Here we are a couple of weeks after the verdict was read in the case of The State of Florida vs. Casey Marie Anthony and I have to tell you the more I research this jury from Pennillas County Florida the more I am frustrated. This not a time for name calling, it’s a time for understanding/
More than logic has suffered here. Originally conceived, juries were to be a kind of safety valve, a way to soften the bureaucratic right of the judicial system by introducing the common sense of the community.
It is the jury that judges the validity of the law, its intent, and the guilt or innocence of the accused. A juror has the responsibility to vote his/her convictions, no matter what the other jurors vote. Frequently we hear of a jury’s vote which is not unanimous when the first polling is conducted. No different in this case where the vote was 10 to 2 for acquittal. Eventually, however, all jurors finally yield to persuasion or to the pressure to support the jurors who are the strongest or most numerous voices in the group. With that said it’s no wonder this panel of 12 came back in less than 11 hours.
I feel after listening to the jurors who spoke, each juror’s vote of guilty or not guilty was not respected by other members of the jury. And, to yield one’s own conviction to the pressure of the majority is to fail in one’s God-given and legally required responsibility as a juror.
Jennifer Ford, who is a 32-year-old nursing student, says the jury had “a lot of conflicting ideas” about whether Casey killed her daughter. The first vote was 10-2 for not guilty. In the case of U.S. vs. Dougherty it was stated that, the jury has an un-reviewable and un-reversible power . . . to acquit in disregard of the instructions of the law given by trial judge. So I have to ask myself, did this panel of 12 and 5 alternates have an understanding of this and exercise their power and acquit Casey Anthony by putting aside the instruction of law given to them by the Honorable Belvin Perry?
It is almost certain that a majority of jurors who accept jury duty have no understanding of these principles; and without understanding of them there is no likelihood that they are going to exercise this responsibility in the jury deliberation. The fact remains a jury is supposed to decide the facts.
The courts will not permit the defendants or their counsel to inform the jurors of their true power. However did Jose Beaz do exactly this indirectly during his closing arguments? A lawyer who made Hamilton’s argument would face professional discipline and charges of contempt of court.
With all the frenzy about this verdict you would think the jury members that did speak would have given some insight as to how or why they voted to acquit Casey Anthony. Trust me, in this court of public opinion, the public has been very direct and to the point. The foreman spoke and Juror #3 spoke along with one of the alternates. It’s not like I, or the rest of the stunned people, are looking for a revelation just a reasonable explanation as to how they did not find Casey responsible for the well being of her daughter.
They all spoke about how evasive George Anthony was, and yet all this panel can say is the evidence was not conclusive. They didn’t trust George Anthony, they feel he lied, excused Cindy for her possible indiscretions because she was distraught and on medication.
“We the people” the fact is, I feel this panel of 12 and 5 alternates did not represent the public who were and still are so outraged and who want answers for a verdict they would never have agreed to. Like I said before, sitting as a juror comes with great responsibility.
Did this panel of 12 demonstrate that individuals serving were especially susceptible to the powerful currents of group influence? After all, the first vote was 10 to 2. Jennifer Ford, Juror #3 said it was easier to accept the theory of an accidental drowning than it was to believe Casey Anthony killed her daughter. Accepting this easy way out with no facts to support this theory tells me this panel abused their power.
Juror #3 now known as Jennifer Ford, a 32 year old student nurse, sat with Terry Moran from ABC in an exclusive interview. Personally I found this juror to have a condescending attitude and was very evasive with her answers. Let me share with you her interview
Terry Moran (Q): Why did you and the other jurors acquit Casey Anthony of murdering her daughter?
Jennifer Ford (A): Um, there wasn’t enough evidence, there wasn’t anything strong enough to say exactly I don’t think anyone in America could tell us exactly how she died. If you put even just the 12 jurors in one room with a piece of paper write down how Caylee died, nobody knows, we’d all be guessing.
Terry Moran (Q): So it’s cause of death that was the problem?
Jennifer Ford (A): How can you punish someone for something if you don’t know what they did?
Terry Moran (Q): The prosecution wasn’t able to give you a solid enough picture of how Caylee died?
Jennifer Ford (A): You see that picture? I have no idea of what, like — they didn’t even paint a picture for me to consider.
Terry Moran (Q): You think that this might have been an accident? That she might have drowned in the pool, you believe the defense on that?
Jennifer Ford (A): I’m not saying that, I’m saying, it’s a lot easier to get to that conclusion. I can walk from here to there and make it happen, but the chloroform, I’m all over the place I have no idea, I’m in a maze I don’t know where I’m at.
