Circumstantial evidence speaks volumes about guilt
The fact that not one juror in 12 could reach beyond the absence of forensics and really "see" the evidence of what happened to Caylee Anthony both sickens and disturbs me. The fact that they come from this area makes it worse.
The child was innocent. She deserved more than 11 hours of consideration and a cop-out verdict. No, there was not a lot of forensic evidence that tied Casey Anthony to the crime. DNA and other forensic evidence will fade after time and circumstance — such as six months in a swamp. During this time, the cause of death will most likely (and conveniently for "whoever" placed Caylee there and for the jurors) be lost forever. But God has given us common sense, and the law allows us to use it.
Why do they think Casey hid the whereabouts of her daughter for 31 days? Where did the smell of death come from that was in her car? Why did she borrow a shovel from her neighbor? Why would she search chloroform on the Internet and then it "mysteriously" shows up in the trunk of her car? What possible reason could she have for lying to the police about what happened to her daughter? How and why did duct tape end up on Caylee's skull?
We do not live in a vacuum, and any one of these pieces of circumstantial evidence speaks volumes about her guilt. I can't believe not one of the jurors had the virtue to stand up for this child and demand a closer look.
I feel heartsick. I feel anger towards these 12 people who set Casey free and denied Caylee justice. I feel they are cowards with no courage of conviction.
A.M. Owens, Tampa
No common sense
After hearing the verdict, I am embarrassed to be a 60-year citizen of Pinellas County. The attorneys came here from Orange County to pick an impartial jury and instead picked 12 people who had no common sense.
Kevin W. Boyd, Seminole
As a citizen of Pinellas County, I take great pride in the knowledge that 12 of my neighbors proved, beyond a doubt, that the system does, in fact, work.
They made a great sacrifice, handed down a courageous verdict and generally proved themselves great Americans.
Robert F. Turner, Dunedin
Probably not good enough
I am concerned with the way a few people have reacted to our Pinellas County jurors who gave many weeks of their lives to hear and fairly judge this case.
The jurors made the only decision they could, based on the evidence they had. The evidence was not there. Do I think Casey is guilty? Probably. Probably is not good enough to convict someone. Our system is not based on probably, most likely, or I feel it in my gut. I say thank God for that.
Teresa Bondanza, St. Petersburg
Jury room pressures
I was on a six-member jury for a driving-under-the-influence case. I gave up and voted not guilty.
At trial we saw a video of a police officer pulling over a pickup truck. The driver was a woman in her 60s. She fell as she got out of the truck. The officer helped her stand up. She had a hard time understanding and slurred her words. She fell three times trying to walk toe-to-toe.
In the jury room, we started with a vote. It was four guilty and two not guilty. After more than seven hours of talking and voting, I gave in. I was the last. A man who voted not guilty said his son lost his license and "all the cops want to do is give us a DUI for drinking one beer." Another juror said that the driver would lose her license. Both said they would never vote guilty.
After reading about juror No. 2 in Thursday's paper I think this may have happened in the Anthony case. It is the only thing that makes sense. It's sad that people are this way. It is easier for them to believe a lie than face the truth.
David L. Richter, St. Petersburg
Judge deserves praise
The jurors took reasonable doubt to a new level and in a ridiculously short time.
On the other hand, in 40 years of observing judges, I must say I have never been witness to a judge as excellent as Belvin Perry. The prosecutors were excellent. The defense worked hard.
Patricia Terpack, Clearwater
I am always intrigued when the media foists these manufactured distractions on an easily distracted populace. And whether its running out of our homes to line up along the highway to catch a glimpse of O.J. Simpson whizzing by, or getting into fistfights over our place in line at the Orange County Courthouse, is your mortgage payment or gallon of gas a single cent less because you get to say, "I was there?"
Most of us can't name more than a couple of Supreme Court justices — the people who decide cases that sometimes do affect our mortgage payment or the price of a gallon of gas — but we know every player in that Orange County courtroom.
