Skip to comments.The Not So Obvious Lessons From The Casey Anthony Trial Some things to think about.
Posted on 07/17/2011 1:14:20 PM PDT by Anti-Hillary
Enough articles have been written criticizing the result of the Casey Anthony case. I am not here to do that. While cases such as this can be polarizing, they can also be instructive. After following the case, here are some things I thought stood out as significant, but perhaps were not so obvious.
For a long time now, we in the law enforcement professions have noted and at times feared, what has come to be known as the CSI Effect. What is this? The false expectation that, as in the television series, conclusive and irrefutable evidence will always be found at the crime scene. If life were only so.
As many of my colleagues know, rare is the crime scene where there is a lot of incriminating evidence. Unfortunately, criminals don't roll their fingerprints on surfaces leaving perfect prints - usually all we find are smudges. Many criminals know that bleach destroys DNA evidence as does high humidity and swamp-like conditions. Some rapists now carry prophylactics with them or make victims shower before they leave. Nevertheless, jurors, having witnessed hundreds of hours of CSI type shows, fully expect the evidence to be overwhelming when most cases tried today are in fact circumstantial.
O.J. Revisited: Those Who Don't Learn From the Past Are Doomed to Repeat It O.J. Revisited: Will the Casey Anthony Jury Acquit If They Can't Make It Fit? Did Casey Kill Caylee? How Forensic Psychology Can Help Humanize Evil Deeds Jury Gullibility in Orlando Consequential Conversations, Part III
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By being over reliant on forensic evidence, jurors erroneously reject other kinds of information which should be considered. For instance, in America, the people who most often hurt children are the parents or care givers; similarly spouses or former relations are usually responsible for adult deaths at home. So we don't have to look far. And in these cases, DNA is not an issue because these individuals have, or have had legitimate access to the victim so, unless they cut themselves while committing the crime, DNA is irrelevant. Also, keep in mind that there are many ways to kill without leaving any kind of DNA evidence, especially where the victim is small or can't resist.
When jurors expect forensic evidence to be decisive we find that they become intellectually lazy. Rather than engage the problem for hours by looking at what they have, it is easier for them to say, "We wanted more." In most cases there is enough there, it just has to be worked intellectually. Justice requires that no stone be left unturned, that jurors analyze every fact assiduously. It is intellectual laziness to say there wasn't enough.
In most criminal cases in America there is no need for jury consultants. However, there is a reason why they exist and it is primarily to assist the defense pick the jury that will best help the defense, not jurisprudence. I will repeat: that will best help the defense, not jurisprudence. What this means is that jury consultants (mostly hired by the defense) are there to "game" the system in one direction.
What kind of jurors do jury consultants and thus defense attorneys prefer in homicide cases? Perhaps better not to offend by looking instead at who usually doesn't get selected: College graduates especially those with graduate degrees. The more years you were in college the lower the chance a jury consultant wants you for that jury. Firemen are out as are police officers. They prefer to keep Republicans out and members of the NRA. If you own or have owned several successful companies you won't be selected. If you have a job where you manage a lot of people and need to make difficult decisions everyday, they don't want you and the same goes for human resource officers for large firms.
If you read Scientific American, Nature, Science, The Economist, or International Affairs, you need not worry. I could go on and on. One could argue, perhaps they just don't want to burden these already busy folks? Interesting argument - but it is vacuous. For in fact, as you read the qualities of those that defense wants off the jury, we get a sense for the kinds of folks whom they prefer.
One more thing and this is important, jury consultants don't want leaders on that jury. The Casey Anthony case is just such an example. In this case, the jury was selected from Pinellas County, rather than Orange County (where the trial took place), in order to pick a more unbiased jury. Pinellas County arguably has one of the largest concentrations of retired professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants, military officers) in the country and yet none made the jury.
