The Casey Anthony Case

by Marinka on May 24, 2011


(This post is completely humor-free. And possibly offensive to some people. Please come back later in the week for fun and laughter!)

I can’t look away.

Casey Anthony goes on trial today for the murder of her 2 year old daughter.

It feels uncomfortable to type those words even.

I remember the summer of 2008 when Caylee disappeared. The story of how her mother waited for a month to report her missing swept the news. How Casey told her own mother that a babysitter took off with Caylee.

The news commented on how Casey was only nineteen years old when she became pregnant with Caylee (which by 16 & Pregnant is practically geriatric). My own mother was barely over nineteen when I was born.

Casey’s mother (Caylee’s grandmother) had said that Casey’s car, after Caylee’s disappearance, smelled like death. Prosecutors are keeping fibers, swatches from Casey’s car in sealed jars and hope to introduce them as evidence for the jurors to smell. So that they can smell the death. (The judge hasn’t ruled yet if he will allow such scratch-and-sniff evidence, unheard of in an American courtroom.)

Casey’s lawyers have hinted that Caylee’s death was accidental, and that Casey came up with a nanny cover-up story because she was scared about how her law enforcement father would react.

But when Caylee’s body was found, she had duct tape over her mouth.

There are a million questions about this case– most of them boil down to why did she and how could she. Was she, as some have suggested, really more interested in partying than in taking care of her daughter? Was she just too young to understand motherhood? Did she have no support system? Her parents seem upstanding, surely they would have helped her out. Was she mentally ill? After all, what person in her right mind, what mother, does this kind of thing?

If I were placing bets (which is always a good strategy when people’s lives are at stake), without having heard any evidence, I’d put it all on a guilty verdict.

Maybe that’s the easy part.

The district attorney has indicated that if Casey Anthony is convicted, Florida will seek the death penalty.

That, to me, is the hard part. Because I oppose the death penalty.

Not because I feel sorry for the people convicted of terrible crimes, but because I think it demeans our society to execute people.

Do we seek the death penalty as a deterrent to others considering a similar crime, to make sure that the convict does not kill again, or as an expression of vengeance?

Florida is one of the few states that still uses an electric chair for executions (although the death row inmate does have the choice of a lethal injection). I’ve read enough about electric chair execution to wonder how they withstand our Constitution’s ban against cruel and unusual punishment.

And I don’t think that it means that I am any less disgusted with Casey Anthony than the people who are calling for her head.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

hokgardner
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 10:02 am

I have a hard time reading or hearing about cases where parents kill their children. It breaks my heart completely to think about the terror the children must have felt when the person who was supposed to protect them from the harm hurts them in the worst way.

But I differ on the death penalty. I lived in Gainesville, FL when five college students were murdered and mutilated in one three-day stretch by a monster. Those murders still haunt me even though I’d never met any of the victims. Some people, like Danny Harold Rolling, are too evil to be allowed to live.

I’m not saying that’s the case here, but it was for him.

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christy May 24, 2011 at 11:03 am

I feel the same way as the above commenter about both – the incident and the death penalty. Incidentally, I also I lived in Gainesville FL right after those murders – it was just tragic. I have nothing to add except Marinka, I admire you for writing about something I can’t even bear to think about it. It’s just so unbelievably sad and inhumane…

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Stephanie May 24, 2011 at 10:04 am

Agree 100%. On every count.

This case makes me very sad, in so many respects.

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Kati
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 10:04 am

I’m with you on the death penalty, because I truly and 100% believe that ALL human life has value. Even the man who killed my sister and father in cold blood, I was all for a life sentence but did not want him to be put to death (though I would not have cried if he’d died in a police shootout).

But I don’t see a scenario in which I ever think Casey Anthony should walk free. Ever.

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Marinka May 24, 2011 at 10:07 am

Once again, I am in awe of your strength and compassion. I know it makes you uneasy to hear that. So I’m writing it down instead.

