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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/7/11

Did 12 Heads of Cabbage Decide the Casey Anthony Trial?

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   28 comments
Message Bill Hare

While the jurors who decided the fate of Casey Anthony were human beings and not heads of cabbage, analyzing their result poses an important question.

Did those jurors decide the case in a manner more expectant of 12 heads of cabbage? One expects no thoughtful deliberation from 12 heads of cabbage. One expects no analysis. This from all available evidence reveals what happened.

The result harkens back to a comment made by the late Dominick Dunne in a television appearance following the not guilty verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial. When an angry Dunne, whose own daughter had been slain followed by a miscarriage of justice, called the jury "stupid" he was criticized by a defense attorney who asserted that Dunne's statement was unduly harsh.

Dunne stood his ground, coolly replying, "The jury was asked to examine the DNA evidence (against Simpson). It refused to do so. That's stupid."

Earlier, shortly after the verdict was read, Dunne had been interviewed by CNN. When he savaged the jury's not guilty verdict, then CNN legal affairs analyst Greta Van Susteren shrilly condemned the prominent author for rebuking America's jury system. Following a quick and brisk exchange Dunne muttered an angry expletive, ripped off his microphone and threw it to the ground, then stalked off angrily.

The expression "the more things happen the more they remain the same" surfaced after listening to defense counsel Mark Geragos pontificate on Anderson Cooper Live Wednesday night that the verdict exonerated the jury system, revealing it at its best, and repudiated the vigilante rush to judgment mentality displayed by the media in the Casey Anthony trial.

Geragos is well known for defending Scott Peterson, tried and convicted of coldly and systematically killing his pregnant wife. His emotional manner was chillingly similar to that of Casey Anthony. Each became notably choked up when their private interests were threatened. Each was expressionless when two allegedly murdered family members and a member to be were mentioned.

Had Peterson been acquitted would Geragos have done anything other than deliver virtually the same monologue that he did after the Casey Anthony not guilty verdict? Would Geragos be delighted to have Peterson or Anthony physically and emotionally linked to a family member? The answer would certainly be no.

The Anthony jury came back following a relatively short deliberation after taking few notes during the trial and failing to request any of the many exhibits to study. It returned without asking any questions of Judge Belvin Perry despite the trial's numerous elements. When it did not even follow a frequently occurring tradition of asking for any trial testimony to be read, the handwriting was on the wall that the simple route was taken.

In the wake of a national tumult certain jurors have now spoken out. One said that jury members were so sickened by the verdict that they did not have sufficient composure to face reporters and answer questions following the trial, explaining why they got on a bus and were promptly driven back to Pinellas County.

After explaining that there was not proof beyond reasonable doubt, she added that in addition they would not know the penalties with which to charge the defendant. If she did not know the difference between deciding between guilt and innocence and a penalty phase squarely within a judge's and not juror's province, then this juror misunderstood a basic precept distinguishing the responsibilities of jurors contrasted by judges.

One alternate juror interviewed, who defended the decision of insufficient evidence to convict on the major charges, answered an important question relating to the conduct of the defendant in running out the clock while her daughter, known to be dead, repeatedly lied, asserting that she knew nothing about her daughter's whereabouts.

The alternate juror responded by saying that the Anthonys were a dysfunctional family and Casey had lied repeatedly before that, and so lying about her daughter's whereabouts was part of a consistent pattern. He explained away the significance of lying at the time that law enforcement agencies and citizen's groups were frantically searching for Caylee, whose body was gradually decomposing.

The response was that since Casey Anthony had lied consistently on other matters that lying under those circumstances at that critical period was not the stuff of which a murder conviction is derived. In other words, Person A lies in numerous circumstances and this is linked to a common pattern of doing whatever is needed to serve that individual's interest.

If Person A therefore lies later while that individual's daughter is wasting away after being discarded like a bag of trash, this is explained as a mere continuation of a lying pattern and therefore does not constitute a red flag that could point toward guilt and a murder conviction.

Can anyone call this logic? Was this individual thinking at all?

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Began in the journalism field in hometown of Los Angeles. Started as Sports Editor and Movie Writer at Inglewood Daily News chain after working in sportswriting of high school events at the Los Angeles Examiner.

Received a bachelor's in (more...)
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