Overheard: Readers react to Casey Anthony verdict
Casey Anthony was acquitted of first-degree murder on Tuesday
July 5th, 2011
05:31 PM ET

Overheard: Readers react to Casey Anthony verdict

Comment of the day:

“I have been ‘foreperson’ on three trials. Bottom line is so clear and it is called Reasonable Doubt. That is what dictates the jury's decision. No matter what you think – just one item that causes Reasonable Doubt means not guilty because everything in this case that was presented has to be beyond a Reasonable Doubt. I believe no one will ever know what truly happened, but you do not convict someone because of your emotional feelings.” - Carole

Casey Anthony found not guilty on most serious charges

After less than two days of deliberation, a Florida jury acquitted Casey Anthony on Tuesday of first-degree murder and the other most serious charges against her in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. They did convict her on four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers, which carries a one-year sentence for each count.

Before the verdict was announced, CNN.com readers speculated about whether Anthony would be found guilty or not:

bigclown248 said, “100% Guilty. The lies, the duct tape, the chloroform searches, the motive, the partying, human decomposition evidence, the picture of a man using a chloroform-soaked rag to drug a woman, the tattoo, blaming an innocent or imaginary person for the kidnapping/murder..."

Luisferreira responded, “I found that Baez had a good defense conclusion, where he pointed out the most important thing: it’s on the hands of the prosecution to prove without a doubt that the person is guilty. In this case, I don't think they have any real proof besides speculation and Casey’s post-behavior.”

creedsword said, “I think Caylee died accidently and Casey saw that as a happy accident.”

OutNasa said, “The crux of this failed court system is, ‘she should have been convicted of a felony for witnessing a toddler's death, hiding the body and not reporting the death.’ Period.”

busydrone responded, “This is a regurgitation of what the prosecution argued. It's not something you have to summarize for us. She is not guilty, as you put it bluntly; she is innocent until proven guilty by the jury.”

WebsterLong responded, “You are out of your mind if you think this is a slam dunk. There are PILES of circumstantial evidence and stuff that common sense and logic would lead to a guilty verdict, but is there a smoking gun? All the defense has to do is plant that little seed of doubt and she gets off. Personally, I think she is guilty, no clue if it was pre-meditated, but I feel she killed her little girl, possibly by accident, who knows. BUT...with all the smoke, mirrors, dramatic testimony, hooks and twists that the defense is throwing, I would not be surprised at all if the jury acquits.”

TheBoss said said, “I still reserve some doubt that she did it. Someone else may have actually done it, but with her knowledge.”

Bubba01 said, “We don't really know. They've proved she's an awful person, but there's been too much media attention and outright hate for her to get a fair trial. I think she did it, based on stuff I've heard, but so what? None of us really know. They should have sent her up for twenty for not knowing where her child was then charged her when the body was found. The whole thing's been too emotional.”

Kori from Tampa, Florida, said, “Hopefully the jury gets it right. I personally believe the State proved their case. GUILTY.” SusanBarwick said, “After watching the closing remarks and rebuttal, I do think she will get a charge of 2nd degree murder. Chuck said, “31 days. end of story.”

After the verdict was read, thousands of CNN.com readers responded, the majority saying they felt that justice had not been done, but a fair amount also said the U.S. judicial system worked the way it was supposed to.

KMM said, “Not guilty doesn’t mean your innocent...”

Binky42 said, “This still doesn't make Baez a good lawyer.”

NavyJag said, “Pundits....the ‘lawyer’ from Las Vegas....shut up. You had it wrong from jump. Baez was a star. The State had no case.”

Really49 said, “Ahhh, poor Nancy Grace and crew...”

sameeker said, “She lied to the police about the crime but was not guilty of the crime? Remember that this is the same state that didn't know how to use voting cards in 2004. Here's your sign.”

CaptainJerry said, “They say one can only die one time! That's not true. Caylee Marie Anthony died TWO times: Caylee Marie Anthony died the first time in the hands of her 'mother.’ Caylee Marie Anthony died today for the second time in the hands of those 12 brain-dead jurors. American tragedy!”

popeye1128 said, “Duct tapping a dead child's mouth? The jury is a bunch of idiots.”

op619 said, “This rivals the shame of the O.J. Simpson trial...and we all know what a model citizen he turned out to be. We'll be hearing about her again.”

Drew1983 said, “You people forget the state’s case was weak!! they didn’t even have a cause of death!”

lwc2011 said, “There is no justice in this world anymore. There is no justice for the little girl who had no chance to grow up. But her mother can go free and have the life she always wanted and it makes me sick to my stomach. RIP Kaylee.

