didn’t think Casey is responsible for Caylee’s death. It was a pretty bad deal for Casey.

                So no wonder her attorney turned it down, then. I thought you were referring to “transactional immunity”. If all they offered was “use immunity”, well, that’s easy enough for the government to circumvent. The government effectively reneges on use immunity agreements at will and no court will stop them.

                Once Caylee’s body was discovered with the duct tape, the prosecution decided this is a murder case.

                That would be completely illogical. If that was really their reasoning, I would question their competence. Otherwise, there is reason to question their bona fides.

                Like

              • April

                “What reason is there to apply it pre-mortem?”

                It is as good a way as any to suffocate the child. At least, Casey doesn’t have to stand there with a pillow in hand until Caylee breathes her last. Just apply the chloroform first and then the duct tape, wait for 5 minutes or so, and the deed is done. If Casey has been using chloroform to keep the kid quiet all that time, then she already has the weapon available.

                “To hold the mouth shut.”

                May be. If that is important to the killer, for some reason. If attempting to cover up an accident is dumb, risking a murder charge by using a duct tape on the corpse is dumber. One could argue Casey is not very bright, of course.

                >> I could be as adamant as you and categorically state “George molested his daughter, fathered Caylee and then murdered the little girl by drowning her in the pool cause he was mad he wasn’t getting anymore sex from Casey, especially on Father’s day, and then framed Casey for it because she’s just a dumb 22 year old kid who’s been under his thumb her whole life as his sex slave and he’s an ex-homicide detective who knows what he’s doing.” <<

                I was only stating my theory, not being adamant, but my theory is less 'strained' as I explain below. If the state has to allege something like you are suggesting, they have to know of or have reasonable basis to suspect a few more things. That George has been molesting his child. That Casey put an end to it around that time. That Casey is lying in spite of the grave risk to her. You think the state botched its investigation or the "system is broken", as the subtext of your web site title says. I think that may be the state didn't see any evidence for George's malfeasance.

                If George is the one primarily responsible for Caylee's welfare, if everyone asked George when Caylee 'disappeared', if George told one lie after another in response, if George called himself a vindictive bitch and suggested he is hiding Caylee from Cindy, if George got himself a 'beautiful life' tattoo and started having a good time in night clubs right after Caylee 'disappeared', if George lied to cover up the stink in the car, then the police would have just as soon suspected George of killing Caylee. I know it's possible to explain some of these away by assuming a few things, like sexual abuse and George having control over Casey etc. That makes your theory more strained, not less.

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              • Me: What reason is there to apply it pre-mortem?”

                April: It is as good a way as any to suffocate the child.

                But that’s just the point. There are a thousand other ways that don’t involve duct tape, and duct tape is not associated with weaponry. You’re talking about the first murder in recorded history where the the murder weapon was duct tape. Doesn’t this give you pause? What the hell is it about this duct tape that makes people treat it like it’s a smoking gun? Only one thing I can think of: it’s what the state is alleging.

                Me: “To hold the mouth shut.” [other reasons duct tape might be there]

                April: May be. If that is important to the killer, for some reason.

                Apparently you’ve never been in the presence of someone you cared for who just died and their mouth was open. Just as you would close their eyes if they were open, you’d close the mouth too. Anyone would. You just don’t want them to look like that. That doesn’t mean you killed them, or that you are the “killer”. I don’t know how using duct tape to keep the mouth closed would be “risking a murder charge” because I don’t understand why anyone would jump from duct tape on a corpse to murder. It just makes absolutely no sense.

                As to the rest, each theory is somewhat strained based on the evidence, and that too is the point. You don’t convict on strained interpretations of evidence, such as that duct tape on a corpse = murder. At least you shouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean a jury won’t. And that’s the terror of it.

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              • April

                Sorry about the earlier post – looks like I messed up with the angular brackets.

                “But that’s just the point. There are a thousand other ways that don’t involve duct tape, and duct tape is not associated with weaponry.”

                So? The duct tape is readily available, and Casey doesn’t have to stand there doing the killing. It’s convenient. You just check after 5 minutes.

                “Just as you would close their eyes if they were open, you’d close the mouth too.”

                Yeah, the same mother that double-bagged the kid’s body and left it to rot in the woods took pains to close the mouth with duct tape. Who is going to buy this?

                “I don’t know how using duct tape to keep the mouth closed would be “risking a murder charge” because I don’t understand why anyone would jump from duct tape on a corpse to murder.”

                I think you are in the minority here. The duct tape can be used to suffocate the child, so if Casey had nothing to do with Caylee’s death, she had no business closing Caylee’s mouth and nose with duct tape. That’s an incredibly dumb thing for an innocent person to do.

                “As to the rest, each theory is somewhat strained based on the evidence, and that too is the point.”

                The problem with this attempt to equate the theories by saying each is a little strained is, the theory of George’s guilt is more strained. Everything the state has now allows it to charge Casey with murder. If the state has to charge George instead, they need more things, and they don’t have those things.

                You stated earlier that people believe the worst things about Casey only because she is the one that is charged by the state. I don’t believe that is the case. Even before Casey was charged with anything, Caylee’s disappearance was being discussed daily on Nancy Grace’s show, and there were lots of people that believed Casey had something to do with the disappearance.

                Casey is the mother, the person that is primarily responsible for the child’s welfare, and she acted in ways that an innocent person normally wouldn’t have acted. She didn’t show enough concern for the child, and she told numerous lies and tried to cover up. If she were innocent, why would she do all these things? This is what got everybody suspecting her, and this is still the biggest obstacle for the defense to overcome.

                I believe there is some sexual abuse in the picture (based solely on Casey’s words in the courtroom). I don’t believe George is guilty of anything else. I might change my mind if new information comes to light.

