Updated: Wed Jul. 06 2011 15:38:45 CTV.ca News Staff
A sensational Florida murder trial reached a dramatic conclusion Tuesday, when the jury delivered a verdict experts and onlookers were surprised to learn could see Casey Anthony set free within days.
After weeks of hearing testimony, arguments and analysis, the Orlando, Fla. jury cleared Anthony of murdering her daughter, Caylee. she was also found not guilty of aggravated child abuse or aggravated manslaughter of a child.
Many in the crowd of about 500 people outside the courthouse reacted with anger after the verdict was read, chanting, “Justice for Caylee!” One man yelled, “Baby killer!”
Anthony still faces sentencing on Thursday for four counts of lying to investigators while they were looking into her daughter’s disappearance. But because she has already spent three years in custody, experts say she could be allowed to go free.
The nationally-televised trial, which has played out in American tabloids since may, has prompted vehement reaction from spectators and celebrities alike.
On Tuesday, the trial was trending in the Twitterverse with an array of celebrities from Kim Kardashian to Carson Daly weighing in on the verdict.
Actress Rosanne Barr sent out a string of irate tweets including, “to the members of the jury: you ignored the hair of a corpse in the trunk of casey’s car. science is junk in america.”
Meanwhile, Office-star Mindy Kaling took the sardonic route by tweeting, “Anyone else hoping Casey Anthony is stupid enough to sue herself for millions in a civil court?”
Television host Carson Daly expressed his disapproval in fewer characters, simply tweeting, “That jury better get into hiding.”
Caylee’s mysterious disappearance and death has been a national sensation since she first went missing in June 2008.
Her mother initially told detectives that Caylee had been kidnapped by a nanny, triggering a nationwide search. The search ended on Dec. 11, 2008, when the girl’s body was found in woods near her grandparents’ home. Tabloids scrutinized the case as macabre details including duct tape on discovered on Caylee’s skull were revealed over time.
During the lengthy trial, jurors listened to more than 33 days of testimony, and reviewed 400 pieces of evidence. In the end, it only took jurors 11 hours to issue the verdict.
The jurors — seven women and five men — refused to speak to the media and their identities were kept secret by the court.
Though State prosecutor Lawson Lamar said the verdict disappointed him, he admitted that hard evidence was lacking.
“This is a dry-bones case. Very, very difficult to prove,” he said. “The delay in recovering little Caylee’s remains worked to our considerable disadvantage.”
As the trial went on, the case became a morbid tourist attraction in Orlando. People camped outside for seats in the courtroom, and scuffles broke out among those desperate to watch the drama unfold.
During the trial, prosecutors also focused heavily on an odour in the trunk of Anthony’s car, which forensics experts said was consistent with the smell of human decay. But the defence argued that the air analysis could not be duplicated and that no one could prove a stain found in the trunk was caused by Caylee’s remains.
Pundits like CNN commentator and ex-prosecutor Nancy Grace monitored the case with extreme zeal, arguing that Anthony was responsible for her daughter’s death. The TV host turned the term “tot mom” into shorthand for Anthony.
Photos of Anthony smiling and partying in a nightclub during the first month Caylee was missing caused a stir when they hit tabloids. In the final days of the trial, another salacious photo surfaced of a tattoo Anthony she got a day before law enforcement learned of the child’s disappearance: the Italian words for “beautiful life.”
Between damning pictures and media attention on Anthony’s party-hearty lifestyle, public opinion didn’t seem to be in the 25-year-old mother’s favour.
Legal analyst Steven Skurka is disappointed by media coverage of the trial, saying that news outlets had all but convicted Anthony.
“[Media] was a factor in getting the public to believe that there was only one possible verdict,” he told CTV’s Canada AM.
Skurka added that the jury was entitled to reach the not guilty verdict as there was no direct evidence linking Casey Anthony to the death of her daughter.
“Judges are going to have to get more precautions in sequestering juries otherwise defendants will never get a fair trial.”
With files from the Associated Press
Comments are now closed for this story
Douglas LeeIt’s not over yet. They can still appeal.
Douglas LeeWhile I sympathise with the deceased complainant, as a student of law I am not surprised by this verdict. With the evidence presented, there was clearly reasonable doubt and it just depended on which story the jury bought. I wouldn’t make much of this case to be honest, since acquittals happen all the time. moreover the more that the general public feeds into this emotional frenzy, the more the exonerated Casey Anthony will suffer physical and emotional abuse. you have all taken the media’s bait, and joined in on the circus that is filmed courtrooms. One often ignored problem with cameras in the courtroom is afterall, the destruction of character of the defendant.
