Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Casey Anthony Verdict -- Explained?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Brian J. Foley       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...)
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Author 68259
- Advertisement -

Imagine going through the utter Hell of having your child die -- and then you're blamed for it and even prosecuted for first degree murder?

We won't know why the jury did what it did unless jurors speak out.  But an article by law professor Sherry F. Colb suggests that in this sort of case, which is not a "whodunit" but about whether what was done was a crime at all (i.e, whether the death was a murder or accident),  jurors sometimes might prefer the happy (happier) ending.  See Sherry F. Colb, "Whodunit" Versus "What Was Done": When to Admit Character Evidence in Criminal Cases, 79 North Carolina Law Review 939 (2001). Jurors  lean toward preferring that no crime happened at all.  Concluding that a mother didn't kill her child is easier to stomach than the horrific idea that a mother killed her own child, a violation of all sorts of "laws of nature."

Acquittal is even more likely in a case built on circumstantial evidence, such as this one.  Juries generally undervalue circumstantial evidence, according to studies discussed by law professor Kevin Jon Heller in his article,  "The Cognitive Psychology of Circumstantial Evidence," 105 Mich. L. Rev. 241 (2006).   Roughly, there's a big difference between a witness telling a jury a story (direct evidence) and the jurors' having to buy a story pieced together from circumstantial evidence.

Perhaps the prosecution should have considered these things -- the sort of thing we address in the growing movement, Applied Legal Storytelling -- and realized that they had a very shaky case?

- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Brian J. Foley is a law professor. He is the author of the humor book, A New Financial You in 28 Days: A 37-Day Plan (Gegensatz Press 2011).

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Chris Christie -- Can a Fat Governor "Run" for President?

Casey Anthony Verdict -- Explained?

Cross Examine Authority! A Dangerous Lack of Rigor

Debt Crisis: There's a Simple Story for Obama to Tell, So Why Doesn't He Tell It?

Mothers and the Market