Casey Anthony juror: If not for the death penalty, we might have convicted her

posted at 7:49 pm on July 7, 2011 by Allahpundit

The key bit comes at 3:10. I’ve watched it four times and I’m still not sure what she means. To begin with, as far as I’ve always understood, a jury’s not supposed to consider the penalty when deliberating about guilt. The defendant’s guilty or not based on the evidence; you worry about punishment after you answer that question. If she’s saying that her findings of fact would have been different had a nonevidentiary variable been changed, then she’s actually practicing a subtle form of nullification here. I don’t know, maybe Florida law is different. Either way, there’s no way to stop a jury from considering whatever it wants to consider, proper or not.

Could be all she’s saying is that the prospect of death drove home to the jury that this wasn’t a game, that they had to scrutinize the prosecution’s murder narrative with their most skeptical, exacting eye. Okay — but then why’d they acquit her on manslaughter and aggravated child abuse too? Did the jury perhaps mistakenly believe that those crimes also carried the death penalty? A quote from the clip: “If they’d charged her with other things, we probably could have convicted or, you know, got a guilty sentence, but not for death. Not for first degree.” But … they did charge her with other things. The whole reason the prosecution made the lesser included offenses available was to give jurors an alternative in case they found the evidence of malice aforethought shaky or, I guess, in case they got squeamish about capital punishment. Even Alan “The System Worked” Dershowitz admits that “There was sufficient circumstantial evidence from which the jury could have inferred homicide.” If this juror’s saying that they were inclined to send her to prison had death not been on the table, well, they could have taken death off the table themselves and sent her to prison anyway.

Or maybe, just to make this extra bizarre, she’s suggesting that had the prosecution sought life in prison instead of death, they might have actually convicted her of first-degree murder. In other words, when she says “charged her with other things,” she’s referring to alternate penalties for murder one, not alternate charges. If that’s what she’s saying then my mind is completely blown because the whole narrative that’s been spun thus far — including by this juror — is that there simply wasn’t enough hard evidence to convict Anthony of anything. And in fairness, that’s true of the murder charge: Without evidence that Anthony deliberately killed the baby, there’s really no way to get her on that. But then, during the death penalty question here, Ford seems to turn around and say no, they might have nailed her even on the big charge had lethal injection not been in the mix. Astounding.

I don’t know what the answer is, but oh well. America’s sweetheart will be a free woman next Wednesday thanks to time served, hopefully to embark on a bella vita of media-derived wealth, bitchin’ parties, and lots and lots of civil-suit defenses filed by the endless number of people she’s wronged. One further thought on last night’s post, too: Wasn’t Anthony’s biggest asset in the trial the fact that she was sui generis as a defendant? I gave you a hypothetical last night about a pervert who stumbles upon a body in the woods; applying a rigorous standard of reasonable doubt, that guy should be acquitted at trial too. But in reality, there’s not a jury in America who wouldn’t convict him. He’s too close to the template we all have of how Ted-Bundy-types operate — abduction, sexual assault, murder, and then disposal of the victim in a secluded area. Given how vivid that template is, no one’s going to believe an alternate version of how a male suspect might end up in the woods with a woman’s remains with evidence of a sexual act committed. The risk of letting him back into society is simply too high even though there’s not a shred of hard evidence that he committed any violence against the victim. In Anthony’s case, though, there’s no template. Some mothers do murder their kids, but the template there usually involves some sort of depression/desperation and almost always plays out with mom trying to cover her tracks by publicly begging the phantom suspect who supposedly abducted her kids to bring them back unharmed. Even the bad moms strain to look like good moms — but not Casey. You got none of that with her. The kid disappeared, she said nothing about it to anyone, and then she partied for a month as if nothing had happened. How do you read a psychology like that? How can you rule an accident in or out when you’re grappling with behavior that would be unfathomable even to other child murderers?