Darlene in BCThe history of the case, Casie Anthony’s partying, ominious tatoos, outrageous lies and inappropriate behaviour all sent chills down my spine. However, evidence presented was doubtful; hair in a trunk, so what? surfing the net for chloyriform, so what?Personally, my hair is everywhere and once, while surfing the net (researching pit bull breeds) I logged onto a site which featured pit bulls “fighting”. I found this site horrifying … would my internet history view me as supporting dog fights? I think the jury left emotion at the door and presented the only verdit they could. Casie Anthony and her bizzare antics made for good TV and boosted the ratings of sensationalized “news programs” like Nancy Grace, who comes up with dandy catch phrases like “tot mom”. well, here’s my catch phrase for Nancy Grace, “got duct tape”. Rest in peace little Caylee.
kWho cares what Rosanne Barr has to say..and I agree with Philip – we weren’t in there for 33 days..
MaryThe evidence is the hair strand found in the car trunk and the duck tape that matched the one in her house. Forensic said, it was Caylee’s hair and that it was from a decomposed body. The smell of decomposed body in the trunk and traces of chloroform. This evidence alone looks like foul play and the duck tape on the skull. I think the media did a good job on shedding some light on this case, they were a voice for Caylee.
Tracy SilverI think the prosecution dropped the ball. They could of presented other sinarios so as to give the jury some other kind of vision of what poor little Caylee might have gone through. There needs to be a new law that “if you are accused of a capital murder, death penalty charge, that the defendent should not have the choice of whether to testify. They should have to prove they didnt involve theirselves. If totmom would of had to testify, she would be sitting on death row right now and justice for Caylee would be done. If there is enough evidence for a judge to waste taxpayers money, then the defendent should have to explain theirselves. Not just sit there while everyone she has been involved with testifies. she would have hung herself. The laws need to change. If some stranger killed Caylee, they would not have placed her down the street, in the neihborhood where totmom once lived. The circumstantial evidence has to be explained and validated, not just addressed. Carma will return 10 fold.
dewyAlot of the people that comment have watched the full trial no different than the jury and there was lots of evidence that she was guilty. The jury never even took the evidence and looked at it while they deliberated that just shows how they did not care about the evidence they just did not like the prosecution and George so that was it they blocked every thing else out…..This is injustice for a little girl……
AndreaVanMy thoughts are with the Double Jepardy law – which states a person can not be tried twice for the same crime. does this mean that Casey being deemed not guilty, can all of a sudden have a conscience and admit to everything and not get penalized for it? that would mean she gets off, gets rich, and then when the guilt is too much, she can confess all she wants and nothing happens?
JenniferCaylee was a beautiful child and a spectacular angel.
AndréPeople who fail to pay taxes serve more time than killer parents whose precious children are at the mercy of a psychopaths and a jury that supports them to walk free!
Philip C. in CalgaryIt is quite fascinating how so many of you, who heard not one second of the evidence in the trial, feel qualified to judge the work of 12 independent jurors who listened to all the evidence, looked at all the Exhibits, and then deliberated together. Judgment by tabloid and innuendo is not a substitute for the real trial.
tomebadenRosanne Barr needs to get it straight. Science is not junk in America, They already established that Casey disposed of the body, but even it the case for murder was hung on a hair in the trunk (and it didnt ever) human hairs shed all the time and get on other things and are moved around by their natural tendancy to cling to things. even if that was a new car purchased after caley went missing a hair in the trunk proves nothing.Rosann Barr is disbarred from jury service.
Dave in F’tonCircumstantial evidence a murder one conviction does not make. Unfortunately, you get these things with our legal system. Convicting her would do more harm than good. besides, we all know Caylee’s dad is going to turn up and sue Casey for all the profits she could make from this anyway. She’s going to live the rest of her life looking over her shoulder, and for those of you eating this sensational Nancy Grace garbage right up, the thought that someone with a vigilante complex will ‘take care of her’ should be solace enough for you.
genajolineThe jury did their job. Remember they didn’t have access to all the media frenzy and court of public opinion. They made there decision based on the evidence or lack of evidence presesnted during the trial. Im sure she was involoved in her daugthers death some how. But its innocent until prooven guilty there was not enough evidence to say without a doubt she killed her daughter are justice system may not catch all guilty people but it does lower the risk that innocent people are being convicted. Im sorry to hear she got a not guilty verdict but id would rather see guilty people being set free than innocent ones being put to death or life in prison for something they didnt do. I agree with or justice system to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and they jury just was following the law unfourtunetly that means caseys ***** walks free!!!
karenWhat mother doesn’t report a child of that age missing for more than 5 minutes, never mind a month – a guilty murdering one that’s what kind of mother. Sick what she’s getting away with.
