July 6, 2011 by USA Post
Outside the courtroom, many in the crowd of 500 reacted with anger, chanting, “Justice for Caylee!” A man shouted “murderer of babies!”
In one of the most controversial rulings from O.J. Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his wife, Anthony was acquitted of charges of murder, manslaughter and child abuse, after weeks of TV coverage wall to wall and an armchair lawyer erudition that one of her lawyers denounced as “The murder of the media.”
Anthony, 25, was convicted only of four counts of misdemeanor lying to investigators looking for the child in June 2008 disappearance.
Anthony could receive up to one year in prison on each count when sentenced on Thursday. But since he’s been in jail for almost three years, could walk free. Had he been convicted of murder, she could have gotten the death penalty.
After a trial a month and a half, the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida Court jury took less than 11 hours to reach a verdict in a case that had become a national sensation cable television with style CSI testimony the smell of death inside a car trunk and line of the story of a seemingly selfish, party hard young mother.
Prosecutors said Anthony – a single mother who lives with her parents – Caylee suffocated with tape because she wanted to be free to hit the clubs and spending time with her boyfriend.
Defense lawyers argued that the girl drowned in the family pool, and Anthony panicked and hide death from the traumatic effects of sexual abuse by her father.
State Attorney Lawson Lamar lamented the lack of hard evidence, saying: “This case is bone dry. Very, very difficult to prove. The delay in the recovery of little Caylee is still working to our disadvantage.”
Anthony failed to report the disappearance of Caylee for a month. Child’s decomposed body was eventually found in the woods near her grandparents’ home six months after she was last seen. A coroner was never able to establish how he died, and prosecutors had only circumstantial evidence that Caylee was killed.
The jurors – seven women, five men – would not talk to the media, and the court kept their identities secret.
Given the relative speed with which the jury returned, many observers of the court were waiting for Anthony to be convicted and were surprised by the result.
Anthony’s parents quickly left the court after the verdict, no hugs or say anything to Anthony. As the court broke up, she smiled and hugged her lawyers.
“While we are pleased to Casey, there are no winners in this case,” attorney Jose Baez said Anthony after the verdict. “Caylee has spent too much, too soon, and my engine has been for the past three years has always been to ensure that there has been no justice for Caylee and Casey because Casey did not murder Caylee. It’s that simple.”
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