7/05/2011

Casey Anthony - What Happens Now?

Well, the Casey Anthony jury verdict was returned today and yes, I'm surprised that the jury found Not Guilty on all the felonies.  From the news coverage, I'm right there with the majority of the country: there's even media alerts on the large, growing number of celebrities who are tweeting their shock at this result.  

A copy of the complete jury charge is here (not the verdict, I'm sure that will be uploaded to the web shortly). It's this that the jury had with them in the jury room to guide them in their decision-making, together with the exhibits and their recollection or notes of witness testimony. 

Reading through the counts within that charge, I understand that the jurors did not find a sufficient connection in the "act" or "criminal act" to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony was guilty of that particular crime.   And I understand that their perspective is different from the judge, the defense, the prosecutor (as I've posted about earlier). 

The jury did the right thing: if they did not think that the State of Florida provided evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that there was guilt, then "not guilty" was where they should have come down.  

It's not like the jury voted that she is innocent of her daughter's death.  Not guilty and innocent are two different things. 


In my view, this didn't have anything to do with Jose Baez's antics but dealt solely with the prosecution's evidence, which was almost entirely circumstantial in its attempts to connect the mother to the crime.  No DNA, etc. was a big problem for them - apparently, an insurmountable one. 

I'm sure that we'll hear interviews and probably read books written by some of these jurors, giving us more details than we really need on the why and the how of their deliberations and their decision.   I imagine some of those deals are being ironed out while I type this.

Speaking of book deals and things, I imagine that Casey Anthony will financially benefit from these events.  I imagine that Jose Baez and his team are making deals for books and movies and all sorts of things.  Maybe Cindy is going to write a book, too.  Heck, maybe River Cruz will be on Amazon in time for Christmas.

What I'm interested in watching now is how the public is reacting to this surprise verdict, and how disrespect has grown for our system of justice; how a trial by media does impact a case; and I'm also concerned about some fool seeking vengeance on behalf of Caylee - because I fear that there are those out there that are that incensed that Casey Anthony will walk free. 

Finally, today reminds me of one of the reasons that I stopped working the Children's Court.  Without revealing details, I can share that I was involved in a case where a prostitute had her children taken from her by CPS and she fought long and hard to get those kids back.  She earned the respect of everyone in the case, and we all believed that she had taken this life event as an opportunity to change her life: to have an apartment with ivy growing in the kitchen window, a regular job, her kids in school, her own car and a normal family life.

Her family was reunited and the case was closed.  Everyone - the attorneys, the therapists, the ad litems, the case workers, the judge - counted this case as a victory.  Victories aren't seen too often in Children's Court.  We all took this case to heart because so many of the CPS cases are so sad - we all needed this to remember that sometimes things do work out well. 

Then, about a year later, we were told that this woman had been arrested in another state, high on drugs and she had almost killed her youngest child.  She didn't fight the charges, and she'll spend the rest of her days behind bars.

Today, I think about that case and that pretty little girl who was about the same age as Caylee when she was almost killed by her mother and I remember the lesson from that case. 

It's not always over when the judge closes the case.  The justice system isn't omnipotent nor omnipresent and its power is intentionally limited.  Life continues after the lawsuit is done.

I worry that this tragedy isn't over with, and I hope and pray that I'm wrong. It just seems in my gut that there's another shoe that's going to drop, and I'm hoping this is just my personal reaction based upon that old CPS case. 

7 comments:

Leah - Bogue Living said...

I worry about the future of any more children born to Casey. That family was obviously very disturbed - who knows what made each of the parents that way, and what happened in Lee and Casey's childhoods, living with what appear to be personality disordered parents. Casey has something very wrong with her. I hate to say it but I have sometimes thought Caylee was lucky to escape them.

Now they have been through the trauma of this trial, but they have also had the biggest consequences thrown at them for lying and the ultimate selfishness, taking someone's life, and it has not stuck. It's like stoking a fire while kicking down the fire guard and pouring a line of petrol away from it.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Leah,
Really like your writing "...stoking a fire while kicking down the fire guard and pouring a line of petrol away from it." Nicely done.

As for your message, I agree that the whole family could use some serious help - and one does have to wonder what Caylee's future would have been like if this tragedy had never happened.

But it did. And I suppose what I was pondering in my post, and what I'm seeing in your comment, is that these people all need help and now that the verdict is in, the legal system will back away and where will they be then?

I heard Jose Baez say that he hoped Casey got help to get her life together, and I hope she gets help too. I hope that Cindy and George and Lee all get lots of help.

Because, like you've written so well, all the bad juju - the lying, the deception, the us vs them mentality, etc. - that's all still there.

I don't know the psychological implications of this, but I'm still internally nudged that this story isn't over....

Thanks for writing,
Reba

A Voice of Sanity said...

All the talking heads on the TV and none of them seem to have spotted one thing: It may have been the astonishing lying of Casey that convinced the jury to acquit her, lying that the state spent hours proving! If Nancy Grace (say) did what Casey did I might well find her guilty because she doesn't (deliberately) lie (I think). However for Casey to cover up something bad and lie about it is entirely normal for her and not indicative of guilt.

Mary said...

what happens now????

my predictions are that George and Cindy will split up..but one of them will reach out to Casey and jump on the bandwagon of her sick celebrity status...reminds me of Tonya Harding...hey, maybe we'll see her dancing on a pole somewhere or boxing another inmate or mud wrestling at the Pinellas County Fair...

OTOH, Casey may now think that she is too good for her family after she has been exposed to the "beautiful life" that she has led..and the people who she has met..maybe Cheney Mason will give her away when she marries Jose and Dorothy Sims will be her maid of honor if she can stand still long enough

sound crazy...probably so..it makes as much sense as what happened yesterday..

Anonymous said...

I am really surprised you relate the two cases one of the prostitute to this case. A wide stretch of the imagination. You know bad people who have been jailed, are released and become successful, and change their lifes. It it amazing that everyone thinks she killed Caylee, and the masses can´t think for themselves and come to their on intelligent decision without being influenced by the media. The justice system work. Be happy for that, because you never know someday for some reason you might be in court, even if, you are doing everything correctly. Don´t judge! Be glad we in live in a system that gives you a chance for a fair trial, most of the time. You could be living in a society where you are convicted for no apparent reason. God bless America!! Be thankful!!

Reba Kennedy said...

Anonymous,

You miss my point.

The analogy is to dysfunctional families and the inability of the legal system to address longstanding psychological issues within them.

I remain concerned that these people need help - Casey, Lee, Cindy, George - and I hope and pray that avenues are opened to them to provide that help.

I don't think anyone disagrees that Casey Anthony needs psychological assistance, but the courts aren't going to be providing that to her.

Hope this clarifies things, and thanks for writing.

Reba

Anonymous said...

This is in reply to Anon-People with the mental issues Casey has do not change and I don't know what trial you were watching,but I for one feel she is guilty.The bottom line is Casey was the little girls mother,was responsible for her well being,and was the last person seen with her.She definetly had something to do with her death.That jury was tired and knew if they convicted Casey,they would be there even longer to go thru the sentencing phase.In my opinion this is not a case of the justice system working,it is a case of the sytem being manipulated.Everyone with a ounce of common sense knows she is guilty.