                Innocent people go to jail all the time. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the system is broken. Casey Anthony, like any defendant, has to do her part for the system to work. She has to look after her interests. If she did all the things she did because she was under someone’s control, then that is tragic, but it won’t be the system’s fault if she is found culpable.

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              • April, I have to say it seems you are really thinking about this, confirming my thesis that women are better jurors. Perhaps we should both reserve judgment on which theory is more strained until we see what Baez comes up with. You can even see the potential tragedy of this if it turns out the other way. I’m impressed. And yes, the system can’t overcome everything. No system can. We’re flawed, and so are our “systems”, but we have to try, and just because we don’t get it right every single time doesn’t mean it’s broken. Which is not to say that that’s a fair characterization of what the system is really doing. It may in fact be, and arguably is, broken.

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      • AR

        <>

        There is tremendous difference between lying about mundane events, even some criminal activity (check fraud for example). So, she lied about working, she lied about where she was, what she was doing and so on. For years. But this intricate web of deceit she wove in order to cover up the DEATH of her daughter–whether by “accident” or murder– is far beyond the scope of “par for the course” and “more of the same”. She knew for a month that her child was DEAD and decomposing and created the most elaborate and detailed sets of tales to give herself just one more day of fun..one more day of not having to face her mother.

        If her car had not been found at Amscott and impounded, how much longer would she have gone on with her charade? And to what extent?

        The lying and deceitfulness of this nature and in this context is repugnant. Her family crumbling in grief and fear and helplessness….what did she continue to do? The depth and breadth of her Caylee cover-up (in addition to her known pre-existing behavioral patterns), with no regard for ANYone’s feelings, demonstrates not just a ho-hum liar, but a woman who, in my opinion, is Bi-Polar, has Borderline Personality Disorder (or Sociopathy?), with Narcissistic traits. And what all this says to me, is that she is a woman capable of murdering her child with chloroform. It makes NO sense to place duct tape on this poor baby’s mouth and nose post-mortem. None. And the defense’s BS about George Anthony (ALL of it) is disgusting. I read the notes between Casey and Robyn in jail…..BLAH. And in those lie filled notes is where Baez found a way to pin Casey’s behavior on her father. I’m starting, again, to become irritated/angry. Signing out.

        Casey Anthony = Diane Downs meets Scott Peterson.

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        • And what all this says to me, is that she is a woman capable of murdering her child with chloroform.

          I don’t think it’s in dispute that she is “capable” of it. It’s a long way from that to concluding that she actually did it.

          It makes NO sense to place duct tape on this poor baby’s mouth and nose post-mortem. None.

          Your puzzling certainty aside, you’re simply quite wrong about this.

          I understand that you believe she is guilty and are angry about what you believe she did. I agree that the scenario consistent with her guilt is a very disturbing one. But in this situation the evidence has to be analyzed with a clear head, and emotions have to be muted, not inflamed.

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          • AR

            To Atticus:

            Yes, clear head, emotions muted, not inflamed. It’s quite difficult–as a human–to completely remove oneself emotionally from such an emotionally charged case. I have worked on behalf of indigent criminal defendants (alongside their public defenders) as a “Forensic Social Worker” and do understand how evidence need be analyzed. I’m quite acquainted with human behavior; family dynamics, trauma, addiction, violence, mental health issues, and so forth. I’m not clairvoyant, nor do I own a flux capacitor, but I’ve carefully and thoughtfully examined the circumstantial evidence (much of which hasn’t been introduced to the jury) and it so strongly supports the guilt of this woman. Putting aside the dreck that Jose Baez has declared, what scenario do you wonder COULD be possible? Based, of course, on the facts as they stand; simply the facts. I mean, day after day, page after page, witness after witness; I believe it all is culminating to a verdict of “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”. With or without some “smoking gun”, as they say. On which charge, I can’t be certain. I do know, however, know that she is responsible for the death of her daughter. There IS no other explanation. There just isn’t.

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            • You should review the lengthy discussion I have had with April in this comments section. George Anthony is a very logical suspect, and considering him as such would preclude a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt against Casey, because the prosecution’s case begins with George’s identifying Casey as the last person who was with the victim when still alive. If that testimony by George is not believed beyond a reasonable doubt, then Casey should be acquitted of any homicide charge.

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  4. intrigue

    Casey has typical survival skills of a person who has suffered from years of incestual victimization coupled with the dysfuntion family dynamic. Incest is living a lie that the family is co-dependant on keeping in order to keep the “hand-on ” maintaining the status quo. The victim is required to lie to keep the abuser from harming them in what is perceived to be a worse crime than the incest itself….. telling the truth….revealing the abusers crime to anyone threatens their very survival. In this case a parent with the legal right to own a gun and the charm to coerce. The abuser in the family must do everything in their power to assure they can continue the abuse and so will be coniving and enamored, loving, show a special bond with the victim in front of the other family members to assure there is never a cast of doubt should the victim divulge the ugly truth. This is set up to provide evidence that the victim is lying should they dispell the truth. The victim knows that they must “play along” each and every day and they want to believe as well that everything is “normal” so the pain of betrayal can be pushed way back in the closet. Its better to pretend, go numb and put yourself in a fantasy than deal with the ugly truth.

    If it is true that a terrible accident occured in the hands of either Casey or her father it is not inconceivable that they would cover it up, work together as they always have done to protect Mrs. Anthony and to keep the family perception of perfection on display. Unfortunately, Mr. Anthony is victimizing his daughter in an even larger scale by assuring his victim does not divulge the truth at her peril not his. Its classic that she is allowing this to happen. She is allowing Caylee to be victimized by this cover up as well. What I would like to see is the defense bring in the Psychologists with a specialty in incestual behavior and rationalize the predisposition of her pathology in lies and get to the route by bringing the father back on the stand and grill him and the mom who may also be covering up. In her tapes today, the Mom keeps telling Casey to stop protecting the family and to divulge what is really going on. I think the mom wants it out in the air once and for all as well. She too is part of the dirty little secret and I believe her relationship is broken with Casey because her mom never protected her or saved her or inquired hard enough to find out what Daddy was doing with his little girl and perhaps Caylee as well. Remember when Peter cried wolf in the end there was a wolf. Casey is finally crying wolf (incest) and no one believes her. She has my sympathy on that but she needs to muster up the power to get on the stand and say the full truth for Caylees sake.