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Kati
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

LOL thanks. That makes it much easier to take 😉

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michelle May 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

Imagine your child when they are hurting from a fall, a bad dream or some injustice on the playground. They look to you for comfort. Now, you pick them up and do something horrible to them, like kill them.

Yeah, how do we explain that? I just can’t fathom the person who even tries to defend those people. How that lawyer sleeps at night. I know every person has the right to representation, to a trial, innocent until proven guilty and all.

But these people? I just can’t wrap my mind around.

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Denise May 24, 2011 at 10:10 am

I believe in this case, letting the mother live a long life in prison facing every day the demons of killing your child is the best way. Lethal injection seems to easy.

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Loukia May 24, 2011 at 10:16 am

This is true, too. The never ending nightmare. That is, if she’s sane enough to realize how horrific her crime was.

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cindy May 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

It was just disturbing reading this. It made me extremely sad for that poor innocent child.

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Stacey May 24, 2011 at 10:12 am

I live in Orlando. As much national press as this case has gotten, it pales in comparison to what we’ve been hearing and dealing with for the last 3 years. While Florida does still offer the electric chair as a means of execution, I don’t think it’s been used since lethal injection became an option.

I’m sort of on the fence about the death penalty. I think for serial killers such as Danny Rolling that was mentioned above, I’m all for it. I don’t believe serial killers can be rehabilitated. For people who murder one person or a family member, etc., I’m not sure. Are they a danger to anyone other than the person they killed? Again, I’m not sure. I have more questions that answers.

I think Casey will be convicted, but I have my doubts that she’ll receive the death penalty. I think the prosecution put it on the table in hopes that she would plead out. I could be wrong, of course. In any case, living here during this trial is really no fun. I plan to stay as far away from downtown as I possibly can.

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Glamamom
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 10:12 am

This is a terrible story. Especially, given the circumstances. I mean, Andrea Yates is one thing, going a month without reporting the child missing, all-the-while partying at night clubs, is another. It’s unfathomable and I’m relieved I don’t have to sit on the jury and think too hard about the appropriate justice for such a crime.

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Loukia May 24, 2011 at 10:14 am

Here in Canada, we don’t have the death penalty. I wish we did, for certain cases. When there is no doubt that someone has hurt and killed an innocent child, I have ZERO tolerence. I don’t think it’s fair that my tax dollars have to pay for their food and comfort in jail for their entire lifetime, after they murdered a child.
I think that the fact that this mother did this to her own child – there is no excuse. Yes, of COURSE she was mentally ill – otherwise there was no way she could have done this. However, it’s time for her to pay for her crime. And I don’t think it’s awful, to execute her. Why should she be alive when she took the life of a young, innocent child? Duct tape on her mouth? This makes me so sick. I think eye for an eye in some cases, too.
One of the most notorious cases in Canada was Paul Bernardo/Karla Homolka. They kidnapped and killed several young girls, including her own sister. All of this was documented on video, and Karla struck up a plea bargain and is already out on the streets in Montreal. While she was in ‘jail’ – I use the term loosely as it was more like cottage country – she got a Queen’s University education. Which I couldn’t afford, but somehow, I ended up paying for HER to get educated. Now she’s changed her name and her look and is living freely. I think it’s sick.
When it comes to people murdering children, I have no tolerence, and I sometimes wish Canada had the death penalty, too. No excuse for crimes this terrible.

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FreeRange Pamela
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 10:16 am

It’s crazy because, like you describe, I can’t look away. These cases where parents apparently kill, or harm, their own children are just endlessly fascinating for me, though I’m embarrassed to watch, like rubber-necking at a horrible car crash.