M in ABCaylee – why is the victim is always forgotten? Especially when the victim is a child.Canada has it’s own case like this – with no justice for the victims, again, children. Guy Turcotte in Montreal. he admitted to it, didn’t intend to do it and mental health issues caused him to do it. he got off.Claim you’re NUTS and you can get away with murder……..literally.I find these situations totally absurd!M
SARAHI don’t understand the verdict NOT GUITLY in this case…too much evidence points to she is guilty in my opinion! The lies, duct tape found in her house that matched what was on Caylee’s face, Chloroform searches and found in her car, hair, odour in her car trunk, and who parties like that and gets a tattoo meaning beautiful life while your child is missing? Not a good mother thats for sure.. ok ok maybe there is not enough hard evidence for murder, but what about neglect? what about abuse? There must be more serious charges Casey can get…AND to those who say she is innocent and bitch at those who say she is guilty or vica versa, stop and smell the roses…who are we to judge? Casey had her days in court, and will have her judgement day with the higher more powerful being..** GOD BLESS YOU CAYLEE **
Prof. Pye CharttCorrection: it was determined that Caylee’s body was “left” with duct tape over the mouth/nose, not “found” that way, as I inadvertently misstated.
juanaI believe the judge is been payed to let her free!! she killed her duughter I hope she rotts in hell. getting away with murder the judge made a bad decision so now if somebody kills someone else are they always going to get away with murder to lol. The system is all mess up we need better judges
trevor newtonAnyone who party’s, getting tattoos etc, at the time your daughter has gone “missing”, OVIOSLY she already knows what has happend, or she just doesnt care. my verdict is GUILTY RE OPEN THE CASE FIND MORE EVIDENCE!!!!!!!!
SarahDispicable! We are all entitled to our own opinions. my opionion is LAW & JUSTICE is all HORSE****! she provided false information and she will be doing time for that. There is no other evidence to link her to the murder because she didn’t report it in time. If she really did kill her daughter then may GOD be with her because Karma will get back to her. Obviously she can plead insanity or some bull and get away with anything because she went clubbing and partying while her daughter was missing and didn’t have time to report it? Kinda fishy but hey the jury has spoken. Congratulations Casey Anthony you are now free to go enjoy your life at 25 with out any responsibilities of a child. you were blessed at one point and only God can judge you at the end of the day, but I hope he is more strict with certain blessing for your future. All the best sleeping at night if you are responsible or had anypart in Caylee’s disappearance or murder.As for Caylee Anthony may you sweet soul rest in peace!
ByronIs it possible they brought in O. J. Simpson’s “impartial jury” from his Wife’s murder case to hear this one?? just a guess of course.
Susan MozelAll this verdict says is that their justice system is as screwed up as ours. There was no justice for Caylee. Casey Anthony in my mind will always be a child killer. she got away with murder. I hope the 12 jurors who the majority have criminal records themselves are haunted by Caylee for a very long time.
kwalitykontrolLet me know if this isn’t enough evidence for a conviction:Anthony’s had the matching bag Caylee was found in.Anthony’s had the matching duct tape was taped with.Anthony’s had matching garbage bags Caylee was found in.The blanket Caylee was in was missing from Anthony house.Casey was the last person to see Caylee alive.Casey lied to police over and over about the location of her daughter and who Caylee was with.Casey lied to her parents and friends about the location of her daughter.Casey did nothing to find her daughter during the time she was missing and acted like nothing was wrong.Casey was the only one with access to her car.Casey’s car was reported to smell like death by multiple people, including two trained dogs.Casey abandoned her car, which besides being out of gas, had nothing wrong with it.Casey was proven to be the only person doing searches for Chloroform and neck breaking.Casey asked her neighbour for a shovel, even though there were shovels at the Anthony home.Did I miss anything?you don’t have to be Columbo to figure this out.
LAWMThe prosecution shouldn’t have gone for 1st degree murder – that is why she was found not guilty. There was no evidence presented showing motive or connecting Casey to the death her daughter – it was all circumstancial. The legal system worked for the charges presented against the defendant. I think this case though sets a dangerous prescident for others who are connectecd to fatal accidents of a loved one.