As reported on CBS, the FBI reports that as many as 300 children under the age of 5 are murdered in a given year — almost one a day. Meanwhile, the agencies that help address and defuse the family issues that sometimes contribute to that horrifying statistic continue to get their budgets and staffs cut.
Want justice for little Caylee? Then do something to help save the next little child. Or, just sit there and wait for the next TV trial. It should be coming along any day now.
Louis A. Claudio, Safety Harbor
Courage of convictions
If Jose Baez thinks Casey Anthony is so innocent, he should hire her to babysit his children.
Yvonne Neff Woods, Tarpon Springs
Sloppy editing permitted this to appear in the July 6 main story on the Casey Anthony verdict: "A panel of seven women and five men from Pinellas County decided that Anthony, 25, did not murder Caylee in 2008." Wrong. The jury decided that the state did not prove that Anthony murdered her child.
Jacob Voreis, Clearwater
Didn't look at evidence
Have a concern with the Casey Anthony verdict? Well, this is the justice that you get when the majority of citizens duck and maneuver every way possible to get out of jury duty and the pool that is left are those who cannot figure a way out of it.
It is clear that this jury did not have an inkling of common sense, nor do I feel that they took a serious look at the evidence. It appears that they wanted to get home as soon as possible.
Patrick Kroeger, Palm Harbor
They did their duty
Leave the Casey Anthony jurors alone. They did their civic duty, whether you agree with the verdict or not. They should not be harassed for doing what they were supposed to do. I don't agree with them, but then again, I was not on the jury.
John Pagucci, New Port Richey
An invitation to kooks
What purpose will releasing the names of the jurors serve? If you learn the names, will you print their phone numbers and addresses? This will give kooks all the information they need to make the jurors' lives unbearable.
This is about the dumbest thing I've ever seen the Times come up with.
Gary Braddock, Brandon
I wonder what kind of picture Florida presents to the civilized world when they see a prosecutor apparently attempting to imitate a laughing hyena. Then he's followed by a group of seemingly ill-informed citizens carrying on like an old-time lynch mob.
Beverley J. Combs, St. Petersburg
The 'CSI' effect
I proffer two explanations for the Casey Anthony verdicts. First is the CSI effect; in other words, jurors today tend to change "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" into "proof beyond a shadow of a doubt" because they have been conditioned by CSI and similar TV shows to expect indisputable scientific evidence, such as DNA or fingerprints.
The second is equally disturbing. Jurors seem incapable of synthesis, in other words, looking at seemingly unrelated pieces of evidence and then recognizing after a closer look that these pieces in fact make a whole.
Reading the Anthony juror comments printed in newspapers reveals that these jurors expected a single, overwhelming item of evidence. They were either unwilling or unable to look at how implications of the various puzzle pieces reveal a larger picture.
Douglas Campbell, Wimauma
Trial by mob, or jury?
A jury delivers an unpopular verdict and now its members aren't "welcome" at Skyline Chili. People hold signs declaring that jury members are guilty of murder and they should be arrested. Really?
So on top of having their lives uprooted for over a month and going through the rigors of an intense trial, now they have to worry about being lynched?
Are we forgetting that one of the pillars holding up our society is the right to a fair trial by a jury of our peers? I think there's a pretty simple choice here: trial by mob or trial by law. To put it a little more simply: trial like Americans or trial like al-Qaida.
Mark Parry, Clearwater
An absurd cartoon
Nice pandering job on the O.J./Casey Anthony cartoon on July 7, which is about as absurd as it is false — and on the part of the Times, reprehensible.
If you cared to engage your brains instead of slopping in the gutter of public opinion, you might remember that there was a ton of physical, direct forensic evidence against Simpson, starting with a cause of death. How do you propose to convict someone of murder without physical proof that there even was one?
In a time when prosecutors are having a field day railroading people with circumstantial cases, this cartoon is the most irresponsible, idiotic pandering I have ever seen from the Times.
David Brothers, Tampa