Friday, July 8, 2011

Why Casey Anthony Is Better Off A Free Woman

Casey Anthony, the 25-year old Floridian mother who was found not guilty this past Tuesday in the death of her two-year old daughter, Caylee, was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday, July 7, 2011 for providing misleading information to police. But considering she's been incarcerated for roughly three years from the time of her initial arrest to her acquittal on a first degree murder charge (among others), the judge has ruled that she be released from the Orange County Jail on July 13 the following week. She was also ordered to pay $4,618 in various fines and costs related to her criminal trial.

Ever since her acquittal, Casey Anthony has received several deals to keep her name in the limelight, ranging from books, movies, and even pornography (though the latter offer was rescinded within hours of its proposal).

For most people, it's almost incomprehensible to believe that she'll walk away from prison practically unscathed. Okay, okay, she spent three formative years of her life away from the general public. But the rallying cry amongst the majority of American society has been one of injustice, that the punishment didn't fit the crime.

And I definitely concede that point. Caylee Anthony was several weeks from turning three years old on that tragic June day in 2008. Every time I see those home movies of her singing and reading, I can't help but think, "She didn't deserve to die." For that matter, no child or teenager deserves to die because they have yet to experience the myriad of emotions and challenges that makes life worth living.

I covered a story of similar severity earlier this year, and it's never easy to think that someone so young can die so soon. What makes Caylee Anthony tug at the hearts of so many viewers is how her mother, Casey, reacted to her disappearance and subsequent discovery, which gave new meaning to the term "Mother Monster".

In my initial piece on Casey Anthony penned and published hours after her exoneration, I skimped some of the details because I was writing as it happened in real time. Now, after the dust has been settled from the ruckus that was her criminal trial and not-guilty verdict, things look much clearer now to elucidate why she had little support outside her defense team.

Psychologically speaking, Casey was mentally unfit for motherhood, which (unfortunately) only came to light after her daughter was last seen alive. Thirty one days passed before someone reported Caylee missing, and it wasn't Casey who did it. It was Casey's mother, Cindy, who filed the missing person report. During this one month stretch of time, according to court witnesses, Casey was "partying, promoting night club events and even entered a bikini contest." When provocative partying photos of her arose from the days and weeks following Caylee's disappearance, her lack of bereavement was a red flag from the start. In fact, the only time she showed any emotion, positive or negative, was shortly after hearing the verdict from her criminal trial, which was read exactly one month before what would've been Caylee's sixth birthday.

As for Casey's side of the story, it had more holes than Swiss cheese. She claimed that a nanny last saw Caylee alive and kidnapped the child, that Caylee accidentally drowned in a family pool, and that Caylee's grandfather - George - covered up her death unbeknownst to Casey. The overarching problem was that the nanny was fictitious, and the person she named has since filed a civil lawsuit against Casey for defamation. Even stranger was that George and Cindy Anthony, Casey's parents, didn't find out Caylee was missing until they noticed a foul smell coming from Casey's car trunk, which she abandoned shortly after Caylee disappeared. Her defense team claimed rotten garbage was responsible for the odor, but chloroform and a strand of Caylee's (postmortem) hair were found inside the trunk. They also argued Casey was sexually abused by George as a child, but this was eventually dismissed in court because the claim was unsubstantiated. The one thing she did right was to stick by her chain of events and refrain from double crossing herself.

If for any other reason, Casey Anthony got away with murder (literally speaking?) because the prosecution couldn't sell their argument to the jury before them. The prosecution's lack of forensic evidence exclusively tying Casey to the crime, such as fingerprints and DNA, and inability to prove how Caylee died was detrimental to their case. And that's the main problem in pursuing capital punishment for the defendant. Someone else's life is literally on the line, and there needs to be solid proof beyond a reasonable doubt to put someone on death row. If there's even the slightest bit of hesitation that the person charged couldn't have done the crime, then the case is ultimately a waste of everyone's time.

Now, for those who think the jurors were "idiots" with no moral backbone and ignorantly voted to acquit Casey Anthony, listen. The twelve chosen to go on that jury were model citizens. These were individuals with years of job stability, good credit history, and healthy marriage. And of the twelve, five were parents themselves. I bet all five of them, especially, would've gone hysterical had their child gone missing for any length of time, so I could see why they would view her demeanor as abnormal heading into the trial. However, they couldn't, in good conscience, sentence a young female to her death because the prosecution couldn't connect all the dots to tie her to the crime, even if it meant feeling "sick to (their) stomachs" about their decision, as one juror put it.

So it's ironic, then, that the jury may have actually made the right call to acquit Casey Anthony. For as long as the United States of America is a free country where people are still presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, she deserves the right to be publicly ostracized and condemned for letting an innocent child perish under her care.

Notice here that I didn't say Casey killed Caylee, even though the evidence points to the contrary. Rather, I hope that Casey will be exposed to hot tempers and cold shoulders every day, because there's no way any loving mother could've acted in the manner she did when Caylee disappeared and was eventually found dead half a mile from her home. And for the record, I don't hate Casey Anthony, but she is definitely not someone I would trust kids around.

Aside from that, the only other suggestion I have for her is that she stitch a scarlet letter "P" for pariah on all her clothing, 'coz that's how she's gonna spend the rest of her free life.

Get going, girl.

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