NOT GUILTY VERDICT IS THE RIGHT RESULT – BUT WE’RE NOT DONE YET
2011 July 8 by Wendy Murphy
People outside the courthouse in Orange County Florida, and across the country, are outraged by the acquittal of Casey Anthony in the murder of her toddler daughter, Caylee, and they have every reason to feel angry. But their energy is misplaced. Justice for Caylee is still possible, notwithstanding the acquittal, if people call for full disclosure of the entire investigative file – including an unsealing of the evidence thus far hidden from public view.
Release of the photographs of Caylee that were seized from the Anthony home and placed “under seal” by the court would be a good place to start. Many people are not even aware that a lot of evidence in the case is under seal, which itself is problematic. But the simple fact is, there’s far more to be said about what hasn’t been revealed in this case than what we’ve seen thus far.
In addition to the sealed photographs, there are search warrants under seal. Assuming the sealed photographs of Caylee involve sexual content, warrants would have been issued authorizing a search for child pornography in computers and elsewhere. The public may have had no right to see this evidence while the case was pending because it might have prevented Casey from getting a fair trial, but now that she’s been acquitted, everything should be released. And if the photographs can’t be released lawfully because of what they show, a description of what they reveal is an acceptable substitute. Courts describe inappropriate photographs of children all the time without releasing the images….
And while the state opined that the child was killed so that Casey could go out partying, didn’t it seem a bit of, um, overkill that a mother would seal her child’s entire face shut with three levels of duct tape, then put her in a trunk, as a way of keeping the child quiet so she could have fun? If it was an accidental killing, wouldn’t it have been enough to put her in the back seat with one piece? The prosecutor said Casey intentionally killed Caylee so she could be free to go out partying, but on the day the child was last seen alive, Casey stayed home all night watching movies. Where was the party?
The style of Caylee’s death was more mob hit than parental homicide. And though the state claimed that Casey was the only one who could have killed the child, which is a compelling argument that often proves murder beyond a reasonable doubt in cases where there is no reasonable basis for believing that anyone else was involved, there were too many gaping holes in the timing of the state’s theory of what happened to sustain that idea in this case….
As Casey’s brother Lee testified at trial, Casey was told that Caylee was taken from Casey to “teach her a lesson”. If, as I wrote in an earlier column, Casey knew the people who had Caylee, and stayed quiet in the hope they would give her child back, her failure to report Caylee missing makes sense.
All of this provides some explanation for the not guilty verdict, but it also leaves us with the new responsibility of demanding immediate and full disclosure of the case file. When a child is killed, her mom or dad can be expected to lead the fight for justice and demand that state officials tell the truth about what they know. But when a parent is involved, the rest of us have to step up. Millions of people have watched this case unfold from day one, riveted by the story of a little girl who was tossed away like trash and a mother who didn’t seem to care. If we paid attention because our concern is sincere, we will keep fighting for Caylee until the whole truth is known. If we watched, instead, out of some sadistic voyeurism or need to feel better as mothers and fathers by jabbing a judgmental finger of blame at a worse parent, there will never be justice for Caylee – or any child – and it will our fault. http://blogs.wickedlocal.com/front-page/2011/07/not-guilty-verdict-is-the-right-result-but-were-not-done-yet/#axzz1RrCRW6vd
Caylee Anthony – killed for child pornography? By James R. Marsh on July 11, 2011
Child advocate Wendy Murphy has a compelling blog entry about the Casey Anthony acquittal entitled “Not Guilty Verdict is the Right Result – But We’re Not Done Yet.”
Murphy argues that “Justice for Caylee is still possible, notwithstanding the acquittal, if people call for full disclosure of the entire investigative file – including an unsealing of the evidence thus far hidden from public view. Release of the photographs of Caylee that were seized from the Anthony home and placed “under seal” by the court would be a good place to start.”
Law enforcement may have discovered “sexualized” images of Caylee on the Anthony family computers which were placed under seal to avoid prejudicing the jury. Murphy believes that “The style of Caylee’s death was more mob hit than parental homicide.”…. http://www.childlaw.us/2011/07/caylee-anthony-killed-for-ch.html