Prosecutors Not Seeking Death Penalty in Casey Anthony Case
Prosecutors in the Casey Anthony murder case have announced they will not seek the death penalty. Anthony, 22, is accused of the murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony.
The case has gained national and worldwide attention since the toddler’s grandmother reported her disappearance to police in July. Casey Anthony did not report her daughter missing and claimed the child had been kidnapped 31 days earlier by a trusted babysitter. When confronted about her daughter’s disappearance, Anthony insisted she had been conducting her own investigation and had been too frightened to contact authorities.
After the police were alerted about the child’s disappearance, Anthony reportedly led investigators on a wild goose chase, telling lie after lie about what happened to Caylee and what she had been doing during the month before the kidnapping was reported.
Meter reader Roy Kronk discovered the child’s body on Dec. 11 in a wooded area, yards from Anthony’s home. Anthony soon became the prime suspect in her daughter’s disappearance and death.
Thousands of pages of evidence against Anthony have been released to the press and public under Florida’s Sunshine Law. The mountain of documents chronicle Anthony’s text messages, computer searches and activities in the weeks prior to and after Caylee’s death.
In the court of public opinion, Anthony’s apparent lack of concern after her daughter’s disappearance, a supposed “smell of death” and stain in the trunk of her car and reported links between the Anthony home and items found with the child’s remains have been enough to convict her. However, legal experts say the prosecution’s case relies on circumstantial evidence and may be more difficult to prove in a court of law.
The murder trial is tentatively set to begin on Oct. 12. Anthony maintains her daughter was kidnapped and that she was not involved in the murder.
Despite the fact that much of the evidence is circumstantial, the prosecution believes they have a strong case. While each bit of evidence could be explained away on its own, they hope to use each piece to paint a broader picture and convince a jury of Anthony’s guilt.
Anthony’s criminal defense team has hired several high-profile forensic experts, including Dr. Henry Lee, to refute the evidence against Anthony. Legal experts believe the case will ultimately hinge on the forensic evidence, and if these respected forensic experts are able to cast doubt on this evidence against Anthony, prosecutors may not be able to convince a jury Anthony is responsible for her daughter’s death.
There are expected to be many pre-trial motions and battles over the admissibility of evidence before the jury is even chosen.
On March 2, Anthony appeared in court in an attempt to stop her personal photos from being released. Jose Baez, her criminal defense attorney, argued the release of the photos would be embarrassing to her and they are irrelevant to the case. The judge denied the defense motion and decided the photos may be released to the media and the public.
Also at issue on March 2 was the release of jailhouse video showing Anthony’s emotional reaction when she learned a child’s skeletal remains had been discovered near her home. The judge has decided not to release the video at this time.