This is only the beginning of Juror #3’s interview and when asked (The prosecution wasn’t able to give you a solid enough picture of how Caylee died?) she chuckles and says “you see a picture?” And just before that when she was asked (So it’s cause of death that was the problem?) Juror #3 responds with “How can you punish someone for something if you don’t know what they did?”
Then when asked (You think that this might have been accident? That she might have drown in the pool, you believe the defense on that?) Juror # 3 replies with (“I’m not saying that, I’m saying, it’s a lot easier to get to that conclusion. I can walk from here to there and make it happen, but the chloroform, I’m all over the place I have no idea, I’m in a maze I don’t know where I’m at.”)
I’m going to try and break this down so that even I can get a better understanding of what she is saying because, so far, what I see and hear is a juror who did not pay attention during the trial and did not pay attention to the instructions that were given to her. My logic is as follows: when Juror #3 says the drowning was the easier conclusion to get to, this tells me she was looking to end her jury service and take the easy way out.
In the instructions given to the jury by the Hon. Belvin Perry, page 3 of 26 to be exact, reads
§ 782.02, Fla. Stat.
The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if necessarily done while
resisting an attempt to murder or commit a felony upon the defendant, or to commit a felony in any dwelling house in which the defendant was at the time of the killing.
§ 782.03, Fla. Stat.
The killing of a human being is excusable, and therefore lawful, under any one of the
following three circumstances:
- When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by
lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent, or
- When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any
sudden and sufficient provocation, or
- When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune resulting from a sudden
combat, if a dangerous weapon is not used and the killing is not done in a cruel or
I now instruct you on the circumstances that must be proved before Casey Marie Anthony
may be found guilty of Murder in the First Degree, Aggravated Child Abuse, Aggravated
Manslaughter of a Child, and four counts of Providing False Information to a Law Enforcement
Officer or any lesser included crime.
After reading this portion of the instruction why then, if they thought she was guilty of something but they didn’t know what, why not vote “Excusable Homicide”, after all juror #3 did say it was easier to come to the conclusion of an accidental drowning? Did this jury read their instruction or did they exercise their power and set the instructions aside?
When I say that Ms. Ford was evasive, I am talking about how she would answer questions with questions, avoiding an issue: not giving a direct answer to a direct question, usually in order to conceal the truth. Example: when asked if cause of death was the issue Ms. Ford responded with (“How can you punish someone for something if you don’t know what they did?”)
Answer: Through testimony, it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony was Caylee Marie’s mother. It was also proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Caylee Marie is dead. Now let’s for a moment, go with the theory of an accidental drowning because, like Ms. Ford said, it was the easy conclusion for her to get to. Why then did they not find Casey Anthony guilty of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child?
Pages 7 & 8 of the Jury instructions explains
AGGRAVATED MANSLAUGHTER OF A CHILD
§ 782.07, Fla. Stat.
To prove the crime of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- Caylee Marie Anthony is dead. (Autopsy proved this)
- Casey Marie Anthony’s act(s) caused the death of Caylee Marie Anthony.
(At the time of allege drowning, no record of a 911 call for help proved this)
The death of Caylee Marie Anthony was caused by the culpable negligence of Casey
I will now define “culpable negligence” for you. Each of us has a duty to act reasonably
toward others. If there is a violation of that duty, without any conscious intention to harm, that
violation is negligence. But culpable negligence is more than a failure to use ordinary care toward
others. In order for negligence to be culpable, it must be gross and flagrant. Culpable negligence is
a course of conduct showing reckless disregard of human life, (No record of a 911 call by Casey Anthony proved this beyond a reasonable doubt) or of the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects, or such an entire want of care as to raise a presumption of a conscious
indifference to consequences, or which shows wantonness or recklessness, or a grossly careless
disregard of the safety and welfare of the public, or such an indifference to the rights of others as is
equivalent to an intentional violation of such rights.
The negligent act or omission must have been committed with an utter disregard for the safety of others. Culpable negligence is consciously doing an act or following a course of conduct that the defendant must have known, or reasonably should have known, was likely to cause death or great bodily injury. (This was also proven when no 911 call was made for help and the fact that Casey did not report her daughter missing for 31 days)
If you find the defendant guilty of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child, you must then
determine whether the State has further proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Caylee Marie Anthony was a child whose death was caused by the neglect of Casey Marie Anthony, a caregiver.
“Child” means any person under the age of 18 years. (Proven through birth records)
“Caregiver” means a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare. (Proven through testimony.)
“Neglect of a child” means:
A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services
necessary to maintain a child’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would
consider essential for the well-being of the child;
Repeated conduct or a single incident or omission by a caregiver that results in, or could
reasonably be expected to result in, a substantial risk of death of a child may be considered in
determining neglect. (Again, proven beyond a reasonable doubt with no record of a 911 call made for help by Caylee Marie’s mother.)