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    • You’re running pretty far on little more than allegations with respect to the father. Little more, but still more. How did the man’s daughter become such a pathological liar anyway? It didn’t happen overnight. A history of incest of an especially domineering type would explain it. But you have to be careful reasoning backward like that.

      I’ve known rape victims who behaved the same way as Casey Anthony, post trauma. Mostly it’s self-destructive and there’s this weird denial. Drinking, partying and promiscuous behavior are very common in that scenario. That seems particularly strange when you would expect them to just curl up in a ball and cry in the corner. Maybe they do that, too, when no one is looking.

      “Survival skills” is a good way to put it.

      Also, the anger at the mother when the father has abused the daughter. I’ve seen that a number of times. It’s not entirely fair or rational, except that in most of the cases I’ve seen the mothers seem sort of intentionally oblivious. Like you point out certain fact that lead to an obvious conclusion and you just get the blank stare. The daughter feels betrayed by both parents, not just the one who actually abuses them.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

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  5. Cristina

    I honestly believe Casey is a functional mentally ill individual. She does not deserve the death penalty but to be institutionalized. Yes in Florida drowning is very common. Everyone is stuck on the tape being on the childs face. If you put yourself in her shoes of trying to hide the fact that she wasnt properly supervising her daughter and freaked out. The tape would only be on the childs face to show when the body was found that she was kidnapped. I really feel she called her mom, mom didnt answer, she freaked the hell out, and she tried to hide the body and stage it to look like a kidnapping. Now as for why isnt she crying, why doesnt she look like a typical mother hurting. Well I feel she never really wanted to be a mother for one, her mother forced her not to place caylee for adoption, and lastly she knows how to shut down quite well. Listen folks my mother was abusive to me. Whereever we went though we pretended to be the perfect family. When school officials contacted social services my mother told me what to say before they got there. They never suspected a thing. I will never hurt my children and we are all different. Just because you see a sobering grandmother and a cop grandfather doesnt mean they are perfect. My mom broke my soul when I was a child and if you didnt see the bruises on my body NO ONE in the world would of ever thought she was abusive. Sorry this is so long.

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  6. It’s not too long.

    Thanks for sharing the story of abuse. I wouldn’t let that color the way I view everything and everyone, though.

    It doesn’t appear that Casey Anthony was terribly functional even before these events started: she had a child and has apparently never identified the father; she hadn’t been employed but pretended she was; she stole things.

    The death of a toddler daughter she appears to have been close to, well…what can I say about that? Any parent knows how devastating that would be. Better to die a thousand times yourself than for that to happen.

    Her reaction – the infamous 31 days – was highly abnormal, no doubt about that. But it seems to me that if you’re objective and you don’t give the government’s accusations undue weight, the defense scenario better explains those 31 days than the prosecution’s. But the defense has been viciously and almost unanimously derided in the press, whereas the prosecution hasn’t been.

    The favoritism toward the government, that is, has been grotesque.

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  7. BC in NC

    George Anthony has had years of training and employment as a police officer. In emergency situations, someone with that kind of background would react instinctually. If there was an accidental drowing, the first thing George would do, upon discovery of Calee in or near the pool, is to apply CPR then dial 911 for a paramedic response. The whole idea of a coverup by George (or George and Casey in concert) is ludicris. That’s just a goofy flag that the defense is hoping members of the jury will salute upon it raising up the proverbial flag pole.

    Casey is an accomplished liar. So good that her own mother stated that Casey is not one to lie. But, someone who even fooled the police for a time is not a novice liar. For most people lying does not come easy or natural. But it seems that Casey is uneasy telling the truth, even when confronted with it point blank. She is so good at it, its as if she lives in a different plane of existance than the rest of us. This may be the first time in her life that her lies got her in trouble.

    Can’t wait to see how this whole thing ends. For Calee’s sake, I pray that justice prevails

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    • Your admiration for “years of training and employment as a police officer” is noted.

      Drew Peterson has “years of training and employment as a police officer”. Does that mean he did not kill his wives?

      Maybe George Anthony found the little girl drowned and was experienced enough to know that it was too late for CPR, or he didn’t want to call 911 because any involvement by “the authorities” would open the can of worms that was his family life. Or maybe George Anthony killed Caylee deliberately and is trying to tag it on his daughter because, as an ex homicide cop he is enthralled with the idea of committing the perfect murder. Those are no more “ludicrous” than the government’s allegations against Casey Anthony.

      I haven’t said that the government’s allegations are ludicrous. They aren’t. They are lurid, and inherently unlikely, and in need of demonstration, though, if they are to be believed. “Casey is a pathological liar” doesn’t cut it.

      Casey is an “accomplished” liar? That is as certain as anything in a courtroom can be, and isn’t being disputed. So it’s stipulated.

      I have explained, however, why that doesn’t matter with respect to the murder charge. I can explain it for you; I can’t understand it for you.

      And “for Caylee’s sake”? It’s a very sad thing, but Caylee is beyond earthly help. Wrongly convicting her mother of murdering her wouldn’t do that even if she wasn’t. Don’t claim the Caylee banner for yourself. That’s not reasoning; it’s emoting.

