The verdict of the century was heard at 2:15 p.m. on July 5th, 2011. Soon after its echo Facebook statuses everywhere revealed shock, disbelief, and for some relief. I chimed in as well, posting comments on Facebook and Tumblr and following blogs from all over the country and as far as Australia. After nearly two months of waiting, the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty on all charges related to her daughter Caylee Anythony’s death.
Like many others my mouth dropped, and my eyes became wet with astonishment. My initial posts in regards to the matter were angry and vengeful. I agreed with so many viewers that our justice system had failed. How could the jury see through her lies? I told the story to my friends and family bringing together all the evidence. So first let me tell you my theory, and why so many of us believed Casey Anthony would be found guilty. And then we can talk the truth, of why she isn’t.
After spending day after day following the trial I came to my own conclusion that Casey had killed her daughter Caylee, but on accident. Casey was known by friends to leave Caylee in the car while she partied. I believe on this instance she gave Caylee chloroform to sedate her, and put her in the trunk. When Casey was done with her nightly rage she came back to find her daughter dead. Everything that followed was merely a cover up. Do I think Casey is a murderer? No, in fact I think she was a kind-hearted person. Unfortunately, she was just a selfish and ill-mannered mother.
For those of us who were shocked we saw all the evidence against Casey. The hair in the trunk, the traces of chloroform, duct tape from the home, and on and on. She seemed to have so much against her. The problem was that despite all the evidence in Casey’s trunk, her DNA could not be linked to the act itself. There was no DNA on the duct tape, none at the site where Caylee was found, no footprints, nothing. There was really no physical evidence at all. The only evidence against Casey was circumstantial.
Justice says that a guilty verdict is reached without a reasonable doubt. Can those of us criticizing the system honestly say that we didn’t have a single, solitary doubt in our mind that she was guilty of murder? This is what made it such a difficult decision for the jury to make. They had their doubts, as did I. Few cases are made solely off of circumstantial evidence, and sometimes people may get away with crimes, but we always have to imagine ourselves there…on the stand… with nothing but hearsay and your next door neighbor’s testimony against you.
Despite the frustration of so many Americans, especially Floridians, our justice system worked exactly the way it was supposed to. Casey didn’t get off completely free. She was charged with four counts of lying to law enforcement. She could spend as much as 4 years in prison, although most believe she will only spend 4 months. I can only hope that karma has more skill than Jose Baez. I also hope we don’t forget about Caylee, who still deserves justice.