CASEY ANTHONY FREE – WHO IS TO BLAME?

I have been hesitant to write about this topic, and wanted to wait until it cooled off a bit.  I have watched Nancy Grace on TV during this entire trial, and while I do like Nancy Grace, I am disappointed in the way that she has portrayed this case. I believed that Nancy Grace has polarized public opinion in an effort to gain television ratings, and she has encouraged people to be angry at the verdict.  That anger has unfortunately turned against the jurors, some of whom have received death threats. First let me say that I think Casey Anthony was guilty and should have gone to prison or received the death penalty.  I do not sympathise with her, and don't like the verdict, and don't like her. However,  I am a former prosecutor and have been a criminal defense lawyer since 1995.  My perspective on this case is that the prosecution failed, and that is why Casey Anthony was not convicted. For all those people that blame the jury, including Nancy Grace, I disagree.  The jury had to follow certain rules that are Florida law and were not made up just for this case, they apply to every case in Florida.  First, in order to find Casey Anthony guilty of first degree murder, the jury had to know "the manner and time of death", and they had to "know that the time between premeditation and murder was long enough to allow reflection".  Since the prosecution failed to present proof of the manner and time of death, the jury didn't know when Caylee died or how she died, and under Florida law they could not come to the conclusion of "first degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt".  In addition the jurors a whole, must have "an abiding conviction of guilt that did not waver or vacillate and was solely based on the evidence introduced in the trial". The prosecution is to blame for Casey Anthony going free, because the prosecution failed to present proof of the "manner and time of death" . As such I blame the prosecution for bringing this case in the first place, if they knew that they could not prove the manner and time of death, then they should have known that they did not have a good faith basis to even bring a first degree murder case to trial.  As a prosecutor you must have a good faith belief in your ability to prove the elements of the charge.  I understand the frustration with the jury verdict, however the jurors did the best they could with the evidence presented, and the Florida law they were required to follow.  For all those people that are criticizing the jurors and making threats to the jurors, I say shame on you, for you are criticizing the American system of justice which in this case worked as it should have, even though most of us, including myself do not agree with the verdict.  Consider this, if you were charged with a crime, you would expect that the same rules of evidence and jury instructions would be applied to you, and you would be given a fair trial and have your day in court too.  So if we want to blame anyone, don't blame the justice system, and don't blame the jurors, blame the prosecution for bringing a case that they knew ahead of time they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt. This is just my opinion, and you should come to your own conclusions, but keep in mind that our country was founded upon the constitution and everyone is entitled to face their accusers and have a fair trial when accused of a crime. 

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