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amanda

Emotions aside, do you believe the prosecution overcharged the case?

 

Why or why not? Was there enough evidence to convict Anthony as she was charged? Why or why not? What are you thoughts on the evidence presented by the defense?

On July 15, 2008, Caylee Anthony, a 2-year-old little girl was reported missing by her grandmother. This came 31 days after her mother Casey Anthony reported last seeing her daughter, but not reporting her missing. On July 16, 2008, Casey Anthony was arrested and charged with child neglect, lying to investigators, and interfering with a criminal investigation after she continuously lied to police about alledged people involved in her daughters disappearance, her employment, and why she did not report her daughter missing for 31 days (Ott, 2021). There were a lot of conflicting stories and reports from Casey Anthony regarding her daughters disappearance that did not make sense, and to many it made her look guilty of murdering Caylee.

On October 14, 2008, Casey Anthony was indicted by the grand jury on the following charges: first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and four counts of providing false information to the police (Ott, 2021). Originally held without bond and the state was seeking the death penalty. The death penalty was later taken off the table.

On December 11, 2008 a bag of skeletal remains along with duct tape were located near Casey Anthonys family home and on December 20, 2008, they were confirmed those of missing Caylee Anthony (Ott, 2021).

The prosecution charged Case Anthony with serious charges that carried the death penalty, prior to the skeletal remains being discovered. At that point, it was not confirmed that Caylee was deceased. This is overcharging the case. It appeared that the prosecution charged based on emotion and not solely facts. Although there were many instances where Casey Anthony made herself look guilty, and she may very well be, there was not enough evidence to convict her of manslaughter, let alone 1st degree murder. The child neglect charge I do not believe was an overcharge because Casey Anthony admitted to not reporting her daughter missing for 31 days. There was certainly enough evidence to convict Casey Anthony of providing false information to the police based on the many lies she was caught in. The defense presented some good evidence, at least enough to not get a murder conviction, but some of their evidence was questionable. The fact that they stated Casey Anthonys father molested her was unnecessary and not relevant to the case. It seemed that they were grasping at straws while pointing fingers at her father. The prosecution is tasked with proving the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, they were simply unable to. There are three elements of crime, actus reus, mens rea, and concurrence (Criminal Law, 2012). The evidence in this case lacked proving beyond a reasonable doubt that all three elements. The only thing that the prosecution could prove beyond a reasonable doubt, was that Caylee Anthony was deceased.  

Juan

State of Florida v. Casey Marie Anthony

            The case of Casey M. Anthony drew public interest as soon as it hit media realms.  Before the case reached punishment phases, arguments exists that she was already portrayed as guilty in view of the public.  Furthermore, it could be argued that media and the public perceptions were critical elements during the case to pressure prosecutors and state to act on a murderer (Moran, 2019).  Moran (2019) argues that Casey M. Anthony received anything but a fair trial.    

Emotions aside, do you believe the prosecution overcharged the case? Why or why not?

            Not only did the prosecution overcharge the case according to evidence and the law, but they also utilized lack of integrity, inconsistencies, and a corps to cast judgement.  Surprisingly, the Fifth, Six, and Fourteenth Amendments were not topics of discussion on behalf of the defense team.  According to our justice system everyone is “innocent until proven guilty”.  If viewed from a defendant’s perspective, the criminal justice system did not meet that requirement.  For example, the Fifth Amendment clearly discusses how a person(s) “cannot” be charged with a crime or deprived from liberty without due process (Gary, 2017).  Adding to the frustration of this case, crowds gathered outside of the courthouse in defense of young Caylee.  It is important to note that the first arrest (July 16, 2008) may considered justifiable due to her inconsistencies and lack of integrity.  However, the criminal justice system proved flawed once she was arrested for murder without direct connection or evidence of murder. 

Was there enough evidence to convict Anthony as she was charged? Why or why not?

            Bottom line up front, the prosecution did not properly plan how it would prove its arguments and ended up overtrying this case.  In the U.S. it is imperative for prosecutors to provide higher standards of proof in murder or capital punishment cases (Sand & Rose, 2003).  With the before mentioned, the prosecution was unable to prove without a reasonable doubt, that no other possibility could have existed other than Casey killing her daughter.  It is the writer’s opinion, that prosecutors provided unsurmountable (400 items) evidence that a murder did take place, however, they did not provide the evidence required to prove that Casey committed the crime.   

What are your thoughts on the evidence presented by the defense?

            Mentioned previously, it is the writers opinion that this case was not handled or planned properly by the prosecution team.  First, some of the evidence provided was not scientific based and or required no counterargument from the defense because it was considered far reached.  Based on the above, it is evident that jurors believed the same.  Specific evidence provided received immediate challenges.  For example, an air sample was utilized to prove that chemicals found in the sample were consistent with body decomposition (Moran, 2019).  Which was immediately challenged by Dr. Furton (chemistry professor), who argued that consensus did not exist within the field to prove the above-mentioned (Moran, 2019). 

 

Andrew

I can make an offhand judgment that Casey Marie Anthony was not a great moral example and probably had several mental health issues, but nothing about that is technically a crime.  Child neglect is a crime.  Not crying hard enough isn’t a crime, but it certainly looks suspicious.  I’ll be clear, it looks extremely suspicious, but suspicion isn’t evidence.  Being a sociopath is not technically against the law.  Even if there’s proof of homicide (people who die accidentally are not usually found buried in bags) that doesn’t tell us who did it, why, or if it was pre-meditated or not.  Honestly, my “gut feeling” is she did it, but that doesn’t mean anything, that isn’t how our justice system works.  I really want to see a connection, but I don’t see one.
I think the jury probably saw it this way too, but that’s pure speculation.  In my opinion, I think she did it, but I also don’t think I can prove that.  I could make a point by point list, but it would be redundant, I agree with the jury here.  I don’t really want to, but I do.  I don’t think four years is an adequate sentence for what I think she did, but it’s an outcome I can accept.  If we assume she was guilty (which we aren’t supposed to, “innocent until proven guilty”, etc.) that is a light sentence, but if she’s criminally insane that would probably be more than enough time for the system to keep an eye on her until she gets in trouble again, if she’s going to, but that’s a reasonable guess, I don’t have any data about this.  The three years credit for time served is confusing, but apparently she was in prison under observation for three years and not only behaved herself, she got extra credit for good behavior, and without more information I can’t comment on that.  I would like to think our prison system has good psychologists who make wise decisions about these things, but it’s also possible they’re extremely busy and rush people through the system, I don’t really know.
This is not a reputable academic source, and I have limited evidence, but as far as I can tell she has been living a mostly normal life since then, and if we consider what the purposes of punishment are, this doesn’t really seem like justice, but it might be as close to rehabilitation as one could hope

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