Speaking of which, if you’re looking to channel your fury, you might consider signing the petition to enact “Caylee’s Law,” which would make it a federal crime for a parent not to report a missing child in a timely manner. I’d much prefer that that be done at the individual state level, and there’s obviously a debate to be had about what is or isn’t “timely,” but now that we’ve got a template by which horribly callous parents go free in part because they’re horribly callous, we might want to throw up an obstacle. Fun fact: Noted liberal law professor Laurence Tribe thinks Caylee’s Law would be unconstitutional at the federal level because there’s no power to pass it under … the Commerce Clause. Which is the first and last time you’ll ever hear a liberal say that about the CC.

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It appears C. Anthony really did have a jury of her peers, all dim bulbs like her!

GFW on July 8, 2011 at 7:01 AM

We kept Algore outta the WH. What did your state do?

Lanceman on July 7, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Sorry, but his losing Tennessee kept him out of the WH. If he’d won here, there would have been no recount in FL.

ladyingray on July 8, 2011 at 7:01 AM

I’ve served on a jury and it’s really amazing how one strong person can sway others…

…and how some people will vote to convict because they think the defendent did commit the crime at some point in time, despite the lack of evidence for the charges before them.

Jury duty sucks. I’ll never serve again.

ladyingray on July 8, 2011 at 7:03 AM

I was of the “idiot jury” opinion until I saw her interview with Greta last night.

She made it clear that they considered the evidence as presented at the trial (without the benefit we had of all of the talking heads interpreting it for us).

Then, they applied the evidence to each of the charges listed and couldn’t find her guilty of any of them.

I got the impression she knew in her gut Casey was guilty of something, but a gut feel was not enough.

BacaDog on July 8, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Maybe we need to have robot jurys.

Count to 10 on July 8, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Whew! This verdict is such a relief. I am so happy to hear it. I’ve been driving around with all these dead bodies in my trunk for, like, a month, and I was all worried that people would think I killed those people! Just because they are dead and in my trunk doesn’t mean I was the one who killed them! Sheesh.

You know what it’s like; you pop your trunk and BAM! There is another dead body in there. How am I supposed to know where they keep coming from? I am sure they all died accidentally, and everything. But dealing with the cops is such a hassle; I am going to dump them all in the woods just to be safe.

It’s good to know the system works!

/ definitely don’t want to forget the sarc tag on this post!

bitsy on July 8, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Stupidity redefined.

Corky on July 8, 2011 at 9:02 AM

She’s letting herself off the hook, since the jury has learned of the protests about the verdict, and wants the blame for her not being convicted placed on the prosecutor. A lot of the talking heads and experts have pushed the idea that the state over reached in the charge of 1st degree with the death penalty. If only they had charged to a lesser charge then they might have won. No comment from the baby who seems to have been forgotten in all this.

Kissmygrits on July 8, 2011 at 9:04 AM

This clearly shows how low the gene pool for jurors has gotten…They should, at least, have the I.Q. of a moron or even imbecile to qualify…

theaddora on July 8, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Lemme’ open up a can o’worms…

In a perfect world, Casey Anthony would have been waterboarded, and MADE to confess.

Then, in a court of law, there’d be no doubt as to her guilt.

And, we’d all be as happy as clams in mud,

wouldn’t we?

franksalterego on July 8, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Of what use is the jury then? Why not just the judge?

Lanceman on July 8, 2011 at 12:14 AM

Geez, and what’s going to happen when the National Jurors Association doesn’t like the peanuts they’re getting paid?

Gang-of-One on July 8, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Sorry, but his losing Tennessee kept him out of the WH. If he’d won here, there would have been no recount in FL.

ladyingray on July 8, 2011 at 7:01 AM

Quiet,you!

Lanceman on July 8, 2011 at 10:48 AM

From what I understand, very few of the jurists actually took any notes during the trial, for the final arguments, or for the instructions. They didn’t even ask to review any of the evidence during deliberation. For jurists to claim that there wasn’t enough evidence and they were putting there emotions aside, they certainly gave no indication that any of the evidence mattered at all (even the evidence presented by the Defense). If this jurist is telling the truth, she put her negative feelings about the death penalty over any of evidence pointing to a lesser charge. Yes, I will also have to agree with Dennis Miller; Anthony was judged by a jury of her peers.

