Number Fifty-One

Tealiberasophoterianistic Perspectives

Casey Anthony and the Court System

Quick Thoughts

By Joey Phillips

Sorry to bump Jake, but we’ll repost his article before part 2. All the comments on Facebook made me want to share a couple brief thoughts on Casey Anthony. Josh is going to be doing a guest post on the trial and results of the Casey Anthony case. His is going to be much more informed than what I am about to say, since he watched the trial from beginning to end, knows folks involved in the case, and has spoken with numerous lawyers and experts regarding the case. But in the meantime I have a couple thoughts.

“If you win this case, justice will prevail, and if you lose justice will also prevail.”

Lucien Wilbanks told this to Jake Brigance in A Time to Kill in the 1996 movie based on a Grisham novel of the same name. Great movie, even better book. It sort of sums up my feelings about the Casey Anthony case. People seem to be falling into two camps. On one side, you have the folks that think the jury was right. There was no proof beyond reasonable doubt, so they were right to acquit. They believe justice was served, because the system worked. Innocent till proven guilty etc. On the other side, you have the folks that are horrified at the verdict, think it was clear that Casey killed her daughter and that the jury is letting her get away with murder. This group thinks that justice was thwarted. I am somewhere in the middle.

First of all, let me just say…I think there was plenty of evidence to convict her of murder. I don’t think any doubt that she was responsible for her daughter’s death is reasonable. Deliberate neglect is enough to establish murder, and the lies to the police, proof she drove with her in the trunk of her car, lack of reporting her missing or call to 911 in the drowning story are enough to prove deliberate neglect regardless of cause of death (drowning, chloroform…it doesn’t matter), and regardless of why she chose to lie. A parent who is proven to lie about the whereabouts of her missing child, drive around with her dead body in her car, not attempt to find her missing or dead child is guilty of deliberately neglecting the child. That is willful murder. A parent who does not attempt to revive her child when she drowns, call 911 or anything…and then lies to cover it up, hides the body and sends the police on a wild goose chase while partying is likewise guilty of deliberate neglect and therefore at least manslaughter, if not murder.

So that’s my perspective, and I think the jury got stuck on the fact that cause of death could not be proven. Cause of death is crucial, but not absolutely necessary to achieve the burden of beyond reasonable doubt.

Having said that, I believe that our system is set up in such a way that jury’s, not experts, decide these matters. And I think that is a good thing. I think the system worked, because 12 people unanimously decided that there was not enough evidence to convict for murder. Regardless of my disagreement with them, the system is a good one and one murderer walking free doesn’t change that.

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Written by Jake Phillips

July 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. A very reasonable response. Two thumbs way up for Joey. And five thumbs down for the jury.

    Jesse P.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm

  2. Well said!

    Phillip Reel

    July 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm


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