Casey Anthony Trial: TV News Pundits Try to Explain Jury's Surprising Verdict
Dr. Drew Pinsky says jurors likely sympathized with the defendant, while Anthony's former attorney Jennifer Barringer argues that she did in fact get a "fair trial."
The jurors aren't speaking about their surprising decision to deliver a not-guilty verdict to Casey Anthony on Tuesday, but a slew of experts hit the cable news networks to try to figure out why they went the way they did.
Dr. Drew Pinsky told CNN's John King that the jury likely felt sympathy toward Anthony, for whom the prosecutors had sought the death penalty in the 2008 murder of Anthony's 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
"It almost becomes a Stockholm syndrome where you develop a relationship at a distance with the person who is accused of committing the crime," he said on John King USA, adding that Anthony behaved differently when the jury wasn't around and faced them during most of the trial.
"It's got to be very difficult" to be on the jury, he added. "Think about how difficult it is to sit there and listen to all this material and say that 'I have no reasonable doubt.' I have reasonable doubt, so I can just imagine a juror sitting there thinking, yes she was involved but not Murder 1."
Noting that her parents have hinted Anthony in fact might have had something to do with Caylee's death -- perhaps accidentally -- Pinsky added, "I think everyone understands that we all want to know what happened here, and justice has not been completely served."
Over on Fox News, Bill O'Reilly in his Talking Points commentary called Anthony "vile."
"I say Miss Anthony is 'vile' because for 30 days she did not report her baby missing -- 30 days! In that time a sociopath Anthony partied hard, got a tattoo and generally ignored the plight of her missing 2-year-old who was later found dead in a swamp."
But O'Reilly said he's withholding judgment on the jury.
"Reasonable doubt in the murder? Maybe," he added. "I will not condemn the jury in this matter. That would be unfair. Let's hear from them before we make any judgments. Problem is, the jury doesn't want to explain their verdict to us." (The jury decided as a group not to speak to reporters after the verdict was read.)
O'Reilly noted they were likely too "exhausted" or are "looking for money to talk."
"Talking Points believes that Caylee Anthony has been victimized again. ... She was an American, entitled to protection, and her mother did not provide that," O'Reilly added. "The justice system has failed as well because we still don't know what happened to the little girl."
Also on Fox News, Anthony's former attorney Jennifer Barringer tried to get into the jurors' mindsets, noting that they likely weren't weighing all the evidence during their deliberations.
"They don't talk about that, because the question is: Did they prove murder? Not even did she do it, but did they even prove that a murder occurred?" she said on Hannity. "There was no cause of death."
Former NYPD detective Bo Dietl added that a crucial mistake was when the prosecution tried to show that duct tape was the cause of death.
"My feelings are, it was a very winnable case on a negligent homicide on the fact of her being negligent," he said, adding that he thinks Caylee died of suffocation and heat exhaustion. "I buy the fact that no mother in their right mind would go 30 days without reporting a child gone."
Meanwhile, attorney Kelly Saindon defended the jury on Fox News.
"I'm not sure why everyone's angry at the jury, but the thing is, they did their job," she said. "I think from everything we've seen that she got a fair trial. I may not love the outcome but what was put before the jury, reasonable doubt is a high standard."
Jury consultant Susan Constantine echoed that sentiment, arguing on behalf of the jury.
"What I'm seeing right here with this jury is that ... they just didn't find some of the witnesses credible," she said. "There was so much information they were inundated with. .... These are just average people chosen to sit on this jury and when it came down to it they said, I don't know! ... I think when it came down to it they didn't come up with a verdict of guilty because there were too many things and too many obstacles that said I can't cross the i's and dot the t's."
On NBC’s Nightly News, the network’s chief legal analyst Savannah Guthrie told Brian Williams that a not-guilty verdict is “not the same as saying that Casey Anthony is innocent.”
“In other words, we haven’t heard from these jurors, but they may have been deeply suspicious of Casey Anthony,” she said. “They may not like Casey Anthony. But at the end of the day, they know the law requires them to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. ... And at the end of the day, it’s clear they didn’t think they had sufficient proof.”
She added that there were “huge gaps in evidence,” including the cause and time of death.
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