I haven’t paid much attention to the Casey Anthony case lately, but now that the trial has started, it’s almost impossible to get away from it. I’ve only read a few articles, but from what I’ve seen, the approach taken by the defense is baffling.
The story told by the defense goes like this: Caylee accidentally drowned in the pool. Casey’s father, George, found her. He and Casey panicked and disposed of the body. Oh, and George molested Casey. (This was described in excruciating detail in the defense’s opening statement. I do not believe this at all, and feel terrible for George, especially considering that they have stood by Casey during all of this.)
All I can really gather is that the defense believes Casey will be found guilty and is trying to mitigate a death penalty sentence, because the story they are telling does not make sense, and especially doesn’t make sense after Casey has spent three years sitting in jail. As Judge Judy likes to say “If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true!”
Let’s imagine for a second that you have a two year old child. You take your eyes off them for a minute; they fall in a pool and drown. What do you do?
(a) Call 911.
(b) Get rid of the body and spend the next month partying. Tell your friends your child is with her nanny. When confronted by the police, make up a story that your child was kidnapped by her nanny and claim you didn’t call the police because you were looking for her yourself. Sit in prison for three years knowing that you did not kill your child.
I’m not a criminal attorney, but the “accidental death” defense seems like a nonstarter, given the events of the past three years. Even if Caylee did accidentally drown, and even if Casey did panic and dispose of her body, doesn’t it seem like Casey would have admitted that to the police over the past three years rather than face the death penalty? She was young (and probably very stupid) when this happened. Wouldn’t you expect her to just break down and some point and say “Here’s what happened. I panicked. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do.” Maybe she still faces prison time, but certainly not death. Instead, she is on trial and facing the death penalty, claiming that Caylee accidentally died, so thus she did not kill her. That’s the defense?
It’s an odd position to take. Remember that the prosecution has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I’m not that into the case, but from what I know there isn’t any pure, direct proof that Casey is the one who killed Caylee, or even how Caylee died. Casey was living in a house with her mother, father, and brother at the time this happened. It seems like some doubt could be raised as to who actually did it, rather than taking the position that Caylee accidentally died, Casey knew about it, and did nothing. That raises more red flags than the “prosecutors can’t prove this to you beyond a reasonable doubt; all they can prove is maybe that Casey was a bad mother in that she was out partying after Caylee disappeared” defense. (Not a great position either, but it’s a big step from being a not so great mother to actually killing your child.)
I don’t know, but the story being spun by the defense seems like a loser to me, simply because if it is true, it makes no sense that Casey would be sitting in the defendant's chair at trial facing the death penalty right now.