By Dr. Jeffrey Lant
These are the facts.
Caylee Marie Anthony (born August 9, 2005) was last seen with her mother Casey on June 16, 2008 and was reported missing by her grandmother, Cindy Anthony, on July 15, 2008. Her skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area near the family home on December 11, 2008. Casey Anthony was indicted on charges of first degree murder and pled not guilty.
The prosecution sought the death penalty and the trial lasted for six weeks. On July 5, 2011, the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child, but guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. Anthony received a sentence of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for each count. With credit for time served and good behavior, she was released on July 17, 2011, free to walk out of the courtroom and resume her life as an ordinary citizen. But the fact is since the eye of the media (lead by legal commentator Nancy Grace) came to focus on you and your predicament, you have ceased to be in fact the “ordinary citizen” you are in law.
According to journalist Geraldo Rivera, you are the “most reviled acquitted defendant”, even more so that O.J. Simpson or Michael Jackson. Rivera was also quoted on the Fox News Network as saying, “We feel she is a murderer who has escaped the death penalty” Public outrage was immediate and intense.
You contributed to the mayhem by engaging in behaviors the public felt were inappropriate for a mother:
Item: lying to detectives from the Orange County, Florida Sheriff’s Department.
Item: failing to report your child missing despite the fact you admitted you had not seen her for 31 days.
Item: partying around the town both before your missing daughter was found… and, worse, after her decomposed body was discovered.
Item: Having a tattoo reading “Bella Vita” (beautiful life) placed on your body just weeks after Caylee’s death.
The prosecution’s case was based on who would benefit from Caylee’s death… with the accusing finger firmly pointed at … you! The media, which loves stories like yours that grab public attention and won’t get go… tried and found you guilty… and you only aided and abetted these folks by your endless prevarications, deceits, deceptions and lies. In short order you were turned into a pleasure-seeking monster, cavorting on the grave of your innocent child, Caylee, who, quite simply, got in the way of your selfish, sybaritic life.
The prosecutor thought their bird was cooked, when their expert maintained that you made 84 computer searches seeking detailed information about chloroform. (It was only later than this same “expert” admitted he was wrong; there had, in fact, only been a single such search. Still…
Then the unthinkable occurred: you were found innocent on all counts, except for one which convicted you of lying to police officers. I saw your face on television at the moment the verdict was handed down; you wept… perhaps just for simple relief… perhaps because you thought that your ordeal was well and truly over. But in fact that verdict immediately moved you and the entire matter to a different, much more difficult place than the penal system you had just avoided.
Millions of people were astonished and outraged by the jury’s finding and from the immediate instant it was delivered shouted their acute, their adamant disapproval and disgust. Never mind that your constitutional rights meant you were innocent until proven guilty or that the jury did its arduous work correctly and honorably. They had “reasonable doubt” and were, whatever their personal opinions, forced to decide as they had.
The people knew” (by some primal calculus), egged on by the media, that you were guilty… and now, aghast, flabbergasted, disbelieving, they watched as you, who had certainly murdered Caylee, walked. Millions of folks, certain in their minds as to what really happened and who was guilty and needed maximum punishment, wanted Justice for Caylee… and were frustrated they were not about to get it through the judicial system.
At that moment of what had to be joy for you… the system which had just given you freedom… ensured you would be a haunted, hunted, despised and disdained woman for the rest of your life. Your life on the lamb started even before you left the courtroom and was ordained for the rest of your life. For, whatever the legal system says, public opinion, fed by powerful media, have ensured that you will be seen as a child murderer, the worst crime in all the calendar, with vigilante vengeance likely and popular vindication for anyone disposing of you certain.
Let’s look at what this means for you…
You will be in a store like Wal-Mart ready to take advantage of a fantastic sale. Soon you’ll feel rather than see that there are three, now four women whispering about something… you don’t need to be told that what they’re whispering about is… you.
You hope the check-out girl hasn’t seen… but one of the women walked over to a supervisor who, without batting an eye, told the check-out girl to take a 15-minute break,that her shift is over. The supervisor stands there, looks you in the eye and says, “You’re Casey Anthony, aren’t you?”
You decide to lie…. you’re good at lying… but he’ll only ask to see your i.d. and then his strong surmise will become irrevocable fact. So, you say nothing, drop the things you so much wanted on the floor… and, for the thousandth time put your chin up and, looking dead ahead, walk out.
But, like the sentence of the people itself, this incident continues.
You are Casey Anthony… and you are beginning to understand what that means.
The women who were whispering about you inside… are now a growing group. They do not know for sure that you are Casey Anthony (you do your hair different now) but they sense it.
You see your car. You know that if you can get in and drive off before their suspicions harden into fact, you’ll be ok. And so you walk faster… and as you do you see in the corner of your eye that the women are screaming now…. You don’t need to hear the words… you have heard them all before…. over and over again.
“Baby killer! Murderer! Murderer!”
And as you open the car door,the first stone hits the windshield… the second hits you and you feel the blood run down your head.
You manage to get in… get the key in the ignition… reminding yourself to stay cool… and get out fast.
This time you get away… but you are Casey Anthony and you know that such an incident can happen any day, every day.
Then one day, you’re getting ready for a date with a boy who simply knows you as “Casey” and you’re hoping he’ll never find out. You’re leaving the beauty parlor, looking terrific for the first time in months. All of a sudden there’s a sharp pain in your chest… and you see Toni the beautician, the lady who has just done your hair. She’s got blood on her hands… the pain from the sharp instrument she’s thrust into your body is unendurable. But she’s smiling… “That was for Caylee Marie…” And amidst the chaos and confusion, you hear the women in the beauty parlor cheering, for Toni, for Caylee… and for the end of you…
… the woman found innocent of murder by a jury of her peers… and guilty by an outraged nation scoffing at the verdict, determined to get justice for the dear little thing you cared so little about. You are Casey Anthony, innocent, and your dead body lies in a heap on the floor of the beauty shop… your eyes open, seeing nothing.
About the Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is . at http://homeprofitcoach.com/associate , providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses.