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In Casey Anthony case, prosecution failed [Most commented]

Anthony

If you’re angry about Casey Anthony’s acquittal, blame the prosecution, writes Robert Shapiro, a Los Angeles attorney who was part of O.J. Simpson’s defense team. The stakes were raised when the prosecution went for capital murder because the U.S. justice system emphasizes protecting the innocent -- “better to let a guilty person go free than to convict someone without evidence beyond a reasonable doubt,” Shapiro says in his Op-Ed. The prosecution emphasized evidence from tests that have never been used in U.S. trials, and tried to give thorough answers that only ended up leading to more questions.

The media commentators with quick opinions and little analysis who turned the trial into entertainment are also to blame, he writes.

After the verdict, the state attorney noted that this was a difficult case to prove. He was correct.

Casey Anthony was not found innocent; she was simply not found guilty of murder because the prosecution did not prove each and every element of the charges they brought against her beyond a reasonable doubt.

There are other countries that have different standards of proof, and in some of them, Anthony probably would have been found guilty and executed. I doubt if any American would want to live under that kind of justice system.

Readers are holding a, shall we say, public trial on the discussion board. Topics range from the evidence used against Anthony, to the intelligence of the jurors, to Shapiro’s morals.

“Not guilty,” but is she innocent?

I completely agree with this article.  There was not enough evidence to convict Casey of a death penalty murder.  Does that mean she's innocent? We may never really know..

After watching the trial, there was far too much focus on the chloroform and duct tape.  I don't know that either showed malicious intent or intentional murder.

I think that although Casey is a compulsive liar, likely obsessive-compulsive, there wasn't enough evidence or witnesses that could show that Casey had the motive or the intent to hurt her child. 

Unfortunately we may never know what actually happened to that little girl.  I'm sure Casey's interviews and subsequent book deals will probably raise more questions than fill in a few gaps, though.  Can we ever trust what her or her lawyers say?

Despite how I feel about her actions during the 31 days that her child was "missing," I saw the evidence presented, and I too would have come back with a not guilty verdict.

Terra Naught, Salem Oregon

--TerraNaught

There was no evidence to support drowning, in response to TerraNaught

Terra...do you also believe that you've been abducted by aliens? There's about as much evidence to support that as there was to support the theory of accidental drowning which is what the jury has said they accepted as reasonable doubt.

--delder

You can agree with the verdict without liking it

I agree with the article, and I especially agree with the verdict, even though I certainly don't like it.

--Thopemia

The law was ignored

Celebrity lawyers like Robert Shapiro are an example of what is wrong with our court system and, by extension, our culture.  Cameras NEVER should have been allowed into the O.J. courtroom.  This is not to say that a relatively spectacle-free trial would have guaranteed a guilty verdict, but it would have at least given the prosecution a sporting chance.

Does Mr. Shapiro think "the law worked" in Las Vegas when O.J. Simpson got put away 9-33 years for armed robbery and kidnapping?  If he does, he ought to say so.

I don't know how anybody can look at this trial and say "the law worked".  More accurately, "the law was ignored", and a woman got away with murder.  Shapiro, himself, comes close to admitting as much, since he opines that perhaps this case might have been pled down to a lesser charge, had the prosecutor not insisted on a capital murder trial.  Well, if the law really worked, then Anthony's innocent.  Why should an innocent person (if they are, indeed innocent) strike a plea bargain?

This case turns my stomach.  It should turn Robert Shapiro's, too, but it doesn't.  The smile on that woman's face gives me the creeps, and so does Shapiro's nonchalant attempt to reassure us all that the system worked the way it was supposed to, and that the only flaw here rests with the prosecution.

--GregMaragos

The jurors didn’t understand their job

That's what I've been saying since first hearing Juror #3.. they really thought that if they were to convict her it automatically meant Death Row. I don't think they really listened to Judge Perry when he was going over the order of Charges and how to decipher between each one. How could 12 people not know that they would be the ones to RECOMMEND life or DEATH during the penalty phase? Then the judge makes the final decision based on what the jury comes back with. This was a MAJOR travesty to the justice system. Because there was more than enough evidence to convict her. Had the LISTENED to the prosecution. All they heard was the defense. God help any further babies she has...God forbid if they cramp her style!

--PSAa6        1573

Money brings a “not guilty” verdict

[…] What this trial is truly a confirmation of is the inequality of justice in this country.  The average prosecutor is capable of convicting most poor and/or ethnic suspects in this country who are habitually defended by public defenders for the most part.  They can run up astoundingly high conviction rates and appear statistically, at least to be competent.  But, sadly, quality goes where the money is.  Defense attorneys are paid better because they are better.  Those that are not good enough or experienced enough to compete for the best legal dollar are what we see become prosecutors and public defenders.  This is why it should surprise no one that this trial was prosecuted ineptly and another guilty white and/or wealthy defendant like Mr. Shapiro's O.J. or Michael Jackson or countless other moneyed white but equally guilty go free.

-- famsden

Capital murder trials shouldn’t be summer entertainment

This case went off the rails because of the application of the death penalty.  State-sanctioned murder is a penalty without remedy; the state cannot un-execute a person when it finds it has been in error, which happens frequently now.  Death-row inmates are being released upon discovery of exculpatory DNA evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, or recanted testimony.

Casey Anthony may well have killed her daughter.  But "may well have" is not good enough for the death penalty.  The evidence supported a strong conjecture, not an absolute conclusion.

Murder 2 or (in)voluntary manslaughter would have led to a more successful prosecution.  Yap all you want about the defense attorneys (who did their job) or the imbeciles in Florida (of which there are many); this prosecution failed of its own poor choice.

Also: capital murder trials should never be televised on for-profit commercial tv channels.  This isn't, or shouldn't be, summertime entertainment.

--Colemine1210

The protests to the verdict are telling

(("Appeal! Appeal!" The spontaneous demonstration revealed how little many Americans know about the justice system.))

This also shows why this Country is so screwed up.  The Americans shouting Appeal! Appeal! are the same Americans who vote.

--MojaveRob

Hopefully fate will treat her as well as it has treated O.J.

Fate caught up to O.J. Simpson and he is now serving his just rewards in prison for the rest of his life on Earth and may his eternal reward be just as deserved.

Kudos to Casey, may fate treat her just as kindly...

--lexxie

*Spelling errors in the above comments were corrected.

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--Samantha Schaefer

Photo: Casey Anthony smiles at Defense Counsel Cheney Mason and Dorothy Clay Sims, before her sentencing at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Florida, July 7, 2011. Credit: Joe Burbank/Reuters

 

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