Again I just have to wonder did they read their instructions or did they just set the instructions aside? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Then again, maybe I am wrong. The one that makes me the most frustrated is the question to Ms Ford (The prosecution wasn’t able to give you a solid enough picture of how Caylee died?) What was she laughing about? Asking Terry Moran, do you see a picture? Avoiding an issue: not giving a direct answer to a direct question, was this to conceal the truth about the jury members from Pennillas County? Did their hardships cause them to look for the easy way out?
Answer to your question Jennifer Ford: here is your picture.
Caylee Marie was last seen with Casey Anthony at 12:50 p.m. as she was leaving her parents home to allegedly go to work, a job we know does not exist. Casey told her father George that she and Caylee would be spending the night with a baby sitter. A baby sitter we know does not exist. Cell phone records indicate that Casey left the area of her parent’s home about 4:00 PM. This evidence came out during witness testimony.
From 12:50 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., 3 hrs and 10 minutes, cell phone records showed that Casey Anthony was in the area of her parent’s home, testimony established Casey Anthony left her parents home with Caylee in the Pontiac Sunfire, what happened to Caylee Marie? Evidence clearly shows that Caylee was with her mother Casey and that Casey had exclusive possession of the car.
(Reasonable doubt theory: Caylee Marie accidentally drowned in the family pool) Grandfather, George Anthony covered the accident up. ABSOLUTELY no evidence (No, DNA, No toxicology, No trace, No testimony, nothing) established even the remote possibility of this theory.
Is the accidental drowning reasonable doubt? No
Is Aggravated Manslaughter of a child reasonable? Yes (pages 7 & 8 of Jury instructions.)
“If” Caylee Marie accidentally drowned in the family pool as the defense alleges. Casey Anthony, Caylee’s mother had a duty to act reasonably toward Caylee and call 911 to get her help. Casey Anthony’s course of conduct showed a reckless disregard toward Caylee’s life. Duck Tape anywhere over Caylee’s mouth at the time her remains were found. Wrapped in two garbage bag and then in an industrial laundry bag before her body was dumped in a swampy area
This child was not reported missing for 31 days, no record of any 911 call for help for alleged accidental drowning
Let’s continue with Jennifer Ford’s interview.
Terry Moran Q: when you all went to deliberate this case were you all unanimous from the start?
Juror #3 A: “no, oh no!”
Terry Moran Q: Really?
Juror #3 A: There were a lot of conflicting um ideas. And some people were like you know I feel like she did but there not enough to substantiate and some people were like no she didn’t do it like they have nothing, they have nothing for me to even have any idea of what happened.
I find these answers unsettling to the respect that again she avoids the truth. Because from the very first vote, this jury was already close to a unanimous verdict of acquittal – at least as to murder: ten to two for not guilty. So what were the “Conflicting ideas?” In my book, and again maybe it’s me but 2 is not a lot. This close to acquittal at such an early stage in the deliberation just shows me again and again how this jury’s lack of interest in justice + hardship suede them to find and fastest way out.
Terry Moran Q: There are people who said you only deliberated10 or 11 hours and that shows you weren’t serious?
Juror #3 A: That’s speculation and you know what? Speculation is not fact, um we had a lot of discussions we started to look through stuff but none of it, how did she die? If your going to charge someone with murder don’t you have to know how they killed someone or why they may have killed someone or have something, where, when. why, How? Those are important questions they were not answered.
This answer puzzles me a great deal. Again where did this jury come up with idea the prosecution had to show exactly where, when, how and why Caylee Marie was murdered?
Where? Hopespring Drive or the area of the Anthony home, Casey Anthony’s cell phone records show she did not leave the area of her parent’s home until 4:00 PM; testimony showed when she showed up at her boyfriend’s apartment that night alone, Caylee Marie was not with her that night. Testimony established Caylee was not at her grandparent’s home. Testimony also established there was no Nanny. This behavior went on for 31 days.
When? Caylee Marie was last seen June 16th 2008 the skeletal remains found in December 2008, shows her life expired somewhere mid June 2008. Again, testimony showed when Casey showed up at her boyfriend’s apartment the night of June 16, 2008 Caylee Marie was not with her.
Why = Motive: Casey wanted to live a life free from the responsibilities of motherhood. This was shown to the jury through pictures of her at the night clubs, surveillance camera as she was shopping at Target, Blockbuster etc., all the while her daughter’s body was decomposing in a swamp.
