Good Research Paper On The Casey Anthony Case
The Casey Anthony Case
The Casey Anthony case is about the murder of a 2 year old girl, Caylee, by her mother, Casey Anthony (Bello & Welch, 2011). In the year 2011, Caylee’s grandmother had reported to the authorities that her granddaughter was missing. Investigations into the case took place and the search for Caylee began. Throughout all the search process, Casey lied numerous times about the whereabouts of her daughter. Police later found her remains in the dumped in the compound near their house. This prompted the police to take Casey into custody as the first suspect of the murder. Another charge that she was given is the obstruction of justice and lying to the police (Bello & Welch, 2011). The case attracted massive public interest as people in Orlando, where the murder took place called for her imprisonment and justice for Caylee.
The huge interest from the media led to the case being moved to Clearwater, Florida. This was in an attempt to avoid distraction of the jury. In 10th May 2011, the jury selection began (Bello & Welch, 2011). A pool of potential jurors was interviewed and the relation to the case ascertained. Each potential juror’s knowledge on the case was assessed. Any preconceived ideas about the Case Antony case that were held by the potential jurors were also assessed. This assessment was meant to prevent any influence on the decisions made by the jurors, such as the massive call for death penalty to the defendant by the media. The pool of potential jurors was narrowed further as the process took place. Those that had relied on the preconceived ideas of the media were not selected so as to ensure fair administration of justice.
Jury selection in this case was a historical one as the case was to be prolonged. The controversial nature of the case also meant that many parties would have interest on the case making it one of the most historical cases in the United States. Jury sequestration of the Casey Anthony case took 43 days to be completed (Keene 2013). In addition to the many number of days taken to complete the sequestration process, the process took place in a location far from the place where the crime had occurred. In jury sequestration, the potential jurors are profiled from the rest of the world (Keene 2013). They are not given time to attend to their families or interact with them. Access to the outside world is denied such that they are not given access to the internet, mobile phones or even newspapers (Keene 2013).
These measures are taken to ensure that the jurors give the best of their knowledge and that the information they give is not influenced at all. The decisions they are supposed to make is ensured to be solely based on the evidence given by the witnessed in the courts and not based on the notions people have in social and the ever present mainstream media. In the Casey Anthony case, the public interest on the case would have greatly influenced the outcome and the jurors’ decisions. But the sequestration enabled the jurors to give their decisions of the evidence given by the various witnesses like Caylee’s grandmother, forensic experts’ reports and police reports (Keene 2013). However, sequestration of jurors does not seem to be very efficient in ensuring that a fair ruling is given. The jurors in some cases may collaborate and give their decisions uniformly (Keene 2013).
This may be evidenced in the way the jurors give their decisions as compared to the strength of the evidence in court. In this case, the evidence against Case Anthony was so strong, starting from the forensic reports and the motives of the defendants to murder her daughter (Clark 2011). Circumstances like these tend to spur the controversy associated with a case further. The decisions made by the jurors and the verdicts given by the judges are usually inconsistent and contradict with the general public opinion. In various cases, the evidence given may be too strong such that the public would be so certain of a specific outcome. In this case the verdict given was not expected by the public due to the rather straightforward fact that the defendant had actually committed the crime.
Many controversies have been evidenced in this case. The start of the controversies was evidenced during the sequestration process. Several of the potential jurors were given permission to go to their homes and attend to their families. The reason for this was that the families needed attention of these individuals or there were financial issues to be resolved by them (Clark 2011). This was against the rules and regulations set to govern juror sequestration in the US. The general rule to sequestration is that the jurors are not supposed to be exposed to the outside world and that there should be no chances taken that would make them access any information from outside (Keene 2013). The exposure of the jurors in this case meant that their stands would be influenced by other people who had interests in the case.
The judge also allowed evidence on the decomposition of Caylee’s body to be used in the case (Clark 2011). This move was controversial as the as the defense attorneys did not find it relevant in ascertaining the guilt of the defendant. Another key controversy was the fact that the jurors were given a lot of time to stay with the defendant, Casey Anthony. Psychologically, a group of people staying together and separated from the outside world are more likely to give similar opinions on issues (Clark 2011). Agreeing with one another is an easier way to coexist with other people than disagreeing. The jurors being together for many days with the defendant too would make them have other opinions towards the defendant. Their thoughts on the defendant, especially those who have the ability to show emotional distress, can be heavily influenced (Clark 2011).
Staying with the Casey Anthony for many days had probably changed their notion and view on her (Clark 2011). Since she was always showing emotional disturbance and insisting not to be guilty of the murder, the jurors would have probably thought of her as a poor mother who lost her daughter in some mysterious circumstances and is just made to pay the price. The controversy to this is the many number of days that the jurors and the defendant are left to stay together in isolation. Avoidance of this in the case would have led to sober decisions being made by the jurors that do not rely on mere sympathy (Keene 2013). Decisions based on sympathy would not give justice to the parties in the case but just reduce the jurors to mere ‘cheerleaders’ of the defense.
The prosecution to the case did not provide enough evidence to link Casey Antony to the death of her daughter. No traces of fingerprints or DNA samples of the defendant were found on the victim (Clark 2011). According to one juror Ms. Ford, the jurors were not convinced that the defendant had actually murdered her daughter (Clark 2011). The lack of that type of evidence in the case possibly influenced the decision by the jurors that the defendant was not guilty. This was despite traces of the victims DNA and foul decomposition smell emanating from the defendant’s car. The chloroform found in the defendant’s car in addition to the smell should have been reason enough to render her guilty of the crime unless she had good explanations for that. The prosecution was not even able to show the victim’s cause of death. This may have been linked with unprofessionalism of the people handling the case despite its high sensitivity.
The Case Anthony case was shadowed with numerous controversies. The controversies ranged from the jury selection and sequestration process to the verdict given by the jury. However, these may be down to the complicated nature of the case. The defendant could not be directly linked with the murder of the victim, who happens to be her daughter. This is despite the fact that there was foul smell and dangerous chemicals found in the defendant’s car. The juror sequestration may have also influenced the verdict as the jurors were isolated for long periods with the defendant. Unprofessionalism was also a major source of controversy as the forensic experts could not find the course of death of the victim. The overall outcome of this was that Casey Anthony was not guilty for the murder of Caylee but was guilty for obstruction of justice.
Bello, M. & Welch, W.M. (2011). How the Casey Anthony case came apart. Retrieved from, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-07-05-Casey-Anthony-Caylee-Anthony-acquittal-murder-case-Florida_n.htm
Clark, M. (2011). Casey jury brainwash. Retrieved from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/08/casey-anthony-trail-the-sequestered-jury-fell-prey-to-idiotic-groupthink.html
Keene, D. (2013). Jury sequestration: “Not even the Bible is left in your hotel room.” Retrieved from, http://keenetrial.com/blog/2013/06/17/jury-sequestration-not-even-the-bible-is-left-in-your-hotel-room/
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