Casey Anthony Trial | Day 36 – The Verdict (Thoughts & Observations)
(PRELIMINARY POST: Still Updating Minor Details from my Trial Notes)
| | Introduction | | Summaries | | Daily Updates | | Thoughts | | Resources | |
Day 36 – July 5, 2011 – Tuesday
The Verdict: Not Guilty
After 10 hours 40 minutes and 33 seconds, at 1:30 p.m. (easter time) the announcement came that the jury had reached a decision. For 45 minutes the pundits and TV anchors wondered and speculated as to what such a quick verdict could mean. They noted that the jury had come in better dressed than usual, the men in suits, the women in high heels. It seemed that the jury had made their decision the night before, on Independence Day, our national holiday, the Fourth of July.
Judge Perry entered the courtroom at 2:14 p.m. ET and asked for the jury to be brought in. After the jury sat, the Judge asked for the verdict form, he read it to himself, and asked the defendant to rise.
The Judge then said to the court clerk, “Madame Clerk you may publish the verdicts.” The court clerk stood up and read the verdicts on the seven charges.
- Not Guilty: First Degree Murder (Death by Lethal Injection or Life in Prison)
- Not Guilty: Aggravated Child Abuse (30 Years in Prison)
- Not Guilty: Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child (30 Years in Prison)
- Guilty: Providing False Information to Law Enforcement Count 4 – That Casey Anthony worked at Universal Orlando in 2008 (1 Year in Prison)
- Guilty: Providing False Information to Law Enforcement Count 5 – That Casey Anthony left Caylee with a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez (1 Year in Prison)
- Guilty: Providing False Information to Law Enforcement Count 6 – That Casey Anthony told Jeffrey Hopkins and Juliette Lewis that Caylee was missing (1 Year in Prison)
- Guilty: Providing False Information to Law Enforcement Count 7 – That Casey Anthony received a phone call from Caylee on July 15, 2008 (1 Year in Prison)
The sentencing will take place on Thursday, July 7, 2011. However, because Ms. Anthony has been in jail for nearly three years, adjusted for good behavior, she will probably be able to walk out of the courtroom on Thursday, for time served.
Casey’s parents left the courtroom immediately after the reading of the verdicts, showing no emotion. The detectives in the case remained in the court room, seemingly in shock.
After the Judge adjourned, the Defense team hugged and cried. Casey Anthony’s elation came through in her tears of joy, her sporadic laughter, and her permanent smile.
Well, the verdict was a surprise.
It seemed that there was enough circumstantial evidence for at least a guilty verdict on aggravated manslaughter of a child. The Prosecution had done a great job overall in presenting their case, from their opening statement through their closing argument and rebuttal.
The mistrial motions by the defense team seemed like a bit of a long shot, but a hung jury – at least one juror who could not agree with the rest – seemed like the best outcome the Defense could hope to get. A not guilty verdict on first degree murder and aggravated manslaughter seemed like an impossibility, and yet it was the impossible dream that came true.
In the end, it is hard to question the decision of the people who suspended their lives to spend six weeks sequestered to listen to the evidence in the Casey Anthony trial and render their verdicts. They heard the evidence and the testimony that was deemed relevant and probative by the court, they came together to discuss it, and they agreed on the verdicts. Unfortunately for those who were expecting different verdicts or who felt that justice for Caylee was not achieved, the jury was not ready to discuss how they came to their decisions, and we may never know or understand why they reached the decision they did.
What we can know, as we look around the world, is that we have one of the better judicial systems around, open to the public, open to criticism, open to improvement.
Was there justice for Caylee?
I don’t know, but her mother was brought to justice… and perhaps that is all our justice system can promise us.
What are your thoughts?
Martie Hevia (c) 2011 – All Rights Reserved