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      • Stephanie

        One problem with the defense is the fact that it goes to far, and becomes implausible. It is unlikely that George Anthony had anything to do with a cover-up (additionally Cindy leaving the ladder down), even if you accept the rest of the defense. It seems to be an attempt for Casey to have absolutely no liability in the death of Caylee. Many logical people would come to this conclusion. Additionally, this is par for the course for Casey from everything I see. These details seem to have the mark of the embellishments typical for her. I think the abuse is highly unlikely as well. A typical and convenient he said/she said story. Unfortunately, it is Baez’s big mistake, as it goes to far and the typical reaction of people is that if one part of the story is unbelievable, all of the story is untrue. Otherwise the defense would have been good. If I was Baez I would have said either story is just as likely, or use your argument that drownings are much more common thus much more likely. Since one cannot definitely say they must assume innocence (even if it sucks because a little girl might have been killed in a horrible way), and to a finding of not guilty.

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        • >>It is unlikely that George Anthony had anything to do with a cover-up<>It seems to be an attempt for Casey to have absolutely no liability in the death of Caylee.<<

          I don't get this. When you represent an accused person, you should find everything you can in their favor and argue it. But you cannot just make stuff up. This is the counter-balance to what the police do. They focus very quickly on the "bad guy", determine that he or she is a "monster", as they did here, and then find everything they can to fit the picture, and what doesn't fit they try to spin into fitting. And sometimes they do worse. And what's irksome is that people go along with this because it's the police and the government. But when the defense argues something just as plausible, it's seen as an "attempt" to deflect blame. Why isn't all the government's huffing and puffing an "attempt" to place blame?

          Casey Anthony is almost certainly at fault for her daughter’s death, even assuming it was accidental. Her daughter was a toddler, and parents have to be very vigilant about toddlers so that they don’t wind up drowning in pools or meeting some other disaster. But that is not the issue. The issue is whether she’s guilty of a crime in connection with her daughter’s death. And even there the answer is probably yes because she misled the police and maybe helped hide her daughter’s body and who knows what else she did that might be a crime. But intentionally killing her daughter? Because she wanted to go out and party? If she was that much of a criminal psychopath, that cold and calculating, it’s hard to believe she would be stupid enough to do and say all the things she did, although that’s possible. The prosecution’s assertions are possible. But they are highly unlikely and so far there isn’t anything to really indicate that, though they have spent a lot of time “dirtying the defendant up” with lots of extraneous crap, a common prosecution trial tactic that doesn’t enhance their credibility, if you know what I mean. But no one sees that either: the prosecution can be incredibly disingenuous without anyone noticing; but the defense lawyer is presumed to be disingenuous and that seems to stick even when it’s untrue.

          Baez was 100% right to lay it all out in his opening. The jury would otherwise have no context to view the evidence as it was presented other than the prosecution’s context.

          Furthermore, he would be wrong if he believed his client lied a lot because she had been sexually abused from childhood by her father not to bring that up, and if he had to bring it up it would be a huge mistake not to say anything about it in his opening. Casey Anthony’s conduct in the wake of her daughter’s disappearance, which turned out to be her daughter’s death, was abnormal in the extreme. If you don’t have an explanation for that other than “she killed her daughter” you would be a dead duck at any trial.

          But – and this is extremely important for you and other out there to try to appreciate – it would be very, very wrong for Baez to bring it up if he did not believe it to be true, or at least fully supported by evidence he considered reliable and credible even if he wasn’t sure. The idea that this would just be trotted out as some kind of “trial tactic” is utterly offensive to a lawyer, even though there are a lot of armchair talking head lawyers and judges who talk that way.

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      • Jo

        –”George Anthony has had years of training and employment as a police officer. In emergency situations, someone with that kind of background would react instinctually. If there was an accidental drowing, the first thing George would do, upon discovery of Calee in or near the pool, is to apply CPR then dial 911 for a paramedic response.”–

        Maybe a reaction by a police officer that has nothing to hide? Perhaps Caylee’s body had signs of abuse?

        –”That’s not reasoning; it’s emoting.”–

        Unfortunately, most people don’t know the difference between those two. I can say the same about critical thinking.

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  8. Stephanie

    I absolutely agree with your assessment. I was thinking: we don’t know if she is a pathological liar who killed her child and covered it up or if she is a pathological liar whose child died in a drowning accident. If I was a juror, I not be able to find her guilty. Not because she is not guilty, but the lying in this particular case doesn’t mean anything as she was lying for many years about the same imaginary people long before this tragedy. So, I am not sure what evidence is strong enough for her to be convicted, much less given the death penalty. I find it interesting that they found traces of chloroform (CHCl3) when chlorine (Cl2) is a component of swimming pools. In the end, though, I think none of it matters, since she will be convicted and will likely get the death penalty. I think the uncertainty about her guilt will not be enough for most people to allow her to go free considering she may have killed that little girl. Reasonable doubt will not be enough to overcome the grossness of the possible crime.

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  9. Alison Belyea

    I’ve been scouring the internet for weeks now, trying to find someone, anyone who is at all objective about Casey Anthony. This display is grotesque — a perfect word for it. “Justice for Caylee” — what does that even mean? She’s dead. This whole thing blows my mind. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I find “the public” far more frightening than this messed up kid, and worth studying, writing about and actually thinking about. Glad I’m not alone.

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    • >>I find “the public” far more frightening than this messed up kid, and worth studying, writing about and actually thinking about.<<

      Yes. And, imagine – as people should – that the defense is actually correct. What a nightmare for the poor girl.

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  10. Rae

    Atticus,

    I have been following your blog for a bit, and read with appreciation. You are a breath of fresh air. Thanks for that.

    On the matter of Casey Anthony, I completely agree with Alison above. We are clearly in the minority – as sad and pathetic as that is. I don’t know if she’s guilty, but for the life of me I cannot comprehend how the sheep are out in droves gleefully ready to hang her.

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    • Thank you for reading.

      And yes, far more disturbing than the conduct of what is obviously a very troubled family is the conduct of what appears to be a very dysfunctional public. And the degree to which our courts, far from being a remedy for lynch mobs, have become simply a pretentious vehicle for pandering to them.

