The Casey Anthony Verdict: Jurors Did the Right Thing

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by William L. Anderson: The
New York Times' Broken Record: Whoops! We Rushed to Judgment, but
the Charges Are Not True!



Nancy Grace
is livid. She had been shilling for months for a conviction of Casey
Anthony for allegedly murdering her two-year-old daughter, Caylee,
and now the jury has
acquitted Anthony of murder charges
. What’s a gal like Nasty
Nancy to do?

Perhaps the
first thing that Nasty Nancy should do is to read the laws of this
country, and learn the standards that supposedly exist for conviction.
Even though Nasty Nancy’s standards for conviction are simple —
an accusation automatically means one is guilty — the legal standard
actually is “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

(One must remember
that Nasty
Nancy during the Duke Lacrosse Case
, in which she automatically
declared the lacrosse players guilty of gang rape, actually tried
to claim that the legal presumption of innocence was a creation
of Hitler’s Germany. I’m serious.)

During the
trial of Casey Anthony, the prosecution managed to establish what
people already knew:

  • The skeletal
    remains found were those of Caylee and there was duct tape sticking
    to her skull;

  • Casey lied
    to the police about a number of things;
  • Casey denied
    murdering her daughter;
  • Casey was
    not a person of the highest character.

Some of those
things are damning indictments if a woman applies for the Mother
of the Year Award or is trying to be a role model to young women.
I would hope that none of my daughters turns out to be like Casey

However, having
a bad character does not mean one is a murderer. If that were so,
then Washington, D.C., would be the murder capital of the world.
(Come to think of it, not long ago, D.C. WAS the murder capital
of the world, and it is true that bad character abounds in that
city. Nonetheless, my original point stands.)

Seizing on
the duct tape, prosecutors then claimed that Casey smothered her
child with it in order to get rid of her so that she could be a
Big Party Animal. The problem was that they had no idea if the child
were smothered with duct tape or not, none. They
were engaging in conjecture
, and any jury that takes its job
seriously is not going to convict on the basis of a pretty loose

Now, had Casey’s
DNA been found on the duct tape, that might have demonstrated a
connection to the prosecution’s narrative, but, alas, they found
nothing of the sort. What they had was a little girl’s skeletal
remains and a mother of less-than-savory character.

the end, the jury did convict Casey Anthony of the obvious: she
lied to the police. The crimes are misdemeanors, and the maximum
she could get if the sentences for each of the four counts are run
consecutively is four years, and she already has been jailed for
three. Thus, whatever time she will spend in jail almost is over.

I predict that
in the coming days, Nasty Nancy will be hounding the jurors and
doing everything but demanding that lynch mobs burn down the jurors’
houses. Certainly, the Usual Suspects in the media will denounce
what they see as a wrongful acquittal.

Yet, what I
see is a jury that did its job. Prosecutors demanded that jurors
engage in speculation, and the jurors refused to do that, and I
applaud them for their integrity. Maybe Casey Anthony did murder
her daughter, but the prosecution never proved it, and jurors are
supposed to acquit when that happens. And it happened.

7, 2011

L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him
], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland,
and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig
von Mises Institute
. He
also is a consultant with American Economic Services. Visit
his blog.

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