Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So... Casey Anthony...

MILF?  More like BKILF, am I rite?
Like most of the country who isn't Greta Van Susteren, I was surprised by the "not guilty" verdict in Casey Anthony's murder trial.  I found everything about her behavior just screamed guilt, and although the evidence was circumstantial and the dots weren't easy to connect, I figured hey, they put Scott Peterson away with a lot less evidence and behavioral scum-baggery than this, so surely she's gonna fry, whether she's a hot slut or not.  So, yeah, I was shocked when I heard the verdict, and I felt empathy for little Caylee and the fact that her death will basically go unpunished.  To add insult to injury, hearing that Casey was only going to be convicted of a misdemeanor charge of lying to a peace officer was almost laughable if it wasn't so screwed up.  I mean, there's lying to a peace officer "No sir, that's not my bag of weed!" and then there's lying to a peace officer, "I swear, that's the apartment that the imaginary babysitter lives in who I am making up a story about kidnapping my daughter, and here's the business I still work for even though I quit working there months ago, and I'm going to go in there with you while you question them, knowing they will bust me in my lie, but I can't back out now!"  I mean, really?  Lying about who's drugs these are, that I can see being a misdemeanor, but making up a fake person, creating a fake story about her kidnapping your dead daughter and then obstructing every effort by the police to do actual detective work to find out what really happened to your kid every chance you get?  A slap on the wrist and a fine seems a little light for that.  I mean, really, what innocent person does that?

Two in the pink, one kid in the drink!
So, there I was, outraged along with most of the country at the Casey Anthony verdict, and then something very interesting happened.  My quietly brilliant wife, Shannon, made a simple status post on her facebook page that sort of got me thinking about this whole trial in a different way.  She said "I'd rather have a murderer walking the streets than an innocent person in prison."

She's right.  It might not feel right to all the people who think this verdict was a travesty of justice, but it is right.  It's a greater miscarriage of justice for an innocent man to be sentenced to prison or death for a crime he did not commit than for a guilty man to be set free.  It doesn't make it any easier for those who think Casey got away with murder, but then again, what if she really didn't do it?

Consider this op/ed piece from Dr. Keith Ablow, a well-known psychiatrist and current Fox News contributer, which was also brought to my attention by Shannon.  As much as I hate linking anything from Fox News for any reason other than mockery and ridicule, he makes a rather interesting point here.

Ablow brings up a hypothetical scenario that somewhat parallels some of the questions that the defense raised to successfully create reasonable doubt as to Casey's guilt.  Specifically, he talks about a potential situation where George Anthony was a horrible child molester, who sexually abused his daughter her whole life (an accusation that was brought up by the defense), and that, because of this lifetime of traumatic sexual abuse, Casey developed deep-seeded psychological behaviors to control the pain and trauma of this repeated, horrific abuse.  That, when George's attention later turned to her young daughter Caylee and he tried to abuse her, with tragic results, Casey's unnatural coping mechanism kicked into overdrive, set her off into a manic state and caused her to express overwhelming grief, loss and guilt as hyperactive energy, promiscuity and a seemingly inappropriate celebratory behavior pattern.

Now, whether you believe that explanation holds any water or not, it's at least an interesting theory to consider, and most importantly, it is every bit as likely as the story of her being a heartless, selfish murderer that got her convicted in the media before her trial even started.  Considering the lack of essential evidence, namely the actual cause of Caylee's death, it could very well be just as likely that George Anthony killed Caylee while trying to chloroform her so he could molest her as it is likely Casey killed her by trying to knock her out so she could go party.  I mean, if you think about it, the kind of mindset that would cause a young mother to think drugging her child and treating it like an object is ok isn't something that comes naturally.  It's not a behavior pattern common in young mothers.  In fact, the common, natural behavior is one of fierce protectiveness, the "motherly instinct."  Surely it would take a serious distortion of moral and ethical boundaries in Casey Anthony's life to cause her to think drugging her tiny daughter was an acceptable course of action.  Distortions that could, reasonably, have been caused by a lifetime of horrible abuse at the hands of her own father.  Distortions that caused her to justify, rationalize and excuse his horrific sexual and physical abuse because she loved her father and wanted to believe that, somehow, what he was doing was ok, or even that she deserved it for some reason.  Distortions that would cause her to react in the most unexpected way possible to overcompensate for the misery his behavior inflicted upon her.  So, she pretends that she has a great life, that she's happy and "normal" while her father rapes her.  She creates imaginary stories to cover up for the incidents where he abused her so that she doesn't have to admit the truth or suffer the consequences and humiliation of bringing his abuse to light.  Then, when her own daughter falls prey to him, with tragic results, she loses it and goes into super-overcompensation mode, running all over town partying, hooking up, doing everything she can to not think about what has happened, to hope that it's all a bad dream that she will soon wake up from.  Finally, when the police come around asking questions, she does what she's always done, and creates wild, convoluted lies and fantasies to hide the truth, because it's too painful to deal with and she's spent her whole life burying that pain inside of her.