- DNA match the remains to Caylee
- Cause of death is homicide
- Means of homicide cannot be determined
Taking this “How” factor a step further, Dr. Jan Garavaglia said “There is no other logical conclusion. Jennifer Ford, this is not speculation it is a conclusion based on facts.
- “There’s the fact that she was tossed aside to rot,”
- “There’s the fact that her death wasn’t reported. Accidental deaths are reported unless there is a reason for it not to be.”
- Systematic observational studies show that accidental drowning are reported to authorities “100 percent of the time.”
- “There’s also the presence of the duct tape,” “No child should have duct tape on its mouth when it dies.”
Not to forget that Caylee Marie’s remains we found wrapped in not one but two garbage bags and an industrial laundry bag. As a lay person I see a picture of a homicide. I’m walking out of the wooded swampy area right now and I just can’t find my way to conclude this could have been an accidental drowning.
Like Jennifer Ford said they started looking through stuff, key word here was started and I have to ask what “stuff” did they start looking through? And what about the “facts” clearly presented in this case? There duty was to try this case based on those facts.
This juror is evasive and condescending with every answer and the more she spoke the more she showed her inability to sit as a juror. It’s very difficult to believe that a mother would take the life of her own child. But it happens and it’s happening more and more now a days and I believe emotions did get the best of this jury and why I feel very strong about maybe it’s time to change the qualification of a jury who are sworn for Capital Murder Cases. To serve our judicial system as a representative of “We the People maybe we need professional jurors when there is so much at stake.
Terry Moran Q: That gets to Casey.
Juror #3 A: Right.
Terry Moran Q: 31 Days, 31 Days that she does not report the death or disappearance of her daughter and she parties. Some people say that is evidence she is a killer.
Juror #3 A: It looks very bad, the behavior is very bad but bad behavior is not enough to prove a crime.
This answer proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Jennifer Ford, Juror #3 did not follow the jury instructions. I believe she followed the pack and took the easy way out. If any of this panel of 12 had followed the instructions given to them by the Hon. Belvin Perry they would have understood that Casey Anthony the mother to Caylee Marie had a duty to act reasonably by calling 911 to get her daughter medical help. By not making that call Casey was culpable, and showed a reckless disregard for her daughter’s life.
And for 31 days Casey partied, went shopping went clubbing and even got a tattoo “in memory of” her daughter. “Bella Vita” or Beautiful life. This answer by Ms. Ford and her attitude about Casey’s behavior is what make me sick to my stomach and makes me want to cry for the injustice served by this jury. Hardships or not this jury had a responsibility and opting for the easy way out didn’t serve anyone and that is a difficult pill to swallow.
And now we get to her answers about George Anthony.
Terry Moran Q: What did you make of George Anthony’s testimony?
Juror #3 A: He did not help the state’s case.
Terry Moran Q: Why
Juror #3 A: Um, because he was clearly dishonest.
Terry Moran Q: He was dishonest?
Juror #3 A: Yes
Terry Moran Q: How?
Juror #3 A: Well, he was evasive. His story seem to change depending on, like they said initially he was on the defenses side so he would, you know fight with Mr. Ashton and not give straight answers and then he switch to the prosecution side and now he won’t give the defense straight answers.
Being evasive seems to be Juror #3’s entire interview. In her words “Bad behavior doesn’t prove a crime” which in this case it did. However being evasive does not make someone clearly dishonest. Juror #3 did not say what George was dishonest about she was very evasive about this point. Was this because she was going with the flow with what has been said in the media? Could this be the “they” she was talking about? She did not point out any direct or indirect evidence of this crime that took place which had been presented to George that he was dishonest about? Was this because this is a baseless statement and since George seemed to be the scapegoat for the defense he might as well be the scapegoat for the jury? Because of George’s evasiveness we couldn’t find Casey Anthony guilty of anything but lying.
As Marcia Clark put it so plainly in her article BRAINWASHED: Why Casey Anthony Jurors Came Up With The Not Guilty Verdict: There was an obvious explanation for the father’s behavior. George Anthony was a man undergoing an incredible conflict: he wanted to defend his daughter, yet, being a police officer, he surely knew the evidence against her was compelling. And on top of all that, his daughter’s defense strategy set him up as an incestuous child molester. Given all those circumstances, it’s not hard to see how he veered from one side to the other, his loyalties and love for his daughter and his granddaughter in conflict and sorely tested. The jury could have reasoned it that way too. But it didn’t.
Now, when Jennifer said and I quote “Like they said, initially he was on the defenses side and so he would, you know fight with Mr. Ashton and not give straight answers and then he switched to the prosecution side and now he won’t give the defense straight answers”. I would like to know who “they” are? Was Jennifer Ford referring to the media commenting through out this case which she was clearly instructed by the Hon. Belvin Perry not to be watching or discuss during this trial?
