Dumbfounded, With Prejudice
"But I have faith that the jury of seven women and five men will not forget Caylee during their deliberations. The little girl will get justice, of that I am certain."
- From "Justice Didn't Take a Holiday," my blog on July Fourth
When Cheney Mason joined Casey Anthony's defense team in March of 2010, he proclaimed that the day would come when "we will walk out of here with Casey in arm." He was that confident she would be acquitted.
Yeah, right, was the collective reaction to his comment.
The jury Tuesday made a liar out of all of us who doubted him.
- On the count of murder in the first degree: NOT GUILTY
- On the count of aggravated manslaughter: NOT GUILTY
- On the count of aggravated child abuse: NOT GUILTY
Casey was found guilty of four counts of lying to law enforcement officers. Considering she has already spent three years in jail, she could be given credit for time served when Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. announces her sentence on Thursday. That could mean Casey will walk out of the Orange County Courthouse just as Mason predicted, skipping like Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion down the Yellow Brick Road.
How could I have been so wrong about the outcome of this trial?
For nearly seven weeks I sat in the same courtroom as the jurors, yet I now think I must have been watching a completely different trial than them. Was my mind made up about Casey and unable to accept any evidence suggesting she didn't kill Caylee? Was I just too close to the whole rotten saga, having followed it almost from the start, to consider that the evidence against her was not strong enough to yield a conviction?
I can only guess that the jury felt that the State failed to prove Casey killed her child. There was no smoking gun, just a lot of bullet shells and smoke. Maybe they accepted that Caylees death was a homicide, but found reasonable doubt that her mother committed it with premeditation.
In hindsight, the State gambled with the murder one charge, possibly raising the bar too high to win a case based on circumstantial evidence. Yes, the evidence was downright compelling and convincing to you and me and thousands of others who have followed this case, but we weren't on the jury.
In the end, 12 jurors sat in judgment of Casey. They were the only ones who had any say in this matter. What you and I thought and felt about Casey was of no concern to them, and rightfully so. Our system of justice should never be influenced by popular opinion.
Casey is a liar, but she is not a murderer, so sayeth the jury.
How she can be one and not the other given the bizarre circumstances of this case I will never know.
Caylee died a horrible death, and that is all I know for sure about her anymore. About anything else to do with her and her mother I am clueless, so sayeth the jury.
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