Vera71 on July 8, 2011 at 11:16 AM

The death penalty should only be used when there is no doubt whatsoever.

Casey Anthony should be in prison or a mental hospital for life, but I don’t know that I could be responsible for her death without detailed proof of what happened on the day the child died. They didn’t have that, and apparently there was no middle ground for the jury, it was guilty of a capital crime or no crime at all.

The prosecution over played their hand. The Prosection could not even say for sure the little girl’s death wasn’t some kind of accident and that the mother then went totally bonkers after the fact!!!

Casey obiviously has mental issues. Did that happen before or after her child died from unknown causes?

I think the Prosecution has mental issues as well to go for the death penalty! Casey was guilty of something really bad, maybe murder, maybe manslaughter, but maybe just going off the deep-end after an accident. She obviously lost her marbles at some point.

Exactly what Casey Anthony did to cause the actual death was not proved. Therefore, this should not have been a capital case, and if it had been charged right, Casey Anthony would be gone from society for life.

petunia on July 8, 2011 at 11:45 AM

As to Ed’s point about the penalty not being part of the deliberations is probably techniquely true. But, the penalty is specifically part of the charge.

She was charged with captial murder… that a child died under suspicious circumstances was proved. But, you need more for a capital crime, which it the most agerigious crime in our society.

All the elements that go into a purposeful, malicious capital worthy murder were not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. A capital crime has a much higher burden of proof than say, manslaughter.

This case was lost in the charge.

petunia on July 8, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Time: a year from now.
Place: a really loud party somewhere.
“Casey, meet Joram van der Sloot. I’m sure you two will have a lot to talk about.”

Jurors seem to have very little stomach for justice, especially when the defendant is not a white male. As to the juror’s claim that awe of the death penalty swayed them into acquitting, then why didn’t they bring in a guilty verdict to aggravated manslaughter? This makes no sense. No sense at all.

And the process of jury selection works to eliminate intelligent, informed people, people of firm convictions (sad pun) from the jury. You get the most dumbest, most ignorant, pliable people.

The defense attorneys usually look like the A-team, and the prosecutors the B-team.

etaoinshrdlu on July 8, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I’m not about to buy into this “Those jurors gave their time and we should respect their decision…”

Hogwash. They couldn’t grasp the difference between “reasonable doubt” and “every conceivable scenario”.

I hope they experience sleepless nights. I know I have. Poor, sweet Caylee.

Grace_is_sufficient on July 8, 2011 at 1:58 PM

“This clearly shows how low the gene pool for jurors has gotten…They should, at least, have the I.Q. of a moron or even imbecile to qualify…

theaddora on July 8, 2011 at 9:44 AM”

Geez, what’s with all these people insulting the jury. There are plenty of talking heads out there, many of whom likely have IQs above Theaddora’s, who say the jury came to the correct conclusion based on the totality of the evidence presented at trial. So, it appears that there are reasonable people out there on both sides of the issue of whether or not the jury came to the right conclusion based upon what was presented to it. It also seems that there are a bunch of unreasonable folks out there, and they are all in the camp that thinks the jury’s decision was wrong. (For the logic impaired, the last sentence does NOT mean that all people who think the jury reached the wrong conclusion are unreasonable.)

Ira on July 8, 2011 at 6:44 PM

(For the logic impaired, the last sentence does NOT mean that all people who think the jury reached the wrong conclusion are unreasonable.)

Ira on July 8, 2011 at 6:44 PM

How do you differentiate between the reasonable and unreasonable “folks” (Pharoah Obama’s favorite word) who came to the decision that the jury reached the wrong conclusion? Do you have a magic formula or is it based on the perceived political persuasion of the person in question?

theaddora on July 8, 2011 at 9:29 PM

All the elements that go into a purposeful, malicious capital worthy murder were not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. A capital crime has a much higher burden of proof than say, manslaughter.

