Florida Criminal Defense Attorney on Casey Anthony Verdict – State v. Anthony

July 5, 2011 by David S. Seltzer

Today, a jury found Casey Marie Anthony not guilty of murdering her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony. The verdict has already generated a lot of controversy from people who understandably feel that it provided no justice for Caylee Anthony. However, as a south Florida murder criminal defense attorney, I’m less surprised and upset. I have appeared in the media several times to discuss this high-profile case, and I expect to appear several more times to discuss this verdict. In essence, it confirms what I said from the beginning: that prosecutors did not have what it took to convict Casey Anthony beyond a reasonable doubt.

First, a word about what that means. In our legal system, defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty (or they should be). As a result, the prosecutors bear the burden of convincing a jury that the defendants are not innocent. Jurors in criminal cases are instructed to find people guilty only if they have no reasonable doubts that the person is guilty. In Florida, jurors are told that a reasonable doubt is one that does not leave them completely convinced of the defendant’s guilt. That’s the standard applied to Casey Anthony’s trial.

In my opinion, the prosecution simply didn’t have the evidence to meet that standard. The evidence against Anthony was entirely circumstantial: nothing directly tied her to the child’s death. She certainly lied to the police about issues related to Caylee’s death — and was convicted of it — so she didn’t make a very credible or sympathetic witness. But that’s different from whether she killed her child. By offering alternative explanations for all of the evidence against her, Anthony gave jurors a reason to have reasonable doubts. And as we saw today, those reasonable doubts were enough to keep her out of prison.

As a Miami-Dade criminal defense lawyer, I know a lot of people are unhappy with this verdict. The death of a toddler appeals to people’s emotions, and this verdict has undoubtedly left some people with the impression that no one is being held responsible for a terrible crime. That might even be true, but the trial was not about finding someone responsible: it was about whether Casey Anthony was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Using the facts presented to them at the trial — which were certainly more detailed and differently presented from the facts in the media — the jury decided she was not. As a Fort Lauderdale child abuse criminal defense attorney, I commend them for making their decision based on the facts and instructions given to them, rather than emotion — because that’s what keeps our justice system working properly.

If you or someone you love is accused of a crime in Florida, you could face jail or prison, a permanent end to your career and more. Don’t be afraid to call Seltzer Law, P.A. for a free, confidential case evaluation. We’re available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, because we know trouble doesn’t just happen from 9 to 5. To learn more, call us today at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) or send us a message through our website.


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