Keller @ Large: Casey Anthony Verdict Not So Stunning?

BOSTON (CBS) – On Tuesday, jurors found Florida mother Casey Anthony not guilty on charges she killed her two-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008.

They only convicted Anthony on charges that she lied to police. If the judge sentences her to time already served, she could walk away a free woman.

What led to this stunning verdict? What really happened to little Caylee?

Prominent local lawyer Wendy Murphy, who followed the Anthony case closely, is theorizing that the wrong charges were brought in the case.

WBZ’s Jon Keller is at large:

There’s a lot of anger being directed at that Florida jury, but Murphy, a New England Law School professor, said the anger is being misdirected. Instead of blaming the jury, she says, take a look at the prosecution’s failure to match the evidence with the charge.

“There was no evidence, in my opinion, to prove that Casey Anthony killed her child,” said Murphy.

Murphy was one of the few national legal pundits to predict Anthony would beat the murder rap. There is plenty of reason to dislike the defendant, she notes, but none directly linking her to Caylee’s death.

“There was a lot of evidence that she lied, plenty of evidence that she wasn’t the best parent, and there’s no question she didn’t act appropriately when the child first went missing. She was not reporting the child, she seemed almost nonplussed, but the jury can’t say responsibly because she was a bad mother, she killed her, and that was the real gaping hole in this case,” said Murphy.

Murphy and other legal analysts agree there were errors made by the prosecutors, perhaps most grievously, the decision to bring murder charges without a definitive cause of death.

“There was justice for the defendant, and absolutely no justice for the child, at least, not yet,” said Murphy.

Murphy says she did extensive research on the testimony at this trial and agrees with the defense team that many legal pundits unfairly jumped to conclusions about Anthony’s guilt. She’s calling for impounded pictures and other evidence seized from the child’s home to be released, but doubts that will happen.

Anthony’s parents were in court when the verdict was read. They left without speaking to their daughter.

More from Jon Keller
  • jaygee

    Hundreds, if not thousands of children, are killed every year in this country by parents or step-parents but the media has focused on this particular case for 3 long years. It’s over. They can’t retry her but the Anthony family is going to be looked at forever as worse than dysfunctional. Defense attorneys can beat their chest and continue to claim that the evidence wasn’t there but everyone knows one thing. How could any mother not tell anyone, including her own family, that her 2 year old daughter was missing for 30 days while she danced, drank and got tattooed? Some can praise the jury but most rational people are well aware that she was responsible for this little girl’s death.

  • blackbear1

    All these “reasons” given by legal experts as to why the prosecution did not prove it’s case. Same old story everytime someone gets away with murder. Cats and dogs are better mothers than this _______. Prosecutors are always facing an uphill battle, while defense attorneys(?) grandstand, twist stories and have it easy. Also some jurors just plain could not pull the trigger.
    There is still a dead little girl out there, but the judicial system works. Right!
    I hope Anthony lives her hell on earth. Someday she will have to face her child again.

  • tsal

    I don’t like the verdit. That’s an emotional response. There is no room for emotion in a jury’s verdict. There is only room for facts and they were simply not there. I totally agree with Murphy. You cannot convict a person for killing her child because she was a horrendous parent and an equally bad person. I would rather have our system than any other system in the world. Our system does work. We don’t put people in jail or worse kill them because we don’t like them.

    • Cynic

      Blackbear1 and Bob…..Casey was found not guilty because she did not do it….no other eason.

    • Cynic

      Sorry tsal….we do put people in jail every day and kill them less often because we don’t like them. Just ask the innocence project.

      • tsal

        Cynic – I understand it happens but was referring to this case where so many have decided she should have been found guilty but are basing that belief on emotion alone. Facts were not there. There is no one – other than those in the court – who know the full and detailed story. Again, I’m not saying she didn’t do it but in this country you have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Does it always work? Of course not. I’d still choose our justice system over all others.

  • BOB

    Party on. Baby killer !!

  • sloopjohnB2

    She was found not guilty. No one said that she was innocent. The judge should give her four years to serve with credit for three, the maximum. She should also be required to pay Orange County for all of the money spent looking for Caylee when Casey knew she wasn’t missing. Unfortunately in this society, she will soon have plenty of money via books, movies and tv appearances. She is a REAL lowlife. Someday she will have to answer to the only jundge that counts.

    • tsal

      sloopjohnB2 – I’m interested to see if the judge does exactly what you suggest. I would take the four year sentence with one remaining to serve as an indication that the judge didn’t much like the verdict. If she goes free today, I’d take it that he believed it was a fair verdict. Only supposition on my part of course.

      • JSMCL

        I’m curious if parallels can be drawn between JonBenet Ramsey’s unsolved 1997 murder and this one ? Starting with the parents and their manipulation of the facts? And how this directly impedes law-enforcements.

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