We’ll be honest … we haven’t been following the trial of Casey Anthony, the 25-year-old Florida woman who was accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony three years ago.
Apparently we’re in the minority, though, as this real life courtroom drama has transfixed millions of Americans.
Suspense turned to outrage on Tuesday afternoon, though, when a Florida jury found Anthony not guilty of murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter despite what appeared to be compelling evidence of her guilt.
Anthony was found guilty of lying to police officers about the death of her daughter, whose body was discovered six months after her “disappearance.” According to prosecutors, Anthony knocked her child out with chloroform, suffocated her with duct tape and dumped her body in the woods near her home.
According to Anthony’s attorneys, Caylee Anthony accidentally drowned in a swimming pool – which prompted her mother and grandfather, George Anthony, to dispose of the body in a panic.
Social media websites exploded in the aftermath of the verdict – many of them comparing Anthony to former football star O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown.
Legacy media sites, however, hailed the verdict as a victory for due process over “outside social media forces that take away from a defendant’s right to an unbiased trial by jury.”
“It seems that with the not guilty verdict, social media’s reach isn’t so extensive that it can malign a jury against a defendant,” wrote a pair of reporters for CBS. “The burden of providing evidence is still on the prosecution.”
Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Anthony had she been convicted of the first degree murder charge. However a jury of seven women and five men returned a “not guilty” verdict on that count after ten hours of deliberation.
Anthony never testified at her trial. She is expected to plead the fifth amendment at a civil trial scheduled to begin on August 29.
Pic: via Daylife