Don’t Hate The Defense Attorney Just Because The Prosecutor Sucked

My mom called me after the Casey Anthony verdict came down this Tuesday. She was pissed off.

“We’ve been OJ’d again!” she cried.

This has become the default reaction every time a high profile case turns out the opposite way common sense says it should. I don’t think any one, even Crazy Casey, actually believes she didn’t kill that baby. But the fact that she got away with murder is not an indication that justice doesn’t work. It’s an indication that the prosecution sucked.

I’ll admit that I didn’t watch the whole trial. I had things to do during the day that required I not stay glued to HLN. What I did see was the last weekend or so of summation. From that alone I can see why Casey Anthony was let free.

The facts of the case were not that difficult. Young mother kills baby in an attempt to regain the freedom she lost with motherhood. There was plenty of evidence to get the job done. A decomposing hair found in the trunk of Casey’s car, a baby blanket taken from inside her house, pictures of a hot body contest entered just days after Caylee went missing and a tattoo from the same period ushering in the “bella vita” that was about to start. If that wasn’t enough, there was the three pieces of duct tape, place over Caylee’s nose and mouth that could have no rational explanation besides an attempt to put her down for good. All of this was lost in summation.

Instead of laying out a clear story the prosecution presented a confusing mess of facts. As I listened, it sounded as though they were trying to use every piece of testimony to make every little fact fit within their story. This approach is generally counter productive. In summation less is often more. Rather than give the jury a clear picture of what happened, why Casey had to be the one who did it, and why the jury needed to find her guilty, the prosecution jumped from point to point, grabbing facts here and there but failing to weave them in to the bigger picture.

After that, the defenses job was easy.

To their credit the jury did their job. Those who spoke about the process, and at least one has, made clear that they were heartbroken when they decided to hand down a not guilty verdict. In their gut they knew that Casey had done it. But gut instinct is not the law. As much as they wanted to see Casey punished, the prosecution had not carried their burden. That may not be a satisfying result to those who followed the trial but that is justice.




About clevis1

Christian Levis is the creator of EchoFriendly, a location based chat application for the iOS. He is a graduate of NYU's College of Arts & Sciences and holds degrees in biology and English along with a professional certificate in marketing. He also a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, and deeply concerned about privacy and the impact that social media has on intellectual property. Christian is also a jazz pianist. His favorite band is Steely Dan. His favorite book is too hard to choose. He enjoys seafood but not really lobster and drinks more coffee than is probably healthy for a normal human being. You can find him on Twitter @echomeback Or on Facebook as...Christian Levis
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3 Responses to Don’t Hate The Defense Attorney Just Because The Prosecutor Sucked

  1. one4truth says:

    Maybe you should have watched trial……………it’s amazing you saw little to none of it, yet can form this opinion, Prosecution did their job well! Their biggest downfall was no direct evidence to link her to crime……….DNA washed away, no prints etc. They were challenged forensically. You could make same claim that jury did not look at all the evidence and tie it together. Everyone is claiming defense got Casey off. Nothing further from truth! Their case presented was an embarrassment to legal ethics. Casey can thank God for Tropical Storm Fey………… was what saved her ass!!

    • mapager says:

      Watching the whole trial would not have made a difference. If you think the jury remembered everything they saw you have high hopes in the attention span of randomly chosen, unpaid, American jurors. The summation is so important because it is the last thing the jurors see. The chance to argue your case and tie together the pieces. Regardless of the facts presented over several weeks of testimony the prosecution did not achieve that goal.

      I don’t find the lack of direct evidence to be a problem.

      The demand people have for a smoking gun, DNA, finger prints or a video of the crime taking place are remnants of growing up on CSI and Law & Order. As a law school colleague of mine used to say – criminals run and hide. Bank robbers wear masks, murderers don’t kill their victims in broad daylight in front of three priests, a rabbi, and Mother Theresa. Often times the only evidence that exists is circumstantial and, if you listened to the jury instruction, the law tells us that this is as good as direct evidence when it comes to convicting someone of a crime.

      There was enough circumstantial evidence here to show that no one but Casey could have done it. Putting the pieces together it just doesn’t make sense.

      Assuming arguendo that everything Casey says is true –

      What reasonable mother, even after the accidental death of her daughter, enters a hot body contest and gets a tattoo proclaiming the “beautiful life”?

      What reasonable mother, when she finds out her daughter is missing, having been kidnapped, conducts her own secret investigation for 31 days without telling anyone?

      What reasonable mother, when she then finds the body of her daughter after this secret investigation, duct tapes her decomposed body and hides it in the trunk of her car then dumps it in a swamp?

      Just looking at what happened, Casey’s story makes no sense.

      Reasonable doubt may be the highest standard under the law but it must be reasonable. The “doubt” raised by the defense was nothing more than equally unreasonably explanations.

      The forensic evidence that you also would call weak, in my opinion was very strong.

      Sure there was only one hair in the trunk with the classic signs of decomposition but you forget – in no normal situation would that hair be found. I certainly don’t have hairs that can be linked to a decomposing body in my trunk.

      If that’s not enough – at what point do you draw the line? Would Caylee’s thumb nail have been sufficient? What about a few skin cells? If the detectives found one hand would you ask to see both just to make sure?

      The prosecution just didn’t do enough with what they had, that’s why she got off.

  2. Sidney Cooper says:

    Great way to end spring break, huh?

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