NSNo , a hair in the trunk of th family car by itself is not enough… I put blanks pillows ect in the back of my car that have hair on it ect . it could come from any item you toss around .This case shold not have gone to trail yet, they had no real evidence to convict on , it looks like the Da was under pressure to get to trail In our system and the us system of justice public opinion does not count in deliberations …….anyone who followed this trail new something was not right , the parent are involved somehow. IF nothing else they should spend 20 years in jail for covering what happened The reality is the DA could not prove murder and should have went for something they could have proved .
kirstywhy hide the fact her daughter was missing for 30 days, if one of mine is late home by half hour im worried sick so why didnt she report her missing…cos it has guilty written all over it!!
katherineYou want to talk about injustice…Guy Turcotte acquited of murdering his 3 and 5 year old children. Admitted to killing them, stabbing them over 40 times.he admitted itWas found cowering under a bedThe victims were 3 & 5 year oldsOh wait; apparently he was blinded by jealeous rage. ok then. He’s forgiven. Must be wifes fault for having affair.what is he a lion?This is the society in which we live….. proud to be human. NOT
kwalitykontrolLying to police about the location of your missing (and later to be found dead) daughter is VERY different from lying because they think you stole something.I hope the judge sentences her based on the circumstances in which she lied. I’m sure she won’t get anything though.
Prof. Pye CharttPeople. People. People. The critical term “reasonable doubt” does NOT mean that any “doubt” makes “reasonable” a proclamation of innocence, and a finding of “not guilty.” This bastardized interpretation is fundamentally wrong in terms of actual legal definition, yet, seemingly, arguably, it is the guiding perspective today of many juries. (Good job, defense lawyers…wink, wink.) would those satisfied with the verdict kindly account, in the aforementioned context, for the fact that little Caylee was found with duct tape over her mouth/nose given that, according to her mother, she drowned in a pool. While you’re at it, account for the “chloroform” computer searches, and the evidence that the substance was in Casey’s car. Account for the mind-numbing delay, stalling, and multifaceted, boldface lying. Account for the ridiculous stories (ie. “Zanny the nanny” abducting Caylee). Account for Casey Anthony’s happy-go-lucky post-disappearance attitude, partying, and nifty “Bella Vita” (“Good Life”) tattoo. Account for the accusatory inclusion of the father, an ex-cop, who vehemently denied the defense’s central argument. Have a look at the forest, folks, the preponderance of the evidence, instead of some conveniently selected evidentiary trees, and tell me/us what your human intelligence tells you. Thanks.
Steve TI sincerely hope that we never have cameras in the court room in Canada. an accused should never be tried in the media. it becomes a circus. an accused should always be tried in a court of law, however flawed that process is.
AnneWhat a travesty and no justice on behalf of that beautiful little girl. what mother doesn’t report a child missing for a month? At the very least this woman will be viewed with suspicion for the rest of her life, and hopefully, not have an opportunity to bring another child into the world.
JenIs everyone in this forum on drugs? ANYONE who is SICK enough to not worry OUT OF THIER MIND when thier child is missing for 30 seconds should recieve the death sentence for having extreme blatent disregard for human life! HORRIBLE mother should be made sterile!! One day she will stand before GOD, and there are no excuses!! Rest in peace Caylee, precious angel!
mikelThe prosecution failed miserably and the defense was morally bankrupt – perfect storm for an acquittal.
george cloneyRemember the news media you are talking about is mostly American news media which has even more than the media of other nations degenerated into mindless rants.
sCheryl – the job of the jury is too see if there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. There was not. They did their job. Don’t make it personal, it’s not cool.
huh?out partying for 30 days…what ? did she forget she had a child ? is duck tape on the face and dumping a body on the side of the road the norm in Florida ?was chloroform searches for the family dog? isnt hair of the deceased in the trunk ..a trunk!…a clue? what facts were the jurors looking at?
Naima AdanIn the USA, it’s not about whether the defendant did wrong. It’s about what the prosecution can prove. The prosecution simply couldn’t prove it. There’s a great deal of hysteria in the US about this case and the verdict. what troubles me is that so many people here either don’t realize or simply don’t care that there are thousands of children being abused and neglected across the country. of course whatever happened to Caylee Anthony is a tragedy, but with all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, why don’t American people do something to help other children and maybe prevent more tragedies?
MartheThe sad reality is that wild animals are predictably unpredictable….even bears raised in captivity with human interaction can inexplicably turn and attack. it must have been awful for the victims….terrifying. The death of the 72 year old woman is tragic. We just don’t know what may happen when we venture out into “bear country”. the only thing I can do to help balance the odds in favour of me surviving my nature walks, is to take along my great Pyrenese dog. If you are not familiar with the breed…google them…look up “Great Pyrenese and Bears.” They are extraordinary guardian dogs who have been keeping bears (wolves, wild cats) at bay for centuries. They don’t “chase” bears, they “defend”…a huge distinction. I have seen my own dog fend off a black bear with no casualties – human, bear or canine. Be safe in the woods….walk with a Pyr (or two).
