Did 12 Heads of Cabbage Decide the Casey Anthony Trial? Email Print

While the jurors who decided the fate of Casey Anthony were human beings and not heads of cabbage, analyzing their result poses an important question.

Did those jurors decide the case in a manner more expectant of 12 heads of cabbage?  One expects no thoughtful deliberation from 12 heads of cabbage.  One expects no analysis.  This from all available evidence reveals what happened.  

The result harkens back to a comment made by the late Dominick Dunne in a television appearance following the not guilty verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial.  When an angry Dunne, whose own daughter had been slain followed by a miscarriage of justice, called the jury "stupid" he was criticized by a defense attorney who asserted that Dunne's statement was unduly harsh.

Dunne stood his ground, coolly replying, "The jury was asked to examine the DNA evidence (against Simpson).  It refused to do so.  That's stupid."

Earlier, shortly after the verdict was read, Dunne had been interviewed by CNN.  When he savaged the jury's not guilty verdict, then CNN legal affairs analyst Greta Van Susteren shrilly condemned the prominent author for rebuking America's jury system.  Following a quick and brisk exchange Dunne muttered an angry expletive, ripped off his microphone and threw it to the ground, then stalked off angrily.

The expression "the more things happen the more they remain the same" surfaced after listening to defense counsel Mark Geragos pontificate on Anderson Cooper Live Wednesday night that the verdict exonerated the jury system, revealing it at its best, and repudiated the vigilante rush to judgment  mentality displayed by the media in the Casey Anthony trial.

Geragos is well known for defending Scott Peterson, tried and convicted of coldly and systematically killing his pregnant wife.  His emotional manner was chillingly similar to that of Casey Anthony.  

Each became notably choked up when their private interests were threatened.  Each was expressionless when two allegedly murdered family members and a member to be were mentioned.

Had Peterson been acquitted would Geragos have done anything other than deliver virtually the same monologue that he did after the Casey Anthony not guilty verdict?  Would Geragos be delighted to have Peterson or Anthony physically and emotionally linked to a family member?  The answer would certainly be no.

The Anthony jury came back following a relatively short deliberation after taking few notes during the trial and failing to request any of the many exhibits to study.  It returned without asking any questions of Judge Belvin Perry despite the trial's numerous elements.  

When it did not even follow a frequently occurring tradition of asking for any trial testimony to be read, the handwriting was on the wall that the simple route was taken.

In the wake of a national tumult certain jurors have now spoken out.  One said that jury members were so sickened by the verdict that they did not have sufficient composure to face reporters and answer questions following the trial, explaining why they got on a bus and were promptly driven back to Pinellas County.  

After explaining that there was not proof beyond reasonable doubt, she added that in addition they would not know the penalties with which to charge the defendant.  If she did not know the difference between deciding between guilt and innocence and a penalty phase squarely within a judge's and not juror's province, then this juror misunderstood a basic precept distinguishing the responsibilities of jurors contrasted by judges.

One alternate juror interviewed, who defended the decision of insufficient evidence to convict on the major charges, answered an important question relating to the conduct of the defendant in running out the clock while her daughter, known to be dead, repeatedly lied, asserting that she knew nothing about her daughter's whereabouts.

The alternate juror responded by saying that the Anthonys were a dysfunctional family and Casey had lied repeatedly before that, and so lying about her daughter's whereabouts was part of a consistent pattern.  He explained away the significance of lying at the time that law enforcement agencies and citizen's groups were frantically searching for Caylee, whose body was gradually decomposing.

The response was that since Casey Anthony had lied consistently on other matters that lying under those circumstances at that critical period was not the stuff of which a murder conviction is derived.  In other words, Person A lies in numerous circumstances and this is linked to a common pattern of doing whatever is needed to serve that individual's interest.  

If Person A therefore lies later while that individual's daughter is wasting away after being discarded like a bag of trash, this is explained as a mere continuation of a lying pattern and therefore does not constitute a red flag that could point toward guilt and a murder conviction.

Can anyone call this logic?  Was this individual thinking at all?

While a strident Jose Biaz screamed "liar" and "junk science" the prosecution wove a logical framework to sustain a charge of either First Degree Murder or, under the Felony Murder Doctrine, a potential death penalty result under the category of Aggravated Child Abuse.

The case embodied a clear and precise link that Casey Anthony during a 31-day period partied in carefree fashion while using a steady pattern of deception with her family and law enforcement as her daughter lay in a field just a short distance from the home where she lived with her family.  When Caylee was found the deceased had duct tape on her mouth.  

It was proven that the Anthony family had that same brand of duct tape in the house.

During that same time frame a Google search analysis uncovered 84 searches on the family computer for chloroform and neck-breaking, two known means of inflicting death.  The searches occurred when Casey's mother was at work and it was established that George Anthony, Casey's father, did not use that computer.  Hence the party conducting the search by process of elimination had to be Casey.

Since applying duct tape and chloroforming constitute a convenient way to kill a child and such tape was found on the deceased's body, which had been abandoned a short distance from the Anthony home, a First Degree Murder conviction was appropriate under the law.  

If the jury needed to review prosecution evidence to assist in deciding its ultimate verdict then it was duty bound to ask to see it, study it, then come to a conclusion.

Instead a rush to judgment resulted while the jurors and alternates who have thus far spoken out, along with the accompanying mantra from Jose Biaz, Cheney Mason, Mark Geragos and some others from the defense counsel fraternity continue to shout "It takes proving beyond a reasonable doubt!" to convict, one important principle should be remembered.

The term is reasonable doubt, with the accent on reason.  Certain defense counsel repeat the refrain from the above paragraph over and over as a mantra.  This is done to achieve courtroom advantage, planting the same sentence over and over into the public's mind.  

Perhaps this is what the jury bought into.  Perhaps this was the basis for its ultimate decision that has so many Americans outraged.  

Reasonable doubt has been stated and restated in such a way as to ultimately emerge in many minds amid steady mantra repetition as a concept more closely embodying guilt beyond any shadow of a doubt.  

A man interviewed Wednesday outside the Orange County Courthouse expressed this view by stating, "It has now reached the point where to convict somebody it seems like you've got to videotape the person committing the crime."    


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