Reasonable doubt?…Dumb and Dumber ….and Casey Anthony

The dog days of summer are upon us and no one is getting too stirred up about the news these days. Congress and the President are trying to work out a debt ceiling deal and the partisan hypocrisy surrounding this has reached some pretty lofty levels. The one good thing is that our lawmakers and the President were working this week-end for a change. I guess we can let that sort itself out before making any further comments

The one big news item that has dominated the air waves, the internet and social media was the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. This appears to have engaged the public more so than any other event in recent memory including the killing of Osama Bin Laden. I thought given the scarcity of real news it might be interesting to present some observations of this trial and verdict and get a sense of what others thought about it.

The Trial

The protagonists in this trial were a cast of characters made for a TV soap opera. Casey Anthony the defendant made to look like Hester Prynne awaiting burning at the stake. Jose Baez doing his best imitation of Don Quixote trying to achieve the impossible dream. His two assistants who I will refer to as ‘white beard” and “the woman with the frizzy hair.” The prosecution, trying to avoid another Marcia Clark and Christopher Dardenfiasco.  Presiding over all of this was the Honorable Judge Belvin Perry, who as the trial wore on, reminded me more and more of Jabba The Hutt, with the slow cadence of his pronouncements and exaggerated pursing of the lips.



The scenes I saw during the trial were particularly fascinating. I focused on Casey and watched her body language and reactions. There she sat, prim and proper, her hair in a bun wearing very plain and simple clothes, devoid of any emotion with a robotic persona which was actually scary.  She seemed to stare at the proceedings, with her “doe eyes” intently but at the same time blankly. I could never tell what she was really thinking.

casey trial

God..when is this going to end?


Did anyone notice how calmly she took sips from her water bottle while her parents were being questioned on the stand and emotionally torn apart? Was there actually anything beating inside Casey or was she simply a calmer version of Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.” You could almost sense a “here’s Johnny” moment about to burst out.


here's johnny

How long was I supposed to keep calm?

I was particularly struck by the mountain of evidence against Casey (circumstantial but damning nonetheless) and how she seemed to take all of this in stride including the most gruesome depictions of her dead little girl. I didn’t even see her flinch when her own attorney called her a “lying no good slut but not a murderer.” I suppose those are terms that she’s come to accept about herself

casey the slut

I need to tweet Anthony Weiner


The prosecution did their best to put on a case based on overwhelming circumstantial evidence. I’m not an attorney but I think they did a pretty good job. However, I believe they overreached in going for the death penalty thus putting the jury in an entirely different mind set and in the process sinking their case.  The defense of course pointed the finger at everyone except for Casey coming up with the most convoluted theories for Caylee’s death. Anything to introduce any sort of reasonable doubt.

The Verdict

The verdict itself was to me a case of dumb and dumber.  Here was the American system of jurisprudence at its best. She was judged by a jury of her peers. Given  she doesn’t even have a high school diploma could one assume the jury was just as dumb?  Does it stand to reason that perhaps they didn’t have the collective brainpower to fully understand the evidence or the judge’s instructions? Most people seem to think so.  Perhaps we’ll find out once they start giving interviews.

I think one of the dumbest acts was for the lead prosecutor Jeff Ashton to laugh and smirk while Jose Baez was making his closing argument. Baez caught him and pointed it out to the jury. I believe it was a significant turning point in their thinking.

After the trial, while the jurors were incommunicado, I remember one sound bite from an anonymous juror saying they were all distraught to find Casey innocent but they had to vote based on the evidence presented.

Was anyone even remotely convinced there was overwhelming evidence of child abuse? Couldn’t they tell that just from watching Casey’s reactions (namely stone cold) in court? What about her partying for 31 days after her child’s death and before she reported her missing? Doesn’t that qualify as extreme neglect?

casey party

How far do we take the term “ beyond a reasonable doubt”  Doesn’t that in itself have to have some logic behind it so that the defense cannot introduce any improbable reason for death and the jury in its deliberations could say “well that seems like reasonable doubt”

The drowning in the family pool makes about as much sense as Casey saying: “well I took her for a walk and she fell off a cliff…..I was so scared that I  put duct tape over her mouth, put her into a plastic bag and threw the bag into a swamp…don’t forget I was molested by my father at a young age.”

Given the reportedly tearful and distraught jury, wouldn’t it have made sense for them to ask the Judge for some clarification such as:  “we really think she’s guilty of at least some of these child neglect/abuse charges can we review what qualifies as beyond a reasonable doubt”

Oh well, I guess we need to get over it and remember that as a system it’s always better to let guilty people go free than to convict one innocent individual. Right?

The Aftermath  

To me the aftermath was all about appearances and “decorum” something the defense was sorely lacking. Having a victory champagne party in a restaurant across the street from the courthouse, shortly after the verdict, was the height of poor taste. Having “white beard” giving reporters the finger and “frizzy hair” running around hugging and kissing like it was VE Day was a bit much. Couldn’t they wait until after sentencing when the furor had died down?

Defense celebrates

That's what I think of public sentiment


What I found particularly astonishing and disturbing was Casey Anthony’s metamorphosis and conduct at the sentencing. No longer the prim and proper defendant she took this opportunity to re-introduce her inner slut to the world. Eye shadow, lipstick, long hair, winking and smiling and hugging and kissing with “frizzy hair.” They might as well have told her to wear a low cut blouse and serve drinks. Who was the genius on the defense team that choreographed this episode? Probably the same person who planned the champagne victory party.

casey and frizzy

Are you guys planning another victory party?


Well as the old saying goes: “You can take the girl out of the trailer park but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl” But regardless, get ready for a book deal and a slew of appearances like the Jerry Springer Show and maybe even The View. If she’s really lucky she might score an interview with Baba Wawa whose career could use the boost.

My recommendation would be for Casey to lead theSlut Walk scheduled for NYC during August. She could walk with Anthony Weiner and proclaim themselves as Anthony and Anthony—Proud to be Sluts.

slut walk

Anthony and Anthony--Proud to be Sluts!


And that’s the way it is here: “a little left of right”

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