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1 SpaceJesus  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 7:56:37am

this story is one big example of this:

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

2 SpaceJesus  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 8:06:32am

Also, the general rule for trial lawyers is that juries almost always find based on their gut feelings towards the facts, the accused, and the accused's attorneys. That explains why people get convicted all the time on far less evidence. My gut feeling tells me (and everyone else, including the jury probably) that Ms. Anthony did commit murder. But you know what? That isn't enough, and I applaud the jury for doing the hard thing, and following the principles of our judicial system for resting the heavy burden on the State where it belongs, instead of just listening the mere inferences and emotions. It was probably very difficult for them.

3 Jeff In Ohio  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 8:10:13am

People get convicted on less. People are executed based on fabrications. I have a straw man in my pocket.

4 EiMitch  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 8:48:58am

Frequently, people who've been in prison for decades are being exonerated by DNA evidence. Just because people have been convicted for less, that doesn't mean those juries were right to do so.

Yes, crime/forensic tv dramas are full of crap. But that doesn't mean the system is worthy of our trust. Prosecutors build their careers, not on being honest and thorough, but on convicting as many people as possible. Reports of malicious prosecution have been on the rise for years.

Yes, I realize there is no perfect judicial system. But one would think there is a rational middle ground between siding with criminals, and placing blind faith in the government. Find it, and you'll have something worth talking about. Otherwise...

Meh.

5 Lidane  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 8:55:07am

re: #1 SpaceJesus

this story is one big example of this:

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

Pretty much. I ignored the whole Casey Anthony case for precisely that reason. Well, that and the fact that paying attention to it would have required listening to Nancy Grace, and my brain cells are too valuable for that.

I think the last one of these sensational murder trials I paid attention to was the Andrea Yates one, because she was legitimately crazy and had a documented history of mental issues.

6 What, me worry?  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 8:57:26am
Indeed, people have been convicted of murder when no body has been recovered. In those cases, the prosecutor first has to prove that the victim is in fact dead before proceeding with proving the defendant killed the victim.

This is what I was harping about all day yesterday! And also that proving motive is not imperative, although it makes it easier for the jury to make a decision. There was certainly motive for Casey to kill her baby.

My comparison was Scott Petersen, who was convicted strictly on circumstantial evidence, most of which had reasonable, explainable excuses. But there you had a very pregnant woman who was murdered and a louse of a husband who cheated on her. He never had a chance. People were screaming for his blood before a stitch of evidence was presented.

But regarding the media frenzy, the case was compelling and definitely shocking. The devil-may-care mother who would rather enter a hot body contest than be concerned where her daughter was for a month. (She knew where she was....) The pathological lying that pretty much defined her life. So I understand the media frenzy, before and after the verdict. And, btw, I never followed this case until the last few weeks.

What I don't understand is how they can convict her of lying and not find her guilty of murder when her lies directly were related to the cover up of this death. Accusing a nanny who never existed, saying she was at a job that she never had, etc.

7 Locker  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 9:06:45am

Argued about this with my wife on the way home but it seems that almost everyone argues this issue as if they KNOW she's guilty of violating X statute but the someone fucked up and she got off. Seems to be a mistake.

You are innocent until proven guilty in this country. None of the armchair quarterbacks know a damn thing about this case that wasn't filtered through the media. The jury was obviously capable of deciding for a conviction as they did so on a different charge.

So, why does everyone in this country/world think they know better than the seated jury and the judge?

8 What, me worry?  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 9:28:57am

White Woman Gets Preference Syndrome? The sweet little Black girl, Rilya Wilson, fell through the Florida's Dept of Children and Family (DCF) which is one of the most poorly run and I believe criminal child welfare systems in the country. Criminal because there is little supervision of either the children or the social workers. Not enough people, overworked, blah blah blah, it's no excuse to me. It's not the children's fault. I thought we're in a job crisis in this country?

Rilya was murdered in 2000 - 11 years ago and her alleged killer IS STILL sitting in jail without trial. Case remains unsolved. No one gives a shit.

I don't think anything positive has happened with DCF in all these years. Many children still fall through the system. The majority are Black and Hispanic, but the majority of children IN the system are Black and Hispanic.

9 lawhawk  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 9:46:43am

re: #6 marjoriemoon

The burden of proof is the same in all those individual counts; beyond a reasonable doubt. The lies to the police about the existence of the nanny that didn't exist were provable and that's where the jury convicted.