      I like to think it wasn’t as bad years ago, but then there was the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case in the 1930′s. That was also at the start of an economic depression. Perhaps the collective behavior, seeking some kind of catharsis or scapegoat, has something to do with economic conditions.

      I’m really rambling this morning, making connections between ostensibly attenuated things. Writing down your thoughts does that sometimes.

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  11. Pam

    Innocent of her death!

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  12. brianna

    Mother’s killing their children is quite common. Still, there is some sympathy to be had for Casey Anthony. Her father does not have to be thrown under the bus to garner that sympathy. There is no proof whatsoever that her father and brother abused her. In fact, these accusations only came out after the web of lies failed. Where is the sympathy or benefit of the doubt for them? They are not on trial. All we really know about Casey Anthony is that she will tell lie after lie after lie. We also know that she knew her daughter was dead and went about covering it up to save herself. I believe her accusations about her father’s sexual abuse is no different than her lie that the nanny kidnapped her (or that Caylee killed herself by drowning). I think it’s quite obvious that Casey Anthony will throw anyone under the bus (even her own dad, brother and child) to save herself.

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    • Mother’s killing their children is quite common.

      Mothers killing their children is extremely uncommon. Intentional killing of any kind is extremely uncommon. Such cases make up a tiny, tiny portion of criminal prosecutions, although they get the most press precisely because they are unusual and uncommon as well as being serious.

      There is no proof whatsoever that her father and brother abused her.

      There is little proof, not “no proof whatsoever”. Casey’s messed up behavior is some proof, circumstantially. And if she takes the stand and swears to it that is proof, as much proof as is usually required to find someone guilty of a crime. And many times people are found guilty of crimes on proof like that.

      In fact, these accusations only came out after the web of lies failed. Where is the sympathy or benefit of the doubt for them? They are not on trial.

      These accusations came out at the start of the trial, for reasons I have described in response to April’s comments. And yes, the objects of those accusations are not on trial. So what? If anything, since the “benefit of the doubt” goes to the person that is formally accused by the government and not to third parties, such accusations are entitled to more weight, not less, at least insofar as they are relevant to assessing the guilt of the person who is formally accused. But you are doing the opposite. You have it backwards.

      All we really know about Casey Anthony is that she will tell lie after lie after lie.

      And so therefore she is guilty of murder. Am I following the reasoning there correctly?

      We also know that she knew her daughter was dead and went about covering it up to save herself.

      To “save herself”? Well, yes, if you assume in the first place that she is guilty.

      I think it’s quite obvious that Casey Anthony will throw anyone under the bus (even her own dad, brother and child) to save herself.

      Yes, it is quite obvious, if you assume in the first place that she is guilty.

      See the point?

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  13. Inkster

    An accident? why not call 911? why hide and run? Incest? I was a victim of incest, and incest victims DO NOT stick around a home that long, they do everything in their power to escape the situation without telling others. Not only that, THEY DO NOT subject their own children to that danger, why would they? Panic? everyone panics when an accident happens, especially if it was a drowning if they are good parents, or guardians of a child, they don’t have to hide and run, and lie. They call 911, maybe get a slap on the wrist because no one wants to punish a parent that is already in a fragile state of emotion over the accidental death of their child. There is NO excuse for murdering an innocent child whom did not ask to brought into this world, or exposing her to incest. what parent does that?

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    • Inkster, you’re way behind the curve here. You want answers to those questions? Read the exchanges I’ve been having with a poster named “April”, we’ve covered it in great depth. And if you still have questions after that feel free to ask and I’ll try to help out.

      Just one point, though. You can’t base too much on your own experience. You may have been an incest victim and reacted one way, but that doesn’t mean every incest victim reacts the same way. My experience has been that incest and sexual assault victims are more like Casey Anthony.

      Anyway, can’t really cover ground for you that has already been so well trod.

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  14. gayla5ft2

    OK. Scott Peterson was convicted on far less ‘circumstantial’ evidence than what is available to the jury in this case. There was a witness at a computer store that saw Casey and Caylee together on the 16th of June at approximately 4:00pm. That is after George Anthony reported for work on that day. We know for a fact that Casey Anthony has lied repeatedly to everyone around her for many many years. She has stolen from friends and family. She stopped working after Caylee was born, but told her parents that she was working so that she could go do things she wanted to do with friends etc. At first she had a friend who was babysitting for her, but that friend discovered that Casey wasn’t really working and so she quit babysitting for her in disgust at Casey’s lying to her. After that, Casey has no one to babysit besides the parents. Now her freedom of movement (time for herself) is restricted much more than it was when she had both her family and her friend to babysit for her. She ‘invents’ a nanny that she tells the ‘rents about so that she can continue to get out and away from the house and hang with friends. She takes Caylee with her on these trips but it doesn’t work always, so she finds a way to sedate Caylee so that she will sleep (after all it is in the evening when she wants to go to the bars etc) while mommy is busy (whether Xanax or chloroform or just plain cough medicine or benadril we do not know). Ok fine things are “under control” as far as Casey is concerned except that she still isn’t working. She had a relationship with R.M. and it broke up in April. He doesn’t say why. Could it be that a girlfriend bringing her kid along everytime they get together is cramping his style and he isn’t ready for all that. Hmmm…. possible motive – we’ve seen it before. The kids are holding single mom back from finding a man. Then another man comes along that Casey really falls for – T.L. They are spending a lot of time together.