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getgoinggirly
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 10:48 am

I am a fairly liberal democrat who used to be opposed to the death penalty. Having kids changed that. NO ONE should be able to hurt a child, and if they do they should pay the ultimate price. I am not saying it always easy to be a mother, there are times I get so mad at my kids that I have to walk away and just breathe, but those frustrations are the flip side of the joy that our kids give us. If Casey Anthony couldn’t handle it then she had two parents who loved her daughter Caylee enough that they were willing to step up and tell the truth about their fears to the police, even though, as Casey’s parent I am sure it was their instinct to protect her. I don’t think Casey will get the death penalty and if she is found guilty that is a shame, BUT I have always heard that there is a particularly harsh kind of justice inflicted on prisoners who hurt children by other inmates within the prison system, I would guess that Casey Anthony would be on the receiving end of that justice.

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Melissa May 24, 2011 at 10:51 am

I feel the same way. Caylee would be the same age as my older daughter. When she disappeared, I remember the nanny excuses, the wild-goose chase she sent cops, the clear grief the grandparents showed (but not Casey). The story is gruesome and horrifying and yet… I have to agree, your statement on executions demeaning society is spot on.

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Misfit Mommy
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 10:53 am

This entire case is just horrendous. However, I can’t see Casey being ‘haunted’ in any way over this – she always struck me as a complete sociopath.

I’m not really sure how I feel about the death penalty, but I know this: if Casey Anthony spends the rest of her days in prison, they will be miserable. Criminals or not, most of those women are MOTHERS.

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Kati
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I completely agree with this.
She may not be tortured mentally by what she did, but she is definitely not going to have an easy time in prison.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 10:57 am

This story just breaks my heart. I don’t know what the answer is. But I do want to know where things went wrong. B/c if she didn’t want that adorable girl, so many homes would have open their arms to her.

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Becky Rice
Twitter:
May 25, 2011 at 8:44 am

Amen to that. I think of couples who aren’t blessed enough to become parents via “nature” would have certainly embraced and nutured that adorable little girl. May she serve as a guardian angel over all children who need a little extra love and protection.

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Penbleth
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 11:15 am

So very difficult. So very sad. I don’t believe in the death sentence and let’s face it, this woman is going to have to live the rest of her life, however long or short, knowing she killed her own daughter.

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Alex@LateEnough
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 11:21 am

I do not believe in the death penalty. Not only has it never been shown to be a deterrent, but as another commenter stated above, I believe that we are a society who must value human life even when individuals do not. And while I don’t believe that this woman (or serial killers) may be able to be rehabilitated, our current prison system is not set up to rehabilitate most people anyway so they should do fine as life-long members. Should our prison system change (as it needs to), people, who cannot or will not change, should be in separate prisons.

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awesome dude May 24, 2011 at 11:56 am

All the states in the Union are very tough in legislation concerning harm done to the children and it represents feelings expressed by the constituency.

I do not think that death penalty will be applied in this case exactly because of the mother’s age.

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calliope May 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm

For the most part I am very liberal…left of liberal even for American standards, but I’ve always been for the death penalty in certain circumstances. These are some of those circumstances, in my opinion.

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Taint-Isis May 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I was nineteen when I had my first baby. It wasn’t easy, but it’s no excuse for any kind of poor parenting.

I don’t agree with the death penalty, either, mostly due to the fallibility of our human systems. Fortunately we don’t have it in Canada (I agree with the poster above about Karla Homolka’s sentence being insane, but will point out Guy Paul Morin and David Milgard, both of whom spent decades in prison for vicious murders they did not commit. We cannot give them back the time stolen from them, but at least they were still alive to be released when they were exonerated.) And making the death penalty an option only in cases where the killer freely admits it just sets up a system where no one will ever confess their crimes. A conundrum, certainly.

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Issa
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I go back and forth on my thoughts about the death penalty. It’s hard to know what’s right. In some respects I think that killing someone for killing is just stooping to their level and honestly it’s an easy out for them. On the other hand, I’m not sure that people who murder innocent children should get to continue living. Basically, it’s a good thing that i don’t decide these things.