They simply didn't find the rest of the prosecutor's case sufficiently convincing.

Maybe the DNA evidence was sufficient for conviction with a different jury makeup or not. We'll never know about that.

Clearly, this jury didn't find the evidence sufficient for the murder convictions and all the yapping by talking heads doesn't matter. The only thing that mattered was what evidence was seen by the jury - not what some lip-reader on Nancy Grace thinks Anthony said (for example). The jury wasn't considering that or anything other than what was entered as testimony and evidence.

10 lawhawk  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 10:53:46am

re: #7 Locker

So, why does everyone in this country/world think they know better than the seated jury and the judge?

Because any one of us could be seated on a jury to decide these very kinds of questions.

The difference is that armchair quarterbacking the case is different than sitting in the jury box. It's a very different experience - not only is the jury limited as to what they see and hear about the evidence and how it's presented, but the televised trials don't capture everything that goes on in the courtroom or they capture more than what the jury is entitled to hear.

Sitting on the receiving end of a tv means you are privy to all kinds of information that the jury would never consider - whether its opining talking heads, lip readers, or critiques of the case, as well as discussions held outside the jury's purview.

11 What, me worry?  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 11:21:18am

re: #9 lawhawk

The burden of proof is the same in all those individual counts; beyond a reasonable doubt. The lies to the police about the existence of the nanny that didn't exist were provable and that's where the jury convicted.

They simply didn't find the rest of the prosecutor's case sufficiently convincing.

Maybe the DNA evidence was sufficient for conviction with a different jury makeup or not. We'll never know about that.

Clearly, this jury didn't find the evidence sufficient for the murder convictions and all the yapping by talking heads doesn't matter. The only thing that mattered was what evidence was seen by the jury - not what some lip-reader on Nancy Grace thinks Anthony said (for example). The jury wasn't considering that or anything other than what was entered as testimony and evidence.

Last night, the media talking-heads were talking about how the media had over-saturated the trial. Good for a few hours of filler. How's that for a bucket of irony.

Who cares about the media saturation anyway. You can always flip the channel. The jury isn't effected by any of it. They're sequestered. They don't know what we see, nor do they hear the analysis.

I know it's a different jury and a different state and different lawyers, but it's hard to get my head around a guilty Scott Petersen and a not-guilty Casey Anthony.

12 Off Colfax  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 1:42:00pm

re: #11 marjoriemoon

Casey Anthony had two things on her side. First, a perhaps overzealous District Attorney's Office who firehosed the jury with every possible charge instead of picking their strongest case and running with it. Second, a more competent defense team who were masters at (legal) jury manipulation and the raising of reasonable doubts.

If Scott Peterson had had the exact same set of lawyers sitting the bar for his trial, odds are fairly good that he could have gotten off scot free. Yet Peterson had one problem that Anthony didn't: evidence showing immediate capacity to flee the state and/or country. Anthony didn't show up at a golf game with her own father while carrying 15k in cash and someone else's drivers license, after all.

Innocent people may go out and try to forget their troubles for a few nights a week, but innocent people rarely flee the jurisdiction. And that's a sign that few juries can ignore. You run or you ready to run, you gotta had done something to make you run.

13 lostlakehiker  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 3:13:59pm

re: #6 marjoriemoon

This is what I was harping about all day yesterday! And also that proving motive is not imperative, although it makes it easier for the jury to make a decision. There was certainly motive for Casey to kill her baby.

My comparison was Scott Petersen, who was convicted strictly on circumstantial evidence, most of which had reasonable, explainable excuses. But there you had a very pregnant woman who was murdered and a louse of a husband who cheated on her. He never had a chance. People were screaming for his blood before a stitch of evidence was presented.

But regarding the media frenzy, the case was compelling and definitely shocking. The devil-may-care mother who would rather enter a hot body contest than be concerned where her daughter was for a month. (She knew where she was...) The pathological lying that pretty much defined her life. So I understand the media frenzy, before and after the verdict. And, btw, I never followed this case until the last few weeks.

What I don't understand is how they can convict her of lying and not find her guilty of murder when her lies directly were related to the cover up of this death. Accusing a nanny who never existed, saying she was at a job that she never had, etc.

What I've heard is that this or that pebble in the avalanche of evidence the state presented wasn't proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Requiring each item of evidence to be proved for sure is scientifically unsound. Imagine we've got a coin and it's on trial for being biased. So we flip it and record the results. Unfortunately, our data gets messed up; the channel flips ten percent of the bits we send. [At random]. So, our test result says that 650 of 1000 flips were heads, and we call that biased. But unfortunately, we cannot testify beyond reasonable doubt to any single one of our flips. That which our records show was a heads, may have been a tails, and vice versa.

