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article imageCasey Anthony trial – the jury is out

By Alexander Baron     Jul 4, 2011 in Crime
Orlando - The trial of the Florida woman accused of the murder of her two year old daughter is drawing to a close. We could have verdicts on all counts by Wednesday, or sooner.
Wearing a grey suit and swigging intermittently from a water bottle, Jeff Ashton made a powerful closing rebuttal argument to yesterday’s closing arguments by the defence as George and Cindy Anthony looked on from the back of the court. One of the most powerful points he made was in dismissing as fantasy the claim that the crime scene was staged by Roy Kronk; the scene was staged he said, but by Mother Nature. He said laywers didn’t show you these photographs to offend you or make you mad; viewing this crime scene, including Caylee’s skull, is integral to understanding when the body was dumped there – shortly after Caylee died (was murdered?) by her mother.
There was also the little point that according to Jose Baez the duct tape was placed on the skull by George Anthony, or Roy Kronk. Or maybe both?
The State didn’t call Kronk because he didn’t find the skull the way he claimed. “Roy likes to spin a good yarn”, he said, but that does not make him a morally bankrupt individual as claimed repeatedly by the defense. He was trying to build bridges with his estranged son, and embellished the story as part of that – apparently futile – attempt.
After the man in the grey suit had finished, Judge Perry signalled a twenty minute recess.
In her closing address, the second State attorney Linda Drane Burdick alluded to Casey as the most well documented liar ever seen in a courtroom; Mr Baez objected, and was over-ruled. She made the point that in the early stages, the police believed Caylee to be alive, which was why they didn’t pay too much attention to the smell of the car, but as time wore on they came to realise that Casey was lying about everything.
She made an excellent point that although grief manifests in different ways in different people as one defense expert witness claimed, the reaction of guilty people is predictable: they lie, accuse others, misdirect, avoid. The bag of garbage in the back of Casey’s car was a decoy to cover the smell of her daughter’s decaying body. She ended her rebuttal with a question, whose life was made better by Caylee’s death? To answer her own question, she showed a photograph of the tattoo on Casey’s back, captioned in Italian it reads “a beautiful life”; WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer had predicted this.
There followed another recess during which Mr Baez made another motion for a mistrial on two points, to which Judge Perry replied simply that the motion was denied. The judge then read the jury his instructions, a template tailored to this case.
Judge Perry's address took approximately 53 minutes to deliver; in Britain, the judge would have spent a day or perhaps two days summing up in a case of this length and magnitude. There are other differences in the two legal systems too, most noticeably that while this is a capital case, there is no death penalty for any crime in Britain, and a mandatory life sentence for an adult convicted of murder.
Perry sent out the jury at 17.10 London time.
Today there were over 60,000 bloggers on the WFTV site. They and the world can now only wait.
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