    Meanwhile, as far as the parents know, when Caylee isn’t being watched by them, she is being watched by the nanny. But… Caylee is know about 2 1/2 years old and her vocabulary is increasing rapidly, as is her ability to communicate effectively about what she did today, yesterday and the day before that. Here is a motive: defense and everyone else seems to admit that Casey is a pathological liar and we have evidence that she will go to extreme lengths to keep from being caught in a lie (ie: follow it right out to the very end of being confronted with direct evidence that she is lying). Caylee isn’t really being watched by a nanny, she is with Casey and therefore is in a postiion to expose Casey’s lies about having a nanny and about going to work (she has been lying about working for 2+ years) to the grandparents. Could Caylee have told her mother ‘no’ when Casey told her what to tell the grandparents they did that day. The terrible 2′s are when children learn to say ‘no’ and exercise their use of that word on an almost daily basis.

    Based on phone and text records and witnesses, it seems most likely that whatever happened to Caylee happened fairly close to 4:00pm on the 16th. This contradicts the defense theory that Caylee drowned in the pool on the morning of the 16th.

    By the way, if you listen to any of the interaction between the family and Casey via telephone records or video taped visits from jail, it certainly appears that Casey’s family walked on eggshells around her and tried always not to upset her and to gently elicit information out of her. She, on the other hand, used profanity and treated both friends and family with a great deal of disrespect repeatedly. It seem more likely that Casey had her family by the nose in this dysfunctional family.

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment. I didn’t know about the alleged Walmart sighting. I have to say that the witness, James Thompson, is not the best in terms of credibility, and his statement and other conduct contain a lot of fodder for cross examination (see this about his blog posting, which is more than a little odd). But if his statement is factually accurate that would shift things quite dramatically towards pointing the finger at Casey, albeit still you’re looking at a manslaughter kind of thing, not an intentional murder kind of thing.

      As to the rest, I might reiterate that I have never said there is no reason to suspect Casey in the death of her daughter. I have said that there is just as much or maybe even more reason to suspect her father. And there is also reason to suspect an accidental death that was concealed. I will have to deliberate some more on whether the Thompson statement, if accepted as true, would rule out the latter two scenarios to a moral certainty, which in theory is what is required to find Casey guilty. Obviously, if that statement was discounted as not credible, it wouldn’t change anything.

      Thanks again.

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  15. Amber

    I think you believe that she is innocent, and are trying to push us to believe it as well. I have followed this case since the day Caylee went missing and as a mother of four who was sexually molested by her brother for years I am telling you the way she acted is not normal. I am not an habitual liar, and I would never harm my children. I also never take my kids around my brother. The fact that Casey allowed Caylee around her father tells me she either is lying about the abuse or was a horrible mother. Any one with a good maternal instinct would have reported there kids missing within 20 minutes of not being able to find them. And as for the drowning in the pool lie, if something like that happened and she really loved Caylee don’t you think she would have took the time to dig her a grave and bury her? Not shove her in a garbage bag and dispose of her like trash. All the lies and evidence proves her guilty whether she was molested or not. I hope she gets the death penalty:)

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    • Interesting. Let me be candid. I believe she is innocent of murder, for the simple reason that it’s an extravagant claim under the circumstances and there’s nothing really pointing to it. I’ll admit that there is reason to suspect she is guilty of murder, but that’s all. An unintentional homicide like manslaughter is a better and fair inference, but it competes with other fair inferences like scenarios involving the grandfather, which take on more weight because of his background as a homicide detective, among other things.

      You can’t extrapolate too much from your own experience. While you may have been more resilient in the face of abuse that doesn’t mean others are. The fact is, dissociative behaviors in the wake of trauma like Casey Anthony’s are known to occur; but of course they are also known not to occur. That doesn’t make either one normal or abnormal.

      Now, this may be a coincidence or meaningless but the women I know who exhibited profound dissociative behaviors after abuse or assault were much prettier than average. There may be something about being quite pretty and having a sort of glamorous alternative universe more readily available that facilitates the dissociative behavior. I’m just throwing that out there because I mentioned before that one of the things that makes this case so high profile is that the defendant is an attractive girl. I also mentioned in another post the serious and unique problems of defending an attractive female from criminal accusations due to the jury dynamics involved.

      So for that reason, and others I am sure, I have a natural sympathy for the defense position. But I try not to lose my objectivity, and I can’t see how a murder charge was warranted here, objectively speaking.

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  16. John

    Thanks Atticus.
    Now we can all enjoy the “point of view” from an obviously well educated individual, who is completely devoid of all common sense. (a quite common malady)

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  17. John, I don’t delete your comments but I could. I would just rather encourage you to offer thoughts and reasoning, not insults. There is little point to what you are doing. You don’t know me, all you know is what I post here. There are people who disagree and have commented, even quite vehemently, and have done so respectfully and thoughtfully without resorting to mindless insults. Like April, for example.

    Now as for “common sense”. It has more to do with other aspects of life than deciding whether someone is guilty of a crime or not. Think about what is happening: you are trying to decide on an event that has already occurred, that you didn’t experience yourself. The only way to do that with some fairness and accuracy is weigh evidence. Some evidence is good and some is poor. There are rules of evidence but they keep some good evidence out and let some bad evidence in. In any case, if you are unfortunate enough to have to decide something like this you ought to be systematic. Your experience can provide some insight into what to make of this piece of evidence or that, but you can only run so far on experience and so-called common sense.

    There is a lot of “common sense” behind the notion that the defendant is guilty here. She is obviously a very messed up person at this point. She was to some extent a messed up person before this all started, that’s clear too.

    It is not disputed that a little girl is dead and that her body was found months later and that she was missing (and at this point presumed dead) for about a month before anyone reported it and that in that month the defendant, the child’s mother, engaged in behavior that is almost inexplicable in the wake of these tragic (or sinister) events. As I have said many times, this provides a reason to suspect Casey Anthony of intentionally murdering her child, and there is some evidence that would support that, but at this point nowhere near enough to find her guilty. Common sense does not tell you this; dispassionate reasoning does.