You never hear of a Captain or a Major or a Colonel (even retirees) serving on a jury where a jury consultant is involved - especially in homicide cases. Here are people accustomed to making command decisions, who know how to think quickly and decisively, but they are weeded out. Why? For the very traits that make them special: they have high situational awareness, they can think and size up individuals quickly, and they know how to lead. Which is why, in the OJ Simpson case, one of the jury voir dire questions was: "Do you seek out positions of leadership? (Please check answer) Always? Often? Seldom? Never?" Incidentally, those who have served as officers most likely also know the distinctive odor of decomposing bodies and how it is different from mere garbage.
Getting back to those they don't like. If you are in a job where you are used to doing high-level cognitive tasks, where decisions require intellectual rigor, they don't want you either. They don't want people who are willing to work hard to connect the dots. Also if you are an independent thinker, no need to worry - people who prefer consensus and harmony will more likely be selected. Obviously no defense attorney or jury consultant is going to get exactly what they want, but they will try. And of course, it only takes on juror to derail a conviction.
It is said that in the Casey Anthony case we should not blame the jurors. I agree - we shouldn't. That is like buying lemmings as pets and then being surprised when they act lemming like. Those jurors were preferred by the defense team for a reason and they performed as expected
I was just thinking. The list of characteristics this agent gave also suspiciously match our current President. I am sure we can find some Congress critters and business people in there too.
Well, the idea is to get jurors with no preconceived notions about the outcome of the case. Unfortunately, this does often translate into jurors with no ideas at all in their heads. Lawyers and judges have a tendency to think of themselves as the smartest people in the room, and this bias shows in jury selection. It looks like the prosecution was too smart for its own good in this case.
(It's also a good reason to vote for businessmen rather than lawyers, given a choice.)
I always thought she might have been drugged during the trial.
Breaking News: Casey Anthony places a call to 911 in fear of her life (Dispatcher) 911,What is your emergency? “Please help me, I have a bunch of people trying to kill me.” Okay ma’am, calm down. What is your name? “Casey Anthony.” Okay Miss Anthony try to stay calm, an officer will be there in 31 days, we are busy right now getting tattoos and partying.....
So true. I feel this article vindicates the public for our feeling regarding a murderer getting off. This is one of the best articles I have read on this case.
I’m certain whatever medication was given was measured doses as important she look reasonably alert. Enough that would temper any outbursts she might otherwise have given.
I heard a report she was very popular with the inmates. So no doubt her “charm” continues to work favorably for her even within a prison system. She’s a master at reading people very quickly and sizing them up...so am not surprised she was supported within the prison system.
Which begs to be answered just how they can rightly determine if or not a juror has preconceived notions, let alone an ability to comprehend the seriousness of the task at hand...and how to arrive at a conclusion.
It doesn't appear to me they had a sense of these nor the ability to arrive at a fair conclusion. Two of the jurors specifically stated judgment of Casey was up to God and not to man, and yet they were selected...who certainly would not have likely given a judgment of guilty though a not guilty vote still would have been a judgment call on their part. But the jury then began deliberations with two already determined they would not vote for a death penalty.
One of Casey’s tricks which is quite obvious is the way she always is doing nice things for people. I believe she does this to deflect any questions asked of her.
Thanks....as you know I have great concerns over how jurors are selected and especially that the lawyers have a great role in that. Common sense says they would do all possible to select those most favorable for their side...even without a guarantee how they would actually vote it does seem quite possible this could be as effective as Gerrymandering is when it’s used for voters.
I have known people such as this who use this tactic as a means of control and manipulation. In Casey's case I believe definately so. She never had money of her own but used others people money to accomplish her plans. So her heart is far from the actual pupose which she does these things.
Exactly. To keep people from questioning what is actually going on with her.
Lawyers and judges have a tendency to think of themselves as the smartest people in the room, and this bias shows in jury selection
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So, is that why I made the defense atty cry that one time? He realized he may not have been the smartest person there?
It is a good concern to have. The longer I work with hubby, the more dismayed I am at our system as it is. But it is still the best there is, even if it doesn’t always work.
