Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Any version of Casey Anthony’s story leaves Caylee as victim

Post by Brian O'Neill on July 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm with 7 Comments »
July 9, 2011 10:55 am

The most salacious of recent homicide trials, and a true guilty pleasure for over a million Americans, has concluded with an acquittal for Casey Anthony.

But does that mean she didn’t kill her daughter? Of course not.

Nor does it mean that our criminal justice system, as some have already stated, is flawed. Our court system has had its ups and downs through the course of our ongoing experiment in democracy, but it is still a humane and professional method for adjudicating right and wrong.

What the acquittal in the Anthony case does mean is that the prosecution failed to connect all the dots–motive, weapon, method, physical evidence, and testimony– in order to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Anthony killed her 2 year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008. It is entirely plausible that proof beyond a reasonable doubt was simply beyond the means of this investigation, though the evidence did appear to be overwhelming…circumstantial, but overwhelming.

This case, for several disturbing reasons, became a must-see court television drama featuring a highly dysfunctional family. Casey, the young mother on trial for allegedly killing her daughter, provided a shock to the system by her bility to party hard immediately after her daughter disappeared. Or died, depending on how you view the evidence.

In the chaotic and non-linear world that is reality there are countless possibilities for how Caylee Anthony died. But one of the following two versions is most likely.

First, the prosecution offers this scenario: Casey routinely used duct tape and a seatbelt in lieu of a babysitter and finally succeeded in killing her daughter either intentionally or “accidentally.” The deceased child sat in the car seat long enough to decompose, leaving a smell that (and I can attest to this fact) simply refused to come out of the seats. Forensic experts fleshed out details and the rest of us filled in the blanks. This version is simple, straightforward and monstrous.

Or, if you prefer the second version offered by the defense, Casey was an irresponsible parent who failed to keep her child from drowning in a kiddie pool. The grief-stricken mother then decided not to summon aid, not to be truthful to police investigators and to deal with her pain by spending her nights drinking and dancing.

Though the facts and evidence in this case did not line up well enough, this is not an indication that the jury believes Casey is innocent. Nor does this acquittal prove the defense’s supposition that Caylee died in a swimming pool. The jury’s job was, of course, simply to weigh the evidence and make a judgment.

Now that Casey has had her day in court, those of us who kept abreast of this case are left with a lingering taste of bile. The reason for this is simple, regardless of which version you choose to believe–an innocent child is dead. Whether this most unthinkable of outcomes was a result of thoughtless negligence or intentional cruelty is almost beside the point.

Either version should make us want to scream out loud.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. I screamed out loud when I saw the verdict. I can’t believe the prosecutors will keep their jobs after this. The only thing anyone can do is “OJ” Casey Anthony and try to catch her at something else.

  2. davegrissom says:

    The State should have never gone to trial with the evidence that they had. When you can’t even prove the cause of death you are not likely to convince a jury that a murder was committed by a specific person. They were able to prove beyond any doubt that Casey was a despicable mother, but that’s not the same as murder. We will probably never know what really happened.

  3. Brian O'Neill says:

    Yeehaw and Dave G,

    I appreciate your comments. However, as I pointed out I think that the prosecution did the best they could based on the lack of forensic evidence. The fact that there was so little evidence was unfortunate, but there was no way to avoid that trial. When a little girl dies and everyone follows the investigation on Twitter, that case is going to trial whether it sinks or swims.

    Casey is likely the most hated person in the USA at this moment, and I hope she gets the kharma she deserves.

  4. smokey984 says:

    Regardless of our humanly mistakes, successes, setbacks, ataboys, or our personal opinions, God knows all truths, and will hold his children accountable eventually.

    Our justice system with its perceived perfection is only as strong as the human factor. And as long as humans continue to run this clusterfawk…perceived injustices will continue.

  5. smokey984 says:

    And just to continue…as frustrated as we all are on the verdict, the media played a huge role in convincing the public of her guiltiness. Which is a damn shame…

  6. PumainTacoma says:

    Any version of the Sheriff French story leaves the kids parents and citizens of Tacoma and Pierce County as victims, too!!!!

    Why didn’t our Pierce County Prosecutor not fight to stay Sheriff French’s child porn sentence or fight to keep this guy a felon?

    Your column title could well have said Judge Chuschoff and our PC Prosecutor spit in the eye of justice against pedophillas again!

  7. WarmNfuzziOne says:

    Ever notice the less attractive a woman is, the more they want to burn Casey Anthony?

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