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  18. Alison Belyea

    I have a background in social/cultural anthropology and the academic study of religions with a special focus on ritual studies. A great deal of my work and teaching has been around death and dying and also popular religious expression in various contexts. I started to become fascinated by the way people would write on a deceased person’s facebook pages, and following a trail of online religious behaviours ended up watching the social network/media around missing women and children, and to some degree, the way people react when a woman kills, or allegedly kills her children.

    There are so many behaviours around this case which I think need to be addressed and not ignored. I am astounded at the sheer volume of individuals who seem to possess no critical skill whatsoever. So many people are completely stuck in emotion and belief and are acting out of those perspectives but with no understanding that they are. I was shocked to hear the reports last night around the issues in the trial “line-up for a seat” line yesterday morning. I want to believe we have changed from the days of the Inquisitions, but nope. I think if this court does find her guilty, gets the death penalty, and could still hang her in public, people would actually come out for the festivities and bring their children. This I find horrifying.

    Anyway, what I really came on to comment to is April and Atticus this morning discussing the duct tape. As I said, I’ve worked in a context where I have some knowledge of what people in various parts of the world and from a variety of large and small scale religious traditions _do_ in response to dying and death. I think I may have actually gasped out loud listening to the chief medical examiner say yesterday “there is no other reason for the duct tape”. What???? I also felt alarmed at how passionate her answers to these questions got after a time. She started speaking (or so it felt to me) from belief and not from a learned stance. She didn’t own that statement by saying “I think” or “in my opinion” — nope, “there is no other reason”. (Even owning it would have been bad enough) Well that is just 100% wrong. There could be a variety of reasons, really, I could create several scenarios where a mother might do this in the event of her kid drowning or accidental or even an intentional death (never mind the other possibilities if it were not Casey who did this). Scenarios which would not make the tape the “murder weapon”.

    Now, on Thursday I thought the medical examiner who works under Garavaglia and was first on the scene said the tape was not covering the nasal cavity when he found the skull. I haven’t been able to follow the trial as closely as I would like this week, and I’m not a lawyer by any stretch, but was Garavaglia’s testimony yesterday not strangely emotional at the point where she is really speculating but presenting it with the authority of her position? I felt that pulled a number of people who are trying to at least think about balancing their judgement right off the rails. I may be off the mark simply because I haven’t been able to listen to much consistently, but I don’t think so.

    I can imagine if I killed my child, or one of them accidentally died, and I was not fully present in my head to the point where I’m really going to deviate from what most others would do, I might very well not want my child’s body to be away from me. People have real difficulty separating from the body of a child (and indeed other loved ones). People the world over have huge issues with death, decomposition, and burying. North Americans especially have issue with bodies alive and dead. If I were acting out of some unhealthy mind set I might well cover the mouth and nose with something, and wrap them in their favourite blanket (more likely something I also felt was wrapping them in my love — as hokey as that sounds). Listening to the commentary last night about the bones being “chewed on”, and “dragged around by animals” was absurd and only showed our utter and complete fear of what happens to bodies. Same with the trash bags. “Threw her baby away like trash”. Give me a break. Maybe she did. I don’t know about you guys in the States but garbage bags are also used to protect items from the elements a way up here in Canada — as I am sure they also are in Florida. So, if Casey is responsible for placing her child’s body somewhere other than where we feel she should have there are certainly many ways this could be read as a far more thoughtful, non-monstrous action than is being portrayed.

    I am thankful Canada no longer has the death penalty. I know there are many Canadians who do not feel this way, but thankfully that is not where we are. I cannot believe the death penalty is even a possibility with this particular trial. It is actually sickening to watch the commentary going on under the feed I have been following when I can. (WESH, and the feed is a facebook chat). It really is a disgusting display of ignorance and horror.

    I have no idea whether or not Casey Anthony killed that child and I have read copious amounts of material on the case off and on over the years. I guess I find it hard to believe in light of what I’m reading and observing. Again, I am grateful for this site and your temperament, incredible patience, and in the way your writen responses attempt to push people to think rather than emote. I think it matters.

    AB

    People

    Like

    • Alison, thank you for the comment, and imagine what it’s like defending someone under these circumstances. One of the reasons I am posting on this is that it’s simply a higher profile example of what defense lawyers face all the time, in every case. Once that government finger of blame points, it’s like all ability to reason goes out the window. It’s terrifying to be on the receiving end of that, even when you think the client is at fault. It’s almost like no fault could possibly be enough to justify what happens.

      OT, your comments on bodies allude to a topic I have had some thoughts on myself. As you get older you go to progressively more wakes and funerals, so I’ve got a few under my belt at this point. Surprising myself a little, I had a very strong, seemingly almost instinctive preference for open casket wakes. It just seemed wrong to me that people wouldn’t be able to say goodbye in the visible presence of the body. When I’ve expressed this to people some say the body at that point is just a physical object; to which I generally answer, well, so is a chair, but obviously the body, though lifeless, is much more connected to the person than some other inanimate object. Indeed it still is that person, or at least all that remains of that person that we can see.

      Now is that an “issue”, or is my reaction normal?

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      • Chad

        Though I agree that the case is weekend due to the lack of evidence linking Casey to the crime and that the prosecution does refer to a great deal of inflaming evidence. Casey’s behavior in the case does point to the belief that she believed she was guilty of a heinous crime and actively covered it up. If she is convicted it is due to her own belief of guilt through covering up the death in such an active way and as a result destroying all evidence that could be used to prove her innocence. It is like if I shoot someone, destroy the weapon, destroy the body, destroy my clothers, and then erase all footage of the crime. No one can necessarily prove that when I say the person died accidentally by choking on a grape it can’t be proven that he didn’t or maybe I accidentally killed him. But I have so actively concealed the crime that it is apparent that I believed I was guilty of some crime. It could have been murder 1, murder 2, manslaughter, or an accident but it can’t be proven either way.