That is one heck of a post and I applaud you for it!
You said it!!!! AMEN and AMEN!!!!
I’m shocked that juries are allowed to be asked questions such as are you a Republican? A member of the NRA, etc.
I served on jury duty between 1972 - 1992 (3 times). We were never asked these type of questions. Last time I served, we had a lawyer as a fellow juror and he helped us negotiate the differences of opinion among the jurors.
On some tv program, I heard it said that Baez would joke with the jurors in the morning and that they enjoyed it. Somehow I can’t see Linda Drane-Burdock or Ashton doing that. I wonder if this had some effect on the jury.
BTW, why do we have all these new people coming on talking about the Casey Anthony case? And all believe she is either innocent or that the verdict was just. Not only that, they are sending private messages to some of us (just got another one this morning). I think Mason “Boss Hogg” Cheney is behind this, lol!
Welcome to FR.
I agree with your comments. Totally drives me crazy that so many people (including FReepers who are presumed to be level-headed) are acting like completely emotionally driven liberals on this issue.
No evidence that links Casey to the death of her daughter. Lots of character assassination evidence that she liked to party, but none of that had anything to do with PROVING she was involved in Caylee’s death.
I was surprised that there was little attention given to the assertion of sexual abuse of Casey by George and brother Lee. Notice that the name Caylee is a combination of Casey + Lee. ...Recall how upset Lee was because he wasn’t told about the pregnancy until it was showing and that he wasn’t allowed to be at the hospital when Caylee was born? ........Lee Anthony needs to be more closely investigated, IMO.
I agree the system may be the best there is but it certainly needs some revisions. It would be interesting to know ‘when’ exactly attorneys were given the power to select jurors....also ‘when’ did that selection process slide into the dumpster, rather than selecting those who were competant to those who were not. And sense this seems to be known why haven’t those in the system made an effort to correct it? Course that would be like asking politicians to give up their golden parachutes.
I am still of the mindset that the courts today are not about finding the truth....the “win” is the focus. So the attorneys take center stage rather than the accused...it’s all about them...rather than justice.
Years ago a well respected Judge in my hometown stepped down because he saw that attorneys no longer were interested in discovering the truth..and the antics pulled by most disgusted him. So this has had to be going on for sometime.
There wasn't because the judge basically threw it out. There was no evidence of abuse. Baez presented none. They did test to see who the father was...and proven family memebers were not.
This acussation was simply pulling rabbits out of a the hat. Casey herself gave no evidence of being abused.
As for the trial evidence....obvious some haven't a clue how even circumstantial evidence is enough to convict. There was more than ample evidenc to convict Casey....
The problem was the inability and incompetance of jurors to do the task before them...we have learned such out of their own mouths.
“Theres ample evidence shes the worst mother in history, but none that shes a murderer.”
Ok, then just tell me why the worst mother in history created a scheme to cover up the death of her child?
I think this goes well beyond the Casey Anthony case. The absolutely horrifying thought is that if these people are representative of a lot of people, this country is truly doomed. I see people even on FR sticking up for the jury and for Casey Anthony. They try to wrap it in Constitutional trappings, ignoring the obvious: if these people could not even think well enough to realize the dots WERE, in fact, connected, they are too stupid to figure out what Obama and his minions in the RINO contingent are trying to do to this country. The jury found this monster not guilty; enough of a majority in this country (including many on FR) will most certainly find Obama et al fit to serve another term. This country cannot withstand another four years of this onslaught.
There was enough evidence. If anyone in the jury had listened to the closing arguments, the dots were connected perfectly. The thing is, they had to listen. And, they had to have enough of a brain to reason. I’m not sure either condition was fulfilled.
I think that point was brought up on one of the talking head shows. Someone on the show said they thought she might be on some sort of drug. But do remember that look of rage caught on camera—so if she was drugged, it kind of slipped at that point.
You see similarities to our current president; do you also see similarities between the dumbed down jury and the dumbed down voters? I do. Scares me spitless.
