Casey Anthony Acquitted of Most Charges

Deborah Denno in The Wall Street Journal, July 06, 2011

Media Source

Wall Street This Morning (podcast)

Interview with Deborah Denno on the Casey Anthony verdict


What do you make of this verdict?

Denno: “I think the verdict could have been predicted in this direction. Proof beyond reasonable doubt is a difficult standard to reach. The jurors have been there for a very long time and have been weighing the evidence. And it is a circumstantial case.”


What do you make of the national hoopla?

Denno: "Why, I think, hearing about who is waiting outside in a line to see this case in Florida have been mostly young women who have children and feel strongly about the case.  You read a headline saying, you know, Casey Anthony is the most hated woman in America, etc, but the jurors are there day after day. They are seeing all the witnesses before them and drawing conclusions based on their emotions and on everything that they see."


Did anything surprise you?

Denno: "There was some consensus that the rebuttal wasn’t as strong as it could have been. I think the prosecution indicates that in a case like this you have so much evidence - maybe they could have picked three major points and brought them across to the jury.  At the same time, this case have been going on for a long time, so  the jury, I am sure, would let us know what in particular influenced them, - maybe it was the Anthony family itself. There was an overwriting factor in her parents. There is conclusion in how the family interacted with each other."


Is eleven hours a particularly short time to deliberate?

Denno: "That’s right. Eleven hours is not a typically long deliberation. It was suggested that there was quite a bit of initial agreement amongst the jurors when they entered the jury room and whatever disagreements were there were resolved easily. The counts could be up to year apiece. And there were four counts on providing false information etc. So technically, she could get up 4 years for them if there was credit for the time she spent behind bar already. It is unclear if the judge would do something like that. The charges that she is up for are not uncommon; they straightforward charges. We have been hearing about this for a long time, and I think this verdict may have surprised a lot of people.  Just reading the headlines, when the verdict was given to the jury, there was the thought that people would have perhaps, came to the conclusion, that there would have been a conviction. Maybe it wouldn’t have been first-degree murder, but it would have been comprised for a manslaughter conviction. I think this have been a surprising verdict for people perceiving this on the outside."