COMMENTARY | A Florida jury Tuesday found Casey Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her daughter Caylee. Anthony stood accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter then willfully misleading police during their efforts to locate the girl, who was still believed to be only missing at the time. Casey was found guilty on just four counts of providing false information to police. While Casey was all smiles after the day’s proceedings were over, her sentence is not the victory she thinks it is.
The verdict in this case does not excuse the horrific actions taken by a woman who professes to love her daughter. Casey let an entire month go by before even admitting that the child was missing. When the little girl’s grandparents realized that no one had seen the toddler in nearly a month, they called the police. Casey then told police the little girl had been kidnapped by a babysitter, which later turned out to be a lie, according to the Associated Press. How was the jury able to overlook the fact that the mother of a 2-year-old made no attempt to locate the girl? Innocent parents call the police the second their child is missing.
Anthony’s defense team provided an alternate theory to the crime at trial; Caylee had drowned in the family pool, reports Reuters. The defense further alleged that the child’s grandfather helped conceal the body.
Several questions should have popped into the jury’s mind at that point. If she had drowned, why was duct tape found on the child’s decomposed body? A dead child cannot scream and cannot be suffocated. The defense suggested that the duct tape was part of the plan to make the death look like a murder, which may be the most ridiculous thing said during the entire trial. Why would the Anthony family need to conceal the body if it was an accidental death? Why didn’t they rush her to the hospital in the hopes of reviving her? No parent would choose to have her child’s body decomposing in a field instead of having a proper burial.
Then there is the subject of Casey’s activities during the time that Caylee had allegedly been kidnapped. She was spotted out at night clubs, even taking part in a “hard body” contest at one. She frequently stayed the night at her boyfriend’s house without ever having mentioned that her daughter was missing. These are hardly the behaviors of a parent distraught over not knowing whether her child is dead or alive. She behaved as if she never had a daughter to be worried about. Somehow, the jury was able to overlook Anthony’s lack of emotion and concern during the time that young Caylee was unaccounted for.
A “not guilty” does not mean the same thing as innocent. Reuters quoted Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, as saying, “Casey did not murder Caylee, it’s that simple,” after the verdict was read. The jury did not conclude Casey did not murder her little girl; only that there was room for reasonable doubt when looking at the prosecution’s case.
Given the facts of the case as presented at trial, it is still possible that Caylee was a victim of her mother’s selfish and juvenile behavior. The truth is, we will never know what agony the girl suffered in the last moments of her life, or who caused them. What we do know is that the person who is responsible will never be held accountable for the heinous crime.
Kyle Hightower ” Casey Anthony acquitted of killing daughter ” Associated Press
Barbara Liston ” Casey Anthony found not guilty of murder of daughter ” Reuters
Associated Press ” Ex-roommates of Casey Anthony boyfriend testify ” FoxNews