A lawyer in Houston, female, was interviewed and she said she was part of the team that selected the jury. She was pleased with the outcome of the trial and proud of her part. Had I been part of that team I would be embarrassed.
I guess I missed some of the threads—we’ve had a pretty busy weekend—so I wasn’t aware of the newbies. Thankfully, none of them thought it wise to freepmail me. ;)
I heard the same thing about Baez. It does seem evident that the jury liked him better than anyone on the prosecution side. They must have a real taste for sleaze. (Again, the comparison to US voters—suckers for the slick smile and patter.)
Obviously you haven’t followed the case closely, or you’d know that dna tests have already been made, and neither Lee nor George was the father of Caylee. Since you are so far off the mark on that little theory, it’s hard to take anything else you say on the topic seriously.
I was surprised that there was little attention given to the assertion of sexual abuse of Casey by George and brother Lee. Notice that the name Caylee is a combination of Casey + Lee. ...Recall how upset Lee was because he wasnt told about the pregnancy until it was showing and that he wasnt allowed to be at the hospital when Caylee was born? ........Lee Anthony needs to be more closely investigated, IMO.
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Didn’t watch the trial very closely, did you? That was all thrown out and your scenario is ridiculous. The brother was tested and found not to be the father.
Totally drives me crazy that so many people (including FReepers who are presumed to be level-headed) are acting like complete idiot liberals on this issue and believing the defense.
No evidence that links Casey to the death of her daughter.
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Circumstantial evidence is still evidence. And there was a lot more proof other than the partying against her to prove she killed her daughter.
You sound like one of the jurors.
“I wanted more” to borrow foremoron’s words, from this jury. I wanted a respectable length of deliberations. No way could they have gone through even 10% of the evidence. BTW, newbie freepers, like Upchuck not OK, who trolled in just today, are probably part of a pr blitz paid for by guess who.
I am willing to forgive the jurors and offer them a free trip to our local aquarium to view other jelly fish.
The case, from a logical standpoint can be reasoned fairly easily on just one piece of evidence: the unique duct tape. Yes, truthkeeper there is tons of other evidence, but I would convict murder in the first on the tape alone Why? The unique tape boils it down to the 4 Anthony's having access to it. Cindy can be eliminated from her first call_either that or you've got to believe she deserves a sidewalk award in Hollywood.
George can be eliminated based on his actions and testimony. What person would go to the ends of the earth in searching post 7-16?
Truthfully, Lee neither through testimony or actions is that compelling to discount as a possible suspect, but Casey claimed she talked to Caylee and so the only possibility could be that she was covering for Lee.
Again, I'm only dealing with ONE piece of evidence, as well as the demeanor and actions of the rest of the family. If Lee were involved, then Casey in claiming she spoke to the deceased Caylee would be willing to face the death penalty rather than giving up her brother. Right.
I'm forever done with Whorealdo and Hannity on this one, and Levin better allow some rebuttal for his uninformed remarks as well.
I saw the whole trial as I was recovering from broken ribs and various other injuries perpetrated by a sweet looking couple in their mid twenties.
I am willing to forgive the jurors and offer them a free trip to our local aquarium to view other jelly fish.
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That is funny!
The prosecution couldnt prove who committed the murder, or even that it was a murder.
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Yeah, because 3 year olds duct tape their face, wrap themselves in plastic bags, duct tape THAT, then throw themselves in the swamp every day. /sarc
I am so sick of these idiots. No wonder RINOs get elected!
What could have made this case more compelling from the prosecutor’s standpoint is being able to make the Susan Smith analogy that jurors might relate to, even though they don’t understand it. Hopefully some of those imbeciles on the jury would remember Susan Smith having drowned her sons to have a shot at shacking up with the town’s rich kid.
Probing examination of her bf Tony Lazzaro and others might have revealed what those of us who followed all sources of info know—she was desperate to hold on to Tony and he had not allowed, and wouldn’t allow Caylee to even spend one night at his apartment.
