1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Casey Anthony trial

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Steerpike, Jul 5, 2011.

    Since this is sort of hijacking the Not Happy thread (if that is possible).

    I heard on the news a few minutes ago that the prosecution was never able to prove a cause of death. I haven't been following that closely so I didn't realize that.

    This makes it easy to understand how the jury came out where it did. If you can't even prove that a person was murdered, how can you possibly prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any given individual person murdered them? It would be like having someone on trial for stealing, when you couldn't prove that anything was actually stolen.

    Anyone else hear anything to the contrary? Thoughts?
     
  2. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    They weren't able to prove it was her, but I think a lot of people, myself included, believe that she was the killer.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I think it is more likely than not that she had something to do with it. But that's a long way from the standard for conviction in a criminal case (and rightly so). From the few reports I did pay attention to, it seemed like the prosecution had a better case, but if they couldn't even prove cause of death...
     
  4. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Then it is a fair ruling, as much as I hate to say it. I'd love nothing more than for her to end up with life in prison or worse, but a fair trial is a fair trial no matter what. I hate the fact that she walks free, though.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Stay on the topic of THIS trial, please. Debate over the death penalty will surely turn this thread into a flame war.

    And I agree that the verdict does NOT mean the jury believes she did not do what the prosecution alleges. It only means they did not find that the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The entire matter of the duct tape screams premeduitated murder, but in itself it is not sufficient to convict.
     
  6. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Right, and people (apparently) feel that it was some kind of miscarriage of justice, and it's going to have an impact on that woman's quality of life for years, even though she was found to be not guilty.
     
  7. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh >< sorry...I love debating to much :(. One of my mates was telling me about the trial today. She said it was all over there media.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think nearly everyone in this country (USA) is surprised at the outcome. But sitting in a jury box is very different than watching news coverage of a trial. I'm going to assume the jury did its job and considered only what was deemed admissible evidence in coming to their verdict.

    I don't get the feeling this was an example of jury nullification as in the OJ trial (jury nullification is when the jury chooses to disregard the evidence and decide the case on other criteria, such as condemning the investigating authorities as corrupt).
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I don't think they nullified either. I think they simply felt based on the evidence the prosecution didn't prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
     
  10. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I couldn't imagine what it was like to sit in on that jury or that case. Incredibly intense.
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I think the prosecution spent too much time assasinating her character and too little time proving their case. I also think they charged her with too many lesser included charges, which gave the appearance that even they weren't sure what their case amounted to.

    Then there's this...if I heard correctly, they actually brought jurors in from Tampa to Orlando because they felt the jury pool in Orlando had been tainted by all the media coverage. To me, that's backwards. If they felt she couldn't get a fair trial in Orlando, they should have changed the venue to Tampa. Having kept the jury sequestered far from home for six weeks might well explain why they were so anxious to get out of there.

    BTW, there have been cases in which a murder connviction was made even when there was no body, because the person had disappeared. I didn't find the defense's theory of what happened even remotely credible.
     
  12. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I don't think anyone in the US found the defense credible in the slightest. I know I didn't. There may not be sufficient evidence to convict Anthony, but with the way she's viewed in America, that hardly seems to matter.
     
  13. Vespers
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    Martha Stewart got, what, a year for lying to the police? Did Casey get that? Or am I completely misinformed (I do not follow trials at all). It's still a travesty to the justice system that that's all it came down to.
     
  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    They haven't sentenced her yet. A legal analyst on TV said she could get 4 years (I don't know if that's true or not). She's already been in custody for some time, so she'll probably get credit for what she has already served and may not spend that much longer in prison.
     
  15. EdFromNY
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    Yes, four counts of lying to police, maximum sentence of 1 year per count, with three years of time already served.

    @Gigi - no, the defense was not at all credible. But given the presumption of innocence, the prosecution had the burden of proof. I didn't hear all the testimony, so I can't say for sure, but the prosecution had a problem in that forensic evidence could not show conclusively that the girl had been killed. I thought they had a pretty good circumstantial case with the duct tape and the odor of decomposition in the car trunk, but they detracted from their case by focusing so much on the kind of person she was. They also didn't do enough to establish motive. If she was such a lousy mother, I would have expected there to be a list of prior complaints of abuse/neglect.

