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article imageExpert: Jury selection big hurdle in Casey Anthony case Special

By Carol Forsloff     May 9, 2011 in Crime
Kim Iannetta has been a jury expert for more than 20 years and says selecting the right jury can make a big difference in the case of Casey Anthony, accused of killing her child, as other experts agree that the proverbial devil will be in the details.
The case of Casey Anthony and the death of her daughter Caylee became front page news in 2008 when the two-year-old Caylee went missing, a fact unreported for a month, and then some time after that was found dead just a short distance from the home of George and Cindy Anthony, the grandparents and daughter of Casey.
The details that the press has related have included duct tape pieces said placed over the child’s mouth, tapes that spoke of the grandparents early worries that something terrible might have happened with to their granddaughter Caylee with the smell of death in the trunk of Casey’s car and photos that showed a celebratory Casey drinking alcohol and smiling at clubs and parties during the time her young daughter was said to have disappeared.
Now the devilish details are in the jury selection, and as Iannetta says, can be a significant issue as the trial of Casey Anthony begins with this process today. Casey Anthony is charged with killing her daughter, and the prosecution has pressed for the death penalty if she is convicted.
“Jury selection is a process that takes time, expert observation, and good attention to certain behavioral details and nuances that just attorney examination may not do. Experts look at a host of behaviors that can give clues to what a witness might do,” Iannetta tells us.
Iannetta has served as a jury profiler in serious criminal cases and is known throughout Hawaii as one of the best. Some of her work on behavioral profiling is included in major compendiums on the subject written by such notables as forensic psychologist, Harold Hall, whose books give descriptions about the behavior of such famous people as Unabomber, Ted Kaczinski.
“The elderly grandmother with the sweet smile and lovely manner may be a hard core believer in a mother’s role to be at home with her children and not out partying, even if the child hasn’t gone missing,” Iannetta tells us. “The soft, kind demeanor on the outside may disguise an angry person who may have conflict in her own family and longs to have some way of acting out these feelings. Being able to help indict one of these “guilty” mothers, with pictures to prove it with those alcohol-laced parties, may be one of those special ways to get back at bad mothers in the mind of a judgmental person who has already made up her mind. So behavioral experts look at body clues, the lack of coherence between what a person says and what the body “says” along with any verbal statement. One of those special clues can be the jury card, where writing behaviors can provide an estimation of what the potential juror might do on any given case.
In my work I look at the whole picture, with the jury card that prospective jurors complete as a reasonable guide in making those early estimations of what an individual is like and how he or she might behave in a case like that of Casey Anthony. Some of the behavior imprints left on jury cards may show intense feelings from sharp, heavy strokes or an individual who overlooks details by omitting them in key places in writing and even the way what the person wears. That sweet grandmother I used as an example may be a bold, angry person whose notions of right and wrong, of judgment, guilt or innocence and potential prejudice, can be seen by looking at everything from the shoes she wears to the way she writes her name.”
Iannetta, whose book Danger Between the Lines, has been used by police departments, attorneys and behavioral psychologists to recognize danger signals, tells us getting the right jury is not going to be an easy task, not just because of how prejudiced that jury might be because of pre-trial publicity but also because of that “devil in the details” that might really count when it’s time to decide guilt or innocence in the case against Casey Anthony.
More about Casey Anthony, Caylee anthony, George and Cindy Anthony, Killing a child, Parent killing child
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