I will never understand how someone takes their own child’s life. If you don’t want to parent anymore, find someone who does.

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Kimberly May 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm

You don’t believe in the death penalty. Neither do I. Sometimes I feel like we are twins. I have a lot of respect for how you express your opinions. Excellent writing here, thank you.

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Megan May 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Two wrongs do not a right make. If it’s wrong for someone to take another’s life, why is it right for the government to take a life? I have no use for serial killers (I lived in Gainesville before the murders and they’ve always haunted me) or child murderers, but the only purpose it serves to kill them is to get rid of them. At one time I thought that was as good a reason as any, but now I just don’t want anyone’s blood on my hands.

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A Mommy in the City
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

This is such a horrible story. I lived in Tampa when this was going on and it was the most heartbreaking thing. I taught a little boy in Tampa who was recently murdered by his own mother and with all of the anger inside me, I just want her to suffer everyday and think about what she did to her children. I just can’t fathom how someone can do this to her own child?

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Krystal May 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

This is one subject that is hard to discuss but to be honest, I am at a loss for words – I know she will get convicted. The angry mother in my wants her to pay for her crime and roast but at the same time it would be just too easy for her – she won’t suffer like her daughter did – I wish there was an “eye for an eye” type of punishment – that would satisfy most thoughts….all I know is that Caylee didn’t deserve it – no child does

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Maggie May May 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I am also against the death penalty. Also have watched the CA case since day one. She’s clearly a sociopath. They can cry for themselves alone.

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Twinisms May 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I can’t watch or read anything about this case. It just makes me too sad…

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traci May 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Some people truly deserve to live out their life and self torture themselves. Casey is a young, young woman and stands a long, long life of this form of punishment-which I am all in favor of. I like to think that violent offenders against pregnant woman and children are tortured to death by their prison peers.

On the flip side, I am from Texas, we light ’em up in a college town.

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Kalisa
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I have long said, “I think anyone who hurts a child should get life in prison. And anyone who hurts their own child should get the death penalty.” I guess I just don’t feel like the earth needs someone who can hurt their own child that way. On my opinion, they are a waste of oxygen. I do not believe that every life is valuable or has worth. And I actually know someone who has been executed. He sat behind me in Junior year algebra 2. He killed state police though, not a child. Now I’m just rambling. I have no conclusion to this comment. I would not make a good lawyer with no concludng statement prepared.

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Glamamom
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Have you seen CNN? There’s apparently a lot more to the story. Horribly tragic.

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Marinka May 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Please tell me that they didn’t have Jane Seymour on commenting about it.

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Amelia May 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm

It all just Breaks. My. Heart.

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Kristine
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I can’t follow this case, either. And not because I don’t think that little girl is worth my tears, but because it reminds me that this stuff happens ALL THE TIME. Right before I moved, a mother killed three of her children after she drove into the Hudson River. It was my hometown and I cried as I read the headline. Then yesterday, I read a piece about a 13 year-old boy who was abused for years by his father and step-mother, kept in a cage while his brothers and sisters lived in the house normally. He was dead for two years before anyone knew he was missing.

It’s good that we know about these tragedies, because we can celebrate the life lost and remember those around us who suffer. But I can’t follow the trials and live with them at the front of my mind. Maybe I’m weak, but it’s too much for me to bear. I’m crying just writing this damn comment, for chrissakes.

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SuzRocks
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Good thoughts- It makes me so angry to see what some parents have done to their children.

If you’ve ever taken care of a 7 month old who was given head trauma by her parents and died in front of you, or a 4 year old who was beaten, thrown in a fire, and left for dead, you may come to the conclusion that for some people, there is no alternative than the death penalty.

I say, “may”, because I’m not trying to change your mind or anything- I think every life has value, and that’s why sometimes I struggle with the death penalty. But seeing firsthand what some of these people have done, keeping them alive in a cell by themselves with TV and books, is too good for them.