Does this mean we lack good cause to think the coin biased? Far from it. Evidence is cumulative. A ton of feathers still weighs a ton, and so does a ton of evidence.

14 Buck  Thu, Jul 7, 2011 9:00:13am

re: #8 marjoriemoon

Rilya was murdered in 2000 - 11 years ago and her alleged killer IS STILL sitting in jail without trial.

The caregiver Graham was jailed for identity fraud and Medicaid fraud for accepted payments on behalf of Wilson after she was missing.

Although this tragic case may never be solved (no one even knew the child was missing for two years), the alleged killer is not sitting in jail without a trial.

15 What, me worry?  Thu, Jul 7, 2011 12:54:38pm

re: #14 Buck

The caregiver Graham was jailed for identity fraud and Medicaid fraud for accepted payments on behalf of Wilson after she was missing.

Although this tragic case may never be solved (no one even knew the child was missing for two years), the alleged killer is not sitting in jail without a trial.

Graham and her mother (sister/daughter? I have to go back and look) were the alleged killers. The fraud charges should not keep this woman in jail for 11 years. What I think is going on, they have no evidence to charge her with the death of Rilya. They don't even have a body. Rilya was never found, but they are 99% sure she did it or was an accomplice. So they're keeping her in jail. Yet another horrifying failing of Florida's child care system.

16 What, me worry?  Thu, Jul 7, 2011 1:28:31pm

re: #12 Off Colfax

Casey Anthony had two things on her side. First, a perhaps overzealous District Attorney's Office who firehosed the jury with every possible charge instead of picking their strongest case and running with it. Second, a more competent defense team who were masters at (legal) jury manipulation and the raising of reasonable doubts.

If Scott Peterson had had the exact same set of lawyers sitting the bar for his trial, odds are fairly good that he could have gotten off scot free. Yet Peterson had one problem that Anthony didn't: evidence showing immediate capacity to flee the state and/or country. Anthony didn't show up at a golf game with her own father while carrying 15k in cash and someone else's drivers license, after all.

Innocent people may go out and try to forget their troubles for a few nights a week, but innocent people rarely flee the jurisdiction. And that's a sign that few juries can ignore. You run or you ready to run, you gotta had done something to make you run.

As bizarre as it may sound, getting out of dodge is no way proof of guilt. This man couldn't step out of his house without being harassed. He was basically convicted of the crime before he was even charged - a pariah in the community. He may not have been smart, he certainly wasn't loyal, but that doesn't make him a murderer either.

They found cement on his boat, but he used cement for landscaping.

They found blood on the boat, but she had been fishing with him before.

Going fishing on New Year's Eve meant he killed her? But he had gone fishing on previous Christmas' and New Years.

Granted, there were almost 400 witnesses, approx 200 for each side, but the few things I heard would have given me reasonable doubt, unless they were disputed which could have been and just wasn't published.

There was a judge, a neighbor of the Petersons who testified that he used to admonish Laci for walking her dog in a bad part of the neighborhood where homeless people hung out. He told her that it was very dangerous and she shouldn't be wearing her jewelry and expensive clothes near them.

Then there was testimony that a person was being forced into a brown van around the time of the disappearance. A brown van was found with blood stains in it. I don't know what became of that. The owners of the van were cleared, but was someone else driving it?

A rape counselor from the rape hotline testified there had been attacks in the area around the time Laci went missing and that a man who was caught for rape bragged that he was going to torture and kill a woman around Christmas.

Lastly, a female prosecutor who lived in the neighborhood was about Laci's height, with brown hair and also very pregnant was receiving death threats by some friends of men she had recently convicted. Did someone abduct Laci thinking it was her?

I'm aware it's easy for me to play armchair juror, but the determination to convict Scott Peterson seemed exceptional to me.

17 What, me worry?  Thu, Jul 7, 2011 1:32:46pm

re: #14 Buck

The caregiver Graham was jailed for identity fraud and Medicaid fraud for accepted payments on behalf of Wilson after she was missing.

Although this tragic case may never be solved (no one even knew the child was missing for two years), the alleged killer is not sitting in jail without a trial.

Btw, Rick Scott defrauded Medicare for some $40 million and he's governor now!


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