Case Study: Casey Anthony Trial the Murder

Pages: 3 (1471 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] The defendant's lawyers cast Casey as troubled young woman that had been sexually abused by her father (Times Topics, 2011). This history of sexual abuse encouraged Casey to develop the habit of lying in order to cover up her father's criminal behavior, thus explaining how she reacted to the accidental death of her daughter. Caylee's demise, the defense argued, was the result of an accidental drowning in the pool at the parent's home. Casey was therefore as much a victim of her upbringing as Caylee was.

Three months after the trial George Anthony, Casey's father, suggested on the television show "Dr. Phil" that Caylee may have been the victim of 'chemical babysitting' gone wrong (Lynch, 2011). Her father believed that it was possible that Casey was drugging her daughter so that she could go out and party, but on the same television show Casey's mother, Cindy Anthony, suggested that Caylee died as a result of an accidental drowning and the trauma of the loss caused Casey to try and cover up her daughter's death.

Although Casey never testified at the trial, she was interviewed by two psychiatrist hired by the defense. These experts never gave testimony, but the transcripts were eventually released to the public and thus Casey was finally given a public voice. She related a history of sexual abuse by her father and to a lesser extent by her brother, and therefore was constantly afraid of leaving her daughter alone with her father. On the morning of the 15th or 16th of June 2008, Casey remembered waking up to see her father walking into the bedroom with a dripping wet and lifeless Caylee in his arms and accusing her of homicidal neglect.

If the history of abuse is true then it would likely explain Casey's inability to manage not only her own life effectively, but also the loss of her daughter. The continued close contact with her father and brother would have added to the strain she was under, so her story seems plausible. Unfortunately for the media though, this tale isn't as titillating and thus marketable as that of a mother capable of killing her 2-year-old daughter so that she could return to a life of partying.

Summary

The demonization of Casey by the prosecution is understandable because it is their job to convict criminals based on their reading of the evidence that they've collected. Despite the circumstantial nature of the evidence and the persistent reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors, it seems evident that Casey did attempt to cover up Caylee's death. However, this is still far from sufficient for a conviction on a charge of first degree murder or even manslaughter.

As noted by the legal blogger Naomi Fein, the Casey Anthony case revealed that nothing has changed over the years since other similarly sensational trials had occurred, except that the trial was being discussed in real time on Twitter and other social media formats (Fein, 2011). The news media can always be expected to be biased and finding the truth in media coverage is a hard, if not occasionally impossible, task. Although O.J. Simpson was also demonized in a one dimensional fashion by the media and prosecution, the truth is usually much more mundane. The characters that appear behind the defense table are frequently deeply flawed individuals who made a series of often predictable tragic decisions that led them to their current fate.

References

Alvarez, Lizette. (2011, July 5). Casey Anthony not guilty in slaying of daughter. New York Times. Retrieved 23 Jan. 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/06/us/06casey.html?ref=caseyanthony

Colarossi, Anthony. (2011, Dec. 29). Casey Anthony case consumed Orlando, nation in 2011. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 23 Jan. 2012 from http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/caylee-anthony/os-casey-anthony-year-in-review-20111229,0,4151585.story

Fein, Naomi. (2011, July 8). On the Casey Anderson verdict, from an O.J. Simpson insider. SideBarforPlaintiffs.NaomiFein.net. Retrieved 23 Jan. 2012 from http://sidebarforplaintiffs.naomifein.net/?p=3594

Lohr, David. (n.d.). Timeline of Events: Casey Anthony: Caylee Anthony. June 1 to June 14. Investigation.Discovery.com. Retrieved 23 Jan. 2012 from http://investigation.discovery.com/blogs/criminal-report/casey_anthony_full_coverage/timeline/june9-june14/june9-june14.html

Lynch, Rene. (2011, Sep. 15). George Anthony suggests 'chemical babysitting' killed Caylee. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 Jan. 2012 from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/09/did-caylee-anthony-die-from-chemical-babysitting-gone-wrong.html

Shelter, Brian. (2011, June 12). Casey Anthony coverage gives HLN an identity. New York Times. Retrieved 23 Jan. 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/13/business/media/13hln.html

Times Topics. (2011). Casey Anthony. NYTimes.com. Retrieved 20 Jan. 2012 from http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/a/casey_anthony/index.html [END OF PREVIEW]

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Casey Anthony Trial the Murder.  (2012, January 24).  Retrieved April 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/casey-anthony-trial-murder/3857061

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"Casey Anthony Trial the Murder."  24 January 2012.  Web.  19 April 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/casey-anthony-trial-murder/3857061>.

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"Casey Anthony Trial the Murder."  Essaytown.com.  January 24, 2012.  Accessed April 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/casey-anthony-trial-murder/3857061.