Terry Moran Q: I want to get back to Casey, cause she’s been the focus of so much attention.
Juror #3 A: Right, it was her daughter.
Terry Moran Q: Casey lies —
Juror #3 A: Yes, she does.
Terry Moran Q: And lies again and then she goes out and leads the high life while her daughter is dead.
Juror #3 A: Right.
Terry Moran Q: People say that is evidence that this person was capable of killing that child.
Juror #3 A: Even if that is evidence that she is capable, it doesn’t show that she did do it. Do I think she’s completely innocent? I mean I have no idea I don’t have the evidence to say one way or another. I’m not going to accuse her of killing, I have no idea.
Terry Moran Q: If it was an accident in the pool or where ever how did the child end up in a swamp months later, rotting away?
Juror #3 A: You deny it, you get rid of it. You don’t look at it you don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist. It’s gone put it out of your mind.
Terry Moran Q: You’re covering up a murder? That’s what the prosecution said.
Juror #3 A: You’re covering up something It’s not proven it’s a murder, you’re covering up something. I mean it’s either an accident or nobody knows what it is. (Evasive, what kind of answer is this?)
Terry Moran Q: I’m going to press you on this.
Juror #3 A: Go for it.
Terry Moran Q: Duck Tape on a baby in a bag, rotting in the woods. Most people look at that and put 2 and 2 together they say that’s a murder?
Juror #3 A: Well in our Country unfortunately you have to prove it. You just can’t be like yeah that really looks bad. Smells bad, looks bad, I get that it does, smell bad looks bad I get that but it’s someone else’s life and if I’m wrong and I kill someone else I can’t live with that. (Again, what kind of answer is this) Was she not looking at the duck tape on the skull? Did she not look at the crime scene photos?)
Terry Moran Q: How emotional was it to be a juror in this case?
Juror #3 A: I mean there were quite a few people when we got back after the verdict was read, we were in tears.
Terry Moran Q: Why were you crying after you handed down a not guilty verdict on murder?
Juror #3 A: Not guilty doesn’t mean innocent, doesn’t mean innocent. (If they were unsure as Juror #3 is implying, why not hang the jury, let another group of 12 decide? If they were not ready and able to accept that this young mother could have taken her daughter’s life then let another jury take over. Don’t give someone a free pass because you can not make the difficult decision and if you didn’t understand the law or the instructions the Judge would have given you all of the clarification needed to reach a verdict. You may not have found her guilty of murder in the first degree but I don’t understand how you couldn’t find her culpable for her daughter death
Terry Moran Q: How do you feel knowing you may have let a woman who may have murdered her own daughter walk off that charge?
Juror #3 A: It doesn’t feel good, it was a horrible decision to have to make. But I had to do it based on a lot.
Terry Moran Q: How much did the fact that this was a death penalty case weigh on you in the course of the trial and in your deliberations?
Juror #3 A: Well it weighs heavily, it’s the ultimate, the ultimate, like it’s as big as you can get. Someone else’s life in your hands. So if they want to charge and they want me to take someone’s life, they have to prove it or else I’m a murderer too and I’m not any better.
As I finish this interview I can’t help but remember something I once heard. This country began as an experiment in freedom. The foundation of that freedom is equality before the law. Everyone, whoever they are, whatever they may believe must be equally accountable.
Casey Anthony hoped this panel of 12 would ignore the evidence and nullify a power that derives from a higher law. I too agree that such a higher law exists and each of this panel of 12, as members of the jury bound themselves to it when they swore on their conscience, before God and as a citizen that they would decide this case on the “facts”!
We all remember the phrase from the Declaration of Independence, about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness the unalienable rights of everyone. Notice that “life” comes first. You can forget everything else about this case if you remember one thing. Casey Anthony targeted someone who trusted her, unconditionally loved her and believed Casey would keep her safe from harm. Casey Anthony took that life.
If Jennifer Ford and all the rest of the panel of 12 want to say there was not enough evidence so be it, but the one thing you cannot mistake, the conclusive evidence this jury was looking for came from the testimony heard from family and friends that said Casey loved her daughter, was a good mother.
If this was an “accidental drowning”, and scientific, observational studies show that with accidental drowning 100% of the time EMS is called, Casey Anthony had a responsibility to call 911 and get her daughter help. In not doing so, Casey Anthony’s course of conduct showed a reckless disregard toward Caylee’s life. Without the law there can be no freedom, and without justice there can be no law. Caylee Marie Anthony also had an unalienable right to life.