Michael Gaynor
Don't blame the Casey Anthony jurors for doing their job
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By Michael Gaynor
July 6, 2011

"Justice Jeanine" Pirro lamented that conclusive evidence of guilt disappeared because Caylee's body was in a swamp so long and railed that Casey Anthony should not benefit from that. But that assumes that Casey Anthony was guilty of killing Caylee and guilt must be proven, not assumed.

Casey Anthony was convicted on four misdemeanor counts of lying to the police, each of which could result in a sentence of one year, but she's been incarcerated for three years, so, if the trial judge respects the jury verdict, it's likely that Casey Anthony will be released this week.

Much of the media is embarrassed and outraged that the sequestered jury of twelve also quickly acquitted Casey Anthony on all of the felony counts on which she was tried and they are attacking the jurors for not convicting and making them look prescient.

Those folks had praised both the pro-prosecution judge and the prosecutors and excoriated the lead defense attorney for mistake after mistake. Rather than admit they were proven wrong, they excoriate the jurors for being unreasonable, "speculating" and "getting it wrong."

But guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and, as an alternate juror said, Casey Anthony appeared to be a good mother before her daughter Caylee disappeared.

The prosecution speculated that Casey Anthony decided to kill Caylee because she was about to be old enough to expose her mother's lies and Casey Anthony wanted to be a party girl instead of a mother.

BUT there was no dispute that Caylee was born, not aborted, and if Casey Anthony was the type of person the prosecution depicted her as, wouldn't she have gotten an abortion as soon as possible?

And the defense presented evidence that suggested Caylee might have drowned in the family swimming pool.

There was a photo showing Caylee opening the door by herself.

There was testimony that the pool ladder had been left out.

There was testimony that Caylee's body was found without shoes and socks.

There was plenty of proof that Caylee lied to her family and to the police, but a liar is not necessarily a killer.

Apparently the jury inferred from the evidence presented that there was a reasonable possibility that Caylee drowned.

That would not mean that it is not possible, even probable, that Casey Anthony killed Caylee, but it would mean that the jury did there duty of returned a not-guilty verdict.

The evidence of guilt was circumstantial, not direct.

That made the jury's need for a motive a practical necessity and the prosecution's story apparently did not ring true to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

I did not have the benefit of watching the whole trial, as the jury did, but I did watch much of the closing statements and the verdict did not surprise me.

"Justice Jeanine" Pirro lamented that conclusive evidence of guilt disappeared because Caylee's body was in a swamp so long and railed that Casey Anthony should not benefit from that. But that assumes that Casey Anthony was guilty of killing Caylee and guilt must be proven, not assumed.

The defense theory of an accident gone horribly wrong created doubt in the jurors' minds.

The prosecution said that the loving grandfather would not have thrown the body of his granddaughter in a swamp, but an alternate juror said that he felt the grandfather was hiding something and the grandfather's beer-and-heart-pills "suicide" attempt and note may well have magnified the doubt in the jurors' minds. He wrote that Casey Anthony did not belong where she was (in jail). Was he responsible for the pool ladder not having been put away and concerned that he might be prosecuted for criminally negligent homicide? I don't know, but I concluded that both of Casey Anthony's parents were capable of lying, even under oath, and that allegedly loving grandfather sure didn't look like a loving father when his daughter was acquitted.

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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