New drinking game, close one eye for every child you killed.
Sound like a bunch of bullshit?  Like something an unscrupulous defense team concocted to try and take the focus off their guilty as sin client and sew the seeds of reasonable doubt?  Sure.  But there's just as much evidence that this potential scenario is true as there is evidence that Casey Anthony absolutely killed her daughter.  Without a cause of death, with so much odd deceptiveness from everyone in the Anthony family, with the strangely adversarial interactions Casey had with her parents after being arrested and put in jail, it's conceivably just as likely that all this behavior was proof of Casey's guilt, her refusal to admit it and her parent's frustration with it as it was evidence of her father's guilt, Casey's frustration with his refusal to admit it and her anger at her mother for being complicit in the cover-up.  Unfortunately, now that the case has been decided, we may never know the truth.  One thing is certain though, people who have been subjected to a lifetime of horrible, traumatic abuse will devise some of the most puzzling and unorthodox ways of dealing with that trauma and pain, it literally can make a sane person crazy, and there's no rhyme or reason behind the actions of a person driven to that extreme.

Nothing brings out the compassion in old men like infanticide.
Now, I'm not saying all this because I believe it.  I don't, in fact.  I think Casey is directly responsible for the death of her daughter.  Whether it was an accident or deliberate, I believe she was involved in it, I believe she actively sought to cover it up and I believe her deceptiveness to investigators and the police was a premeditated act to try and conceal the truth for as long as possible, hoping that time would erase as much damning evidence as possible, or perhaps even ensure Caylee's body was never found at all.  I believe Casey Anthony was guilty of far more than simply "lying to a peace officer", I believe she is directly responsible for Caylee's death.  However, because it cannot be absolutely proven how Caylee died, it cannot be proven what role Casey truly played in her death.  Because it cannot be absolutely determined what Casey's involvement was in Caylee's death, she cannot be sentenced for the crime of murder.  People have said that this verdict sets a horrible precedent, but I disagree.  It actually upholds the most important aspect of our criminal justice system - that every person accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

No matter how badly Casey Anthony came across in her trial.  No matter how despicable and unlikable she was in the eyes of the media and those of us around the country following the trial.  Now matter how evil and heartless she may have appeared to be, under the laws of our justice system, she entered that courtroom an innocent woman.  It wasn't the responsibility of the defense to prove she didn't kill Caylee, it was the responsibility of the prosecution to prove she did.  The burden of proof lies with the state, and when it came right down to it, they couldn't prove - beyond a reasonable doubt - that Casey Anthony was absolutely responsible for her daughter's death.  In fact, they proved it was just as likely her father did it, and for that reason, Casey was found not guilty.  The system didn't fail Caylee, her family did.  The detectives and evidence collectors did.  The prosecution did.  if Casey Anthony got away with murder, it's because the state dropped the ball, not because there's no justice in Florida.  No justice in Florida would have been convicting Casey Anthony of murder without even being able to determine a cause of death, without even being able to draw a direct link between Casey's actions and her daughter's death.  Without being able to irrefutably place Casey at the scene of the crime when it happened.  Are you paying attention, Scott Peterson?

Yep, as much as I hate to admit it, less justice was served in the Scott Peterson trial than in the Casey Anthony trial.  Peterson was convicted on less specific evidence than Casey's prosecution team had.  He was a despicable, unlikable scumbag too, but he was found guilty for it.  Of course, I absolutely believe Peterson murdered his wife, just like I believe Casey killed her daughter - or at the very least was responsible for her death through negligence - but if justice is truly blind, if every accused is innocent until proven guilty, well, they really didn't do a good enough job of absolutely proving, beyond all reasonable doubt, that Scott Peterson didn't kill his wife.  They proved he probably did.  They proved he might have had motive to do it, but they didn't connect the dots directly between his actions and her death.  What did they get him for?  Looking up weather conditions at the body of water where she was found?  Well, they found that Casey's mom looked up chloroform on her computer before Caylee's death - or at least Casey's mom is the one who took credit for it.  Remember, using the George Anthony is a molesting monster theory, he could have looked it up himself and Cindy could have admitted doing it to protect him and further add to the pattern of covering up his actions.  Point being, suspicious activity by itself doesn't prove guilt.  Being a bad person doesn't prove guilt.  Being a promiscuous and unfaithful husband doesn't prove guilt.

So, even though maybe it doesn't feel right to say it, the fact is that if letting Casey Anthony get off for murdering her child is the price to pay for making sure an innocent man doesn't go to prison or get sentenced to death for a murder he didn't commit, then justice was done in that courtroom.  The system did work as it is supposed to.  Next time, the prosecution just needs to do their due diligence a little better and not get complacent by thinking they have an open and shut case.  Don't blame the system, blame the prosecution, who failed in their duty to meet the burden of proof.  It's not a crime to be a selfish bitch, and it's only a misdemeanor to lie to the cops, so you can't convict her of those two things and expect her to do hard time in prison for it.  My wife is absolutely right on this one (just don't tell her I said that).

Here's me, and here's the state of Florida...

1 comment:

  1. If there's anything in the media I view with a more critical and disparaging eye than Fox News... heh, it would be Nancy Grace. That woman is rabid and feeds on this need (at least in America) to demonize and try, every single possibly high profile case in the media. Rabid.

    Great points all around Dave :)