Desie said, “The verdict makes me sick, but I think what will push me over the top is Casey interviewing with the media, on her high horse and stringing together another web of lies. She makes me ill.”

frank12345m said, “If I was her I'd make sure that I was wearing full body armor before I went outside, now and forever!”

richard daryl Osborn said, “She won’t have much of a life now anyway. She will always be The Baby Killer in this country.”

You said, “I think it says that the legal system used to try and convict is extremely flawed. Mikky_H said, “Everyone, even the lowest of the low, deserves a defense.

Elan said, “She is only innocent thanks to a disgusting defense lawyer who can smile at the face of murder.”

Jeff said, “WOW. So many of you are willing to say KILL her, FRY her, she is GUILTY. All I know is that a JURY picked by BOTH SIDES found her Innocent. A few of you have posted how you have lost your faith in the judicial system. How many of you all have tried a case in court. How many of you all have an opinion that has not been subjected to NANCY GRACE!? I do not know if she killed her daughter or not, but 12 people found her NOT GUILTY."

Why we care so much

Psychologist Frank Farley,  the L.H. Carnell Professor at Temple University and a former president of the American Psychological Association, wrote a column special to CNN.com about how the Anthony case captured the American public’s attention. He says that the lack of concrete evidence, emotional factors, courtroom and police dramas and fascination with the dark side contribute to captivating people’s attention.

CNN.com readers shared their feelings about the case and their guesses about how the public has become so interested in the case.

JackiMaddie said, “I hope I never get caught up in a trial like this again. I am so anxious waiting for this verdict....don't want to feel this way about another high profile case ever again. I'm praying for first-degree murder. Anything less will be an injustice.”

NevisEnoch said, “Because America is A-1 when it comes to focusing on other people's problems and avoiding our own.”

kevcp said, “I think it's always compelling when a mother has allegedly killed her child. I think perhaps that's the simplest explanation for the "obsession.”

Expresss said, “The only people I'm aware of who are obsessed with this are in the media and their shoving this story down our throats.”

foodpimp69 said, “IMO most of us are obsessed with justice being served!”

Glades2 said, “We get obsessed because we don't have enough to do with our time, whether spare time or otherwise – this is a case that involves the family versus the state, so to devote so much of our own personal time is foolish. Sure, some might see themselves in this woman or her parents, and hopefully we have learned something from this terrible situation (to always be truthful, for one), but to become obsessed – as the media has done – serves no purpose – the world has many other problems that DO need our immediate and personal attention...”

doversoul said, “Why are we obsessed with this trial? Sordid is fun. And this is real life, not a film. It feeds our need for thrills, and it being live, anything can happen at any moment. We can't wait for that outburst, that piece of evidence we didn't know existed, that testimony we weren't expecting, that proverbial smoking gun. I agree with the posters saying this trial is getting media coverage because she's a pretty little white girl and that is a sad testimony to what makes the media money.”

Guest said, “Obsessed? More like trapped! The media keeps jamming this sad story into our face. The facts seem pretty clear: child disappears and murdering mother parties while making excuses for missing daughter's absence. Guilty. Now can we start to obsess about a few national issues of relevance such as (a) the nation's economic future; (b) two unfunded, open ended wars; (c) national media's undue focus on issues of national insignificance?”

soundoff (592 Responses)
  1. Jim S.

    Them’s fightin' words when Nancy said the jurors were kooky, but Jennifer Ford did sound like an airhead. She said she couldn’t understand and follow the chloroform testimony and discarded it. I wasn’t even in the courtroom, I saw it on television and I could follow it. She said it was easier to believe the defenses explanation of an accident and cover up, for which their was zero proof and completely flew in the face of common sense. Common sense was on the side of the prosecution. The alternate juror said Casey's upbringing in a dysfunctional family could explain her behavior for the thirty-one days. Common sense again thrown out the window. My family was dysfunctional, so were my friends. Beleive me, I don't say that lightly. While the behavior of my friends and I was at times severe, behavior like hers was beyond real. If the juror's bought that, they would make the ideal parents for a wayward teenager. "Hey dude, don't worry about it. We can do it, we can go. My Mom is stupid. She always believes the made up stories I tell her." With everything that's coming out it seems more and more apparent that the jury took a misguided approach and was unbalanced in their interpretation of the law, unbalanced in their understanding of what it takes to dispel reasonable doubt. Maybe reading the Judge's instructions during deliberations would have helped. They wanted a smoking gun. To them no smoking gun meant not guilty. In other words there is no way to know if the earth is round until astronauts go into space and bring back a photograph and nothing can be determined from indirect evidence. The jurors were well meaning, but ultimaetly, it was their incompetent mode of thinking that led to a murderous sociopath being released back into society. I hope my kids and I don’t run into Casey Anthony in a dark alley when we go on vacation to south Florida.