Don’t know where you got your law degree but any jury conviction of a crime requires “Beyond a REASONABLE doubt”.

We know 2 year old Caylee didn’t commit suicide and didn’t die of natural causes. We know that Casey and Cindy argued about Casey’s partying and leaving Caylee; the same day Casey left and Caylee was never seen alive again.

We also know that reasonable people do not LIE and PARTY when their daughter has disappeared. We know that Casey searched about Chloroform on the Anthony computer. It was proved that Cindy LIED and was at work when the search was made. We know that Casey’s car trunk smelled “like a dead body” according to both Cindy and experts. We know that Caylee’s skull was found with duct tape on the mouth and nose. Yet dodo Juror #3 says chloroform and duct tape don’t exist for her because she just can’t picture the whole story. She needs to know exactly where Caylee was when she was chloroformed and duct taped (in public? in the car seat?).

We all would love for every crime to be tied up in a neat package for us with still pictures and unaltered videos, but unfortunately – that’s simply not life.

Call me a talking head but it sure appears that I paid a lot more attention to the evidence than the jury. There is only one REASONABLE conclusion when someone argues about taking care of their child, disappears, lies, searches for chloroform, borrows a shovel, their car smells like a “dead body”, traces of chloroform are found in the trunk liner, lies and lies and lies and then goes off a parties. Casey murdered her child.

katablog.com on July 8, 2011 at 11:53 PM

A lot of the talking heads and experts have pushed the idea that the state over reached in the charge of 1st degree with the death penalty. If only they had charged to a lesser charge then they might have won.

Kissmygrits on July 8, 2011 at 9:04 AM

The beer is making it difficult for me to discern your point…or is it someone else’s point that you are paraphrasing? You do know that the jury had three separate charges that they ruled on, right? 1st degree murder, manslaughter*, and aggravated child abuse**…?

(** These lesser charges would be the “lesser charges” that you seek)

This would seem to address the question in a most direct manner.

Jaibones on July 9, 2011 at 12:22 AM

. Casey murdered her child.

katablog.com on July 8, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Once again for yet another know it all fool:

No possibility it could have been an accident. It HAD to be murder.

Lousy myopic fool. Unable to comprehend anything but the hatred of a dumbass girl you don’t know concerning a case you have zero vested interest in, nor were a juror on.

Lanceman on July 9, 2011 at 2:36 AM

If this is any indication, this is 12 reason the USA is freakin’ DOOMED.

tx2654 on July 9, 2011 at 3:28 AM

Once again for yet another know it all fool:

No possibility it could have been an accident. It HAD to be murder.

Lousy myopic fool. Unable to comprehend anything but the hatred of a dumbass girl you don’t know concerning a case you have zero vested interest in, nor were a juror on.

Lanceman on July 9, 2011 at 2:36 AM

I love all the people who have come out and seem to claim that others aren’t allowed to have an opinion based on the evidence presented. I guess we are all fools and you are a morally righteous paragon of something or other.

Monkeytoe on July 9, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Monkeytoe on July 9, 2011 at 11:07 AM

LOL you hit the jackpot here. Lanceman is on God’s right-hand side, and don’t you ever forget it!

Hypocrites like Lanceman think it’s ok to have whatever opinion you want about Casey’s guilt, as long as you agree with their opinion. If you don’t, it’s either because you are acting like an idiot, or because you are an idiot – Allah forbid that you think the same about any jury member however!

Of course, Lanceman types are the ones who also claim to be persecuted by those who disagree with them, even if those who disagree with them say nothing more than “I believe Casey’s guilty beyond a resonable doubt.” People who have inferiority complexes like Lanceman are not psychologically mysterious at all.

Bizarro No. 1 on July 9, 2011 at 1:23 PM

I guess we are all fools and you are a morally righteous paragon of something or other.

Monkeytoe on July 9, 2011 at 11:07 AM

He’s a paragon allright…one that should be wearing a 10-foot dunce cap.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 10, 2011 at 10:20 PM

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