Les In OntarioThey didn’t have hard evidence to convict her. The doctor couldn’t prove cause of death. How can a jury convict without proof?Do I think she’s guilty? I believe she was involved, definitely! If I was on that jury would I have voted her guity? it depends on what evidence was presented during the trial. Caylee did not receive justice! We will never know exactly what happened to her. But, you can bet that her mother’s life will NEVER be the same. she will be haunted by this for the rest of her life! Karma has a funny way of catching up with you eventually. She’ll get what’s coming to her. Let’s pray to God that she’ll never have any more children!
Brian MajdanikNo cause of death, no time of death, no location of death, no murder weapon, no evidence linking the defendant to a murder location, and only a very flimsy motive….and people are SURPRISED at the verdict?I’m sorry, but you can’t execute someone because their daughter is dead and they are a “bad person”.
Barbara KropfI support the verdict of the jury in the Casey Anthony case. While many questions remain, the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt the conditions surrounding Kaylee’s death. to mourn the death of little Kaylee is human. to take the life of Casey, literally or through a life time spent in a penial institution,is pointless. If she was involved in this tragedy she will carry that with her always. now, allow her to move into the future, taking the many lessons from the past 3 years with her, and live a positive and productive life.
MikeTrial by jury is one thing, trial by public opinion is quite another. Whether or not she’s guilty is over in the courts, for now. I wonder how she’s going to handle the rest of her life with the rest of the world watching and dreading a “bump”.
JohnThe jury did their job. Can anyone else prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she did kill her child.?? should I repeat myself..!! Resaonable doubt.!!
TeknikJustice was served, the jury based its verdict based on the evidence available. The prosecution lacked DNA and other information that could prove beyond the shadow of doubt that the child was murdered by her mother. The so-called ‘news media’ and its pundits convicted the accused long before the verdict was given by the impartial jury. Blood lust based on hearsay and prejudice expressed by the media, pundits and ill informed was and is blatantly apparent even now!
BethHow come it seems when children are the victims there is barely any justice at all? Then to see the defense team celebrating at a local bar made me cringe, do they not realize a two year old baby is dead and no one will be held accountable?
rodhey lets get rid of the court system all together and hand it over to mob rule.. because in most comments the court systems ruling seems not to matter anyway
Mutt from WindsorAnother example of how the jury based system of justice has run it’s course. With social media and 24/7 news coverage, it’s near impossible for the Prosecutors to make a case to the level of a 1 hour episode of csi. Personally I like the French judicial system where a panel of judges fulfill the role of jurists. Not many complain about their system, of course Canadian and American trial lawyers who benefit from our archaic system.
Dave in F’tonProsecution shouldn’t have swung for the fences when all they had was a circumstantial case. maybe she can be convicted of armed robbery in 12 years when a memorabilia merchant is in possession of all her stuff?
geraldShe was found not guilty of murder..story’s over .
CherylThe only reason for this verdict is the jurors lacked the intelligence and common sense required to process the case. They were obviously utterly incapable of understanding a mind as depraved as Casey Anthony’s. The jurors were sucked in by the slimy, illogical, preposterous, defense arguments simply because they were loud, and delivered by a bully. The jurors were incapable of independent thought.
sandyThis girl is going to have to change her name, color her hair and move.There is no way she can go back to her old life.it was nice of her to throw he family under the bus like she did.I dont care if I never hear her name again. Karma will catch up to her.I suspect all she will get is a slap on the wrist
MikeI followed this trial off and on and I know that I did not see all the evidence that the jury saw, then again I saw and heard things the jury did not so I guess you could say there is a balance there. I for one do not think I could have voted to convict her.1. the was no cause of death.2. the DA did not prove the mother caused the death3. they had no time of death4. just because Casey Anthony liked to party and lie does not make her a murder5. what role did her father play in the cover-up6. the science used in this case was questionable7. the DA came up with his way this death happened and the defence came up with their story on the way Caylee my have diedI was left wonder did she do it or not. In a court of law both in Canada and the US the DA or Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey killed her daughter and I feel they did not have the evidence to prove it.
lorraineThis is a very sad week. she got acquitted for the murder of her daughter and so did Dr Turcotte for killing his two kids. what kind of message is the justice department is sending to the world?
JapieWhy did she lie if she did nothing wrong?