    July 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glen

      Jim, if the prosecution could have shown the jurors when, where, how and why there was a murder then they would have been happy to make Casey the who. Do you know when, where and how Caylee's death happened. Didn't think so; now turn off the TV and have a thought from your own pathetic head. Wow!

      July 9, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Your right on the money. But you might need to "dumb it down" for 12 people or so............

      July 9, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. michelle

    COMPLETE DISGRACE!!!
    Our justice system does not work!!!!
    If you cant do the time, commit the crime in the state of Florida!!!!!

    July 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. michelle

    COMPLETE DISGRACE!!!
    This trial is a perfect example of why our current justice system does not work!!!
    If you cant do the time, commit the crime in Florida. What a bunch of incompetent jurors, I hope the 12 of you can live with yourself's!!!!

    July 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glen

      If you can't prove there was a crime then don't waste our money bringing it to trial. The jury proved what a slam dunk this was with a quick aquittal.

      July 8, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      I totally agree michelle. I think they should do away with the jury system and broadcast trials on tv and get 50 million voted like American Idol!

      July 9, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. Glen

    What a joke. The prosecution can't tell the jury when or where the death occured. They can't even tell the jury how it happened or cause of death. Not even a plausible motive. But they expect 12 people to overlook all the trees AND the forrest – to completely disregard the rights of a fellow citizen and set precedent by sending someone to prison or death without even proving a crime was committed. Seriously? If they could have only got the judge to agree to letting them watch CNN. Talk about a network that has lost ALL credibility. When people awake from their trance and realize what fools they have been, and how CNN duped them .. well, the any of them with the ability to have a thought should be furious. Enjoy those ratings now; I suspect you've grossly understimated the intelligence of your viewers. Or maybe I'm overestimating it. I really wish there was a news outlet that was fair and balanced – I used think CNN was closer than FOX – thanks for clearing that up CNN.

    July 8, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      You seem to have issues with alot more than this case.

      July 9, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      I dont know how many times Ive read "they couldnt tell you why, when, where, how...blah blah blah.
      Anyone in the world cant tell you why, when, where, how, about anything in the world. Enabler!

      July 9, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kevin

    People seem to miscontrue what resonable doubt is. Its your common sense people!
    If you use your common sense your parents gave you and your wisdom youve aquired as your years as a human on this planet, does it seem like she killed her kid?
    Seems resonable to me.

    July 9, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim S.

      Here, Here !

      July 10, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. D. W. Martin

    If you credit Nancy Grace for the Anthony case popularity....NOW you can blame her for carrying it too far...I don't know for a fact that Anthony killed this young child, BUT, if a 'trial by jury' is the final anser in America, then the case is over...good, bad, or indifferent!!!. Case Closed...Drop it....Let it go....for the Anthony anyway.., Grace's opinion and those of her peers, could not stand an examination of truth...ITS AS SIMPLE AS THAT!
    Righ or wrong, the case is over....If I understand anything about the legal system...one is innocent until proven guilty by the courts....Does HLN now want to change the legal system, so that one must prove his innnocence? Why can't HLN be satisifed with the legal system having to prove ones guilt? ...
    Untill HLN stops beating this now 'dead horse' I will not watch HLN....enough already Please!!!! (And for what its worth...II only watch CNN, ABC, NBC (and its associates) abd occasionally, CBS news.....

    .

    July 10, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. John T

    Is it not against the law in the United States to dispose of a dead body?

    July 10, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Richard Gange

    outrage is good it shows the american people care . it all so premotes change such as the two new laws that will be put into effect. maybe we need to take a closer look at our judishel system. plenty of evidence she is guilty as sin!

    July 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rich

    hey jake c you need to get real your dumb!!!!!!!

    July 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rich

    hey glen your a close second to jake c!!!

    July 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Florida was once known as the spot to visit and live. Now it's the home of 12 idiots that need a picture or video of a crime before they convict. In all honesty, the entire state is full of stupidity.

    July 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Proemed

    @Jim S You made fun of Jennifer Ford because she took the job seriously. You on the other hand just accepted whatever was said by the prosecution is true and the defense must be lying. To you its simple, thats because your simple minded. Jenifer Ford knew the trial proved nothing of Casey's involvement. You on the other hand hated Casey and could have cared less what the trial proved. Your not half as smart as Jennifer Ford.

    October 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
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