Photos of partying just didn’t cut it for motive. And that’s partly because it wasn’t good enough motive. Not that motive is an element of the crime, but try telling that to this jury.
I saw the whole trial as I was recovering from broken ribs and various other injuries by a sweet looking couple in their mid twenties
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Sorry to hear that, accident or deliberate? I hope you are feeling better. I ended up watching the whole trial because I’ve been recovering from emergency abdominal/intestinal surgery.
They were stealing a child’s electric scooter off my property and I ran after them and they used the vehicle to injure me, assault with a deadly weapon.
When caught, they’ll look so sweet and innocent in court I’m not that hopeful for any justice there.
Their vehicle being a half ton pickup 80’s maybe Mazda, with extremely weathered paint and army or olive green color.
Keep pushing it, and keep the cops and DA on it. Also, if the scooter is valued at more than $250 some states will consider that assault during the commission of a felony.
They probably don’t have anything worth filing a civil suit over but it might be worth paying a lawyer to send them a ‘nastygram’.
I am sorry that happened to you. What is this world coming to?
Prayers up for both of you, that you may have the speediest of recoveries!
at bay, honestly, I hope you can nail these jerks. Once I chased some teens down the street, trying to get back my porch swing. They didn’t think to hit me with it, luckily, but since I was on my way to work and expecting rain, I had my umbrella. I caught up with them (in heels no less) and whapped them a couple of times about the head and shoulders with my umbrella, and they dropped the swing. The police later told me I was very lucky I wasn’t the one who got hit with something. So sorry it didn’t work out as well for you!
I caught up with them (in heels no less) and whapped them a couple of times about the head and shoulders with my umbrella, and they dropped the swing.
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THAT is funny! Good for you!
Not reporting your child missing is not proof that you killed her. The prosecution couldn’t even prove how the girl died.
I was referring to the characteristics listed on page 2 of the article. Think it is obvious he nailed the jury.
Do you tell your brain to just stop thinking at some point and/or is it just a natural occurrence?
I think I saw her. I saw an episode of Dr Drew whose guests were people who had family members murdered or were murderers. One of the guests was Andrea Yates ex husband. I was shocked.
Andrea Yates is mentally ill. However, her husband would not help her recover. It was for religious reasons mainly. He was head of his household according to his church and pastor. Her doctors advised her not to have any more children; but he and his pastor overruled that and her medicine was not monitored. I think her insurance ran out too. He was anything but helpful.
Maybe if we ask him nicely he’ll just go away. I could welcome him to the free republic, but I could put a banner on my roof saying “Welcome Home Casey Anthony.” I elect to do neither.
I would point out to Mr. Moronsky that manner of death is not an element of the crime. Cause of death was a homicide as so eloquently and succinctly articulated by the medical examiner.
Yes Andrea Yates is mentally ill and should remain locked up. If she is ever to be sane again she will realize what she did and probably kill herself. Her husband however is unrepentant. He is equally responsible for the deaths of those children and he should go to jail for life.
Originally, the jury was a Saxon counterweight to Norman power. The ancient inhabitants of the British Isles did everything by committee; in fact, the word, “Thing” originally meant the ruling council, a predecessor of Parliament.
The sheriff (shire-reeve) was the “King’s Man” and usually not a local. The jury members were locals, and on the jury specifically for their local knowledge, and ability to judge witnesses accordingly. The sheriff had the power to seize property and persons, but the judgment of the jury was respected to determine guilt and settle disputes.
Nowadays, people are thrown off juries if they know any of the parties in court, in order to avoid malicious judgments. In part, this is inevitable, because the size of communities is so often so much larger than in olden days. It would be very difficult to get a jury with the local wisdom to judge using experience with the parties. On the other hand, anonymity means that all the work of informing the jury falls on the disputing lawyers, which often devolves into mere games-playing.
So, have we outgrown the jury system? Probably, but without a trustworthy alternative, nobody wants to say so.
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