    My impression was that the jury was anxious to get out of there, and whichever side had the more votes in the early going was the side that would prevail. No "Twelve Angry Men" scenario here, I'm afraid.
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Jurors tend to take their jobs much more seriously than that, especially in these types of cases. Though I suppose you can't know for certain in any given instance. I bet they came back with the verdict they really believed to be right.

    Will be interesting now to see if Anthony serves any additional time, and how long it takes for book and TV/movie deals to be generated.
     
  17. Halcyon
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    I was surprised at the outcome of the case, but as someone previously said, the jury is somewhat isolated from public opinion, and can see things in an entirely different way. I do feel that the leaps that are being made in forensic science (the ability to detect cadaver scent from within the car etc), are sometimes a little complex for their full ramifications to be appreciated by certain jurors, and this gap between technical advances and public knowledge is likely to continue to grow.

    I also wonder if pushing for the death penalty sometimes has an adverse effect, particularly when a young woman is on trial. Jurors who may be prepared to find a defendant guilty if the punishment is a long prison sentence may think twice or err on the side of caution where they are being asked to send someone to death row.
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Pushing for the death penalty can certainly have that effect, imo, although whether it did in this case we can't know.

    As far as technology goes, if the jury didn't understand it, or didn't appreciate the ramifications of the evidence, then the prosecution and their experts didn't do a very good job. It's not that hard to explain some basic scientific principles and technologies to a group of laymen, but some expert witnesses are really bad at it. They're very smart people but lack the skill to communicate their knowledge effectively to people who aren't part of their professional peer group. Professors are that way as well. I've known some brilliant ones with incredible understanding of the subject matter who couldn't teach students properly.
     
  19. EdFromNY
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    I also think that too many people confuse reasonable doubt with any kind of doubt. Just because a defendant posits an alternative theory doesn't mean there is necessarily reasonable doubt.
     
  20. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    True, but I've also seen proof beyond a reasonable doubt defined as anything from 99% to 99.9% certainty. The latter doesn't provide much room for any doubt.
     
  21. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was arguing about this yesterday, and it's why I'm not at all surprised by the outcome of the case.

    I don't think anyone desires to be responsible for the death of a person. Some people are shouting that she should have been given the death penalty and what the heck is wrong with America's justice system... but it's surely an entirely different situation when you honestly have that decision in your hands. My personal opinions of the case aside, it was a mistake to seek the death penalty. Especially when you cant prove cause of death, especially when the accused is a woman, especially when that woman is a mother. Everyone seems to think the defense was weak, but there were a lot of holes in the prosecution's argument as well. If I were a juror on that case, I would have acquitted her too when there's lack of undeniable, scientifically proven evidence or the crime taking place on film.

    I have no doubt that the jury would have found her guilty of the other charges had the death penalty been taken off the table.

    ...And I'll stop here before I say anything that would be deemed insensitive.
     
  22. heyitsmary
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    I've been keeping up with the case since Caylee went missing three years ago and I watched every day of testimony for the past six weeks. I am shocked and disgusted at the verdict. I thought there was enough evidence to convict her of manslaughter at the very least. I think the jury made a mistake.
     
  23. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, the evidence here does not support that. They also acquitted her of manslaughter, which does not allow for a possibility of the death penalty. Only the first degree murder charge would have allowed that. If what you're saying is true, then they jury would naturally have found her guilty of manslaughter. Having the death penalty "on the table" is only relevant to the first degree murder charge.

    Instead, I believe the jury felt that the prosecution simply didn't prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
     
  24. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmmm, I didn't keep up with the trial intensely, rather I caught the Today show coverage before I catch my morning bus. I didn't know she was charged with manslaughter; I thought she was charged with murder 1, child endangerment, and lying to the police. I wasn't even aware you could be charged twice for the same crime, those charges being murder 1 and manslaughter --of the same child.

    How interesting and enlightening, although not particularly reassuring.
     
  25. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    She was charged with first degree murder. That includes a lesser count of second degree murder with a max of life imprisonment, that the jury could have convicted her of. Then she was also charged with aggravated manslaughter (up to 30 years in prison) and aggravated child abuse (max of 15 years in prison).

    The jury could have found her guilty of any but the first degree murder and avoided the death penalty. All I can conclude is that they really didn't think the prosecution met its burden of proof here.
     

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