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        • Chad

          unfortunately it is true I would most likely be convicted by my behavior. The if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is most likely a duck situation. Maybe it is just a well trained chicken in a costume but most people will assume the worst. Plus there is the issue that the defense has portrayed an unbelievable story in that the father was an accomplice to the crime. So unfortunately if the defense is wrong that may make the prosecution right even if our justice system isn’t supposed to work that way.

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          • Chad, there is a lot of truth in what you have posted. The defense has blunted the chain of reasoning by going with the idea that Casey chronically lied about lots of things even before the alleged crime occurred, which is undoubtedly correct, but whether that will be enough to give the typical juror pause, discard the “common sense” type conclusions that might be way off this time, is most likely the real question here. I said in response to another poster that the line of thought you have referred to would be more solid if Casey had been a truthful person before. The implication that she was lying to conceal guilt would be more unavoidable. But it still may be unavoidable for most people; they would draw that inference “beyond a reasonable doubt” even though it is unwarranted.

            Thanks for the comments.

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  19. bluebird

    A few minutes before the tiral ended today, June 11, I still had the window open for a camera aimed at Casey on WCTV. Some glitch occurred, I lost video and all of sudden, I started to see the pictures that the Jury saw, bones lined up, the image of Caylee’s skull superimposed on her face (prejudicial overweighs probative value) with different images of the duct tape all over the mouth, a little higher, a little lower,, mandiable bones, very very wierd. And then the window went blank.

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  20. bluebird

    but what does Jury believe? What a show with the superimposed images of Caylee’s skull over her real face. Unbelievable. The picture contained both mother and daughter’s head shots, smiling. I can not believe Judge Perry allowed that.

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    • You’d be amazed at what judges allow, as long as it favors the prosecution and helps secure a conviction. As Judge Perry himself says: “I care about convictions. I don’t care to do them twice.”

      That’s right, make sure you get that conviction the first time, Judge. It’s much more efficient that way.

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  21. skid

    Duct tape on the face over nose and mouth? I am sure I read somewhere it could be done to prevent some of the decomposing fluids from leaking out. Maybe someone should be asking George about that? He likes duct tape, uses it on gas cans, that he treasures so dearly he reported them stolen to the sheriffs, valuable property those gas cans.

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    • bluebird

      I like this observation. Casey needed help with everything, except in murdering her own daughter and making chloraform and disposing of the body. Incidentally, I think it’s interesting that the car was abandonned in a lot where the cameras just happened to be fakes. Also, there is no evidence of any dirt anywhere. Assuming she borrowed the neighbors shovel on June 18, to bury the body (not enough time for the body to start leaking fluids to smell up the car), but then dug up the body, kept it in her car, and then disposed of it in the woods. And no dirt? On her clothes, shoes, car, NOTHING.

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  22. Chad

    Looking at the crime this is a challenging case because as the corner had stated this is a homicide. I don’t know if that can be determined for sure without a cause of death. There is some evidence to say that chloroform may have been involved. The base of the case is that Casey Anthony has no credibility. The defense posed a story that has holes in it and switched the burden on themselves by saying her father knew and covered it up which isn’t believable. But the prosecution has a gap in proving how a murder was commited. The bottom line is that the person who disposed of Caylee (Casey Anthony) believed she had committed a crime. All Cause of death evidence was destroyed by her efforts to cover up her believed crime but it is hard for us to say what the crime is with certainty without more details about cause of death.

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    • Chad

      It is a conundrum that is dificult to pan out. Though I don’t believe that the prosecution has proved murder, they have proved that Casey Anthony actively over a period of time did everything she could to cover up the death of her daughter. Which in itself may get her convicted. The one wise move on the defenses part was to enter into play the accidental death that she felt she would be tried for.

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  23. Noelle

    I’m doing a paper about Casey Anthony as of right now. After reading every comment on this page, especially the debate between Atticus and April, I am even more favorable to the side of ‘Casey Anthony is Guilty’.

    This court case hit a little too close to home for me. My sister is a ‘Casey Anthony’, in a way. I understand the denial and I understand the hurt. I also understand that you can not trust liars.

    Of course Casey Anthony blamed George Anthony. Have you made the connection that when someone is guilty they tend to point fingers to get the attention off themselves?

    George and Cindy should have been better grandparents. Ask any grandparent you know that doesn’t keep tabs on their grandchildren. Do they tend to freak out if they don’t even hear the child in the background? Yes. Two year olds don’t go out on the town everyday.

    Not Guilty doesn’t mean Innocent.

    This was a very emotional case. There were a lot of things that ‘should’ have happened. The American Goverment isn’t about justice. Its about who has the better lawyer.

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    • What kind of class are you doing the paper for? Or is it not for any class, just on your own? I ask because it was a very interesting case from a number of angles: law, psychology, media. Religion.

      I’m Atticus, by the way. Host and proprietor of the blog here. Going with my real name now, have been since August. You can read up on that part, if you like, on the “About” page.

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  24. Noelle

    I’m going it for a debate project in my English class. I can tell you have done your reasearch on this topic as well. (All anyone has to do is read the first couple of comments…)
    Why did you change your name? Atticus was very Greek and made you sound like a greek philosopher.

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    • I will take that as a compliment! I always like to sound like a Greek philosopher.

      But Atticus was just a temporary thing based on the character from To Kill A Mockingbird, a novel and film you may have heard of. I always kind of planned on going with my real name. If you go to the “About” page and follow the links at the bottom you will see why I might have done things that way, plus it would probably give you an idea of why I had such an interest in the Casey Anthony case. It kind of hit home for me, too, maybe in a very different way than it did for you.

      I hope the thread here helps you write a good paper and get a good grade.

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      • Noelle

        I’ll post the paper on here after I’m finished with it, if you would be intrested in reading it.
        I knew the name Atticus sounded familiar. Are you a bibliophile? I’ll check out your About page.

        Like

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