I would not be opposed to abolishing the death penalty and sending them all to siberia for an old soviet gulag. I also agree with you that the current means of execution are a little crappy. Lethal injection would be the best.

Good discussion.

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Heather
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I have a hard time with the death penalty question. I used to be completely in favor of the death penalty, as a matter of protecting society — not necessarily as a deterrent to other monsters, but to at least get that one particular monster out of the population forever.

However, these days I’m not so sure. When I read about someone brutally murdering a child or any number of horrific crimes, I feel like the death penalty is absolutely in order … but what if there’s a tiny, microscopic possibility that they didn’t do it? Can you ever be completely sure, minus a confession, video evidence, DNA evidence, and 1,000 witnesses to corroborate the story? If there’s even the tiniest chance that you’ll be executing an innocent person, then the death penalty is not worth it. And I think there’s always a tiny chance.

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Sarah at The Stroller Ballet May 24, 2011 at 8:27 pm

This is one of the most horrible things I’ve ever heard of. I, too, remember watching the case unfold three years ago. It makes me sick to think of the entire situation.

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Stasha
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 8:57 pm

We are punished by our sins, not for them.-Elbert Hubbard

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Lu @ A Mix of it All
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Since I’ve given up TV for a week (help me!) I’ve been reading about the case online. I was mortified when I read that the defense is saying Caylee Anthony had an accidental death. I can’t believe that this is what this case has come to. Does anyone really not believe Casey did it?

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dusty earth mother May 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Every time I see a picture of that little girl’s face, I get all sick and shaky inside. I don’t believe in the death penalty, but it is so hard not to want to punish this woman. As a mother, I almost can’t live with what she did–how can she?

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Catherine
Twitter:
May 24, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I don’t believe in the death penalty either, but cases like this make it so hard. Maybe we ought to keep these people alive and send in experts to help us figure out what in hell happened — is a neurological problem? Is she just a sociopath and how did she get that way? Judging her is emotionally satisfying, but not really helpful, because it won’t prevent the next kid from being murdered. So, maybe instead make them pay by increasing our knowledge of these things, so we can better prevent this shit the next time. Because one of the things I can’t wrap my head around is this: in our supposedly advanced civilization, how can we not have figured out how to prevent things like this from happening? How have we not yet learned how to protect our children?

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From Belgium May 25, 2011 at 7:05 am

We don’t have the death penalty in Belgium, just life improsement. But since I became a mother I have mixed feelings about this. Especially where a child predator/murderer is concerned.

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sdl May 25, 2011 at 9:03 am

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be her lawyers, trying to come up with a defense for the indefensible.

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annie May 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

I’ve always gone back and forth on the death penalty…but always leaned towards being against it for similiar reasons as yours. But 10 years ago, a close friend was raped, strangled with her own sweater and tossed in the Boise river. Her attacker got the death penalty and I was oddly comforted by that…..by the way, he wasn’t caught until he’d done it again.

This feels different than that obviously but I’m just making the point that my opinion seems to still be bit fluid. This case sickens me but maybe the greater punishment for her is to make her live with what she’s done. As a mother, that feels worse than death.

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magpie May 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm

This hurts my head, and my heart. I too am against the death penalty; life in prison with no chance of parole for her.

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mysuestories May 25, 2011 at 10:39 pm

you were right…..that post WAS humor-free…damn…stick to what you are good at!

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Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
Twitter:
May 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I feel exactly as you do. I am a staunch Democrat, often on the liberal rather than central side, too. I oppose, philosophically, the death penalty but absolutely concede that if a person cannot be rehabilitated for a crime so heinous, what exactly is the point of incarcerating them for life? So I have this practical conflict which gets muddied all the more when I allow my emotions to play into it.

So…I don’t know. I want this woman dead. But I don’t want to be a part of the citizenry that does it.

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anymommy May 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I never had a strong opinion on the death penalty. Law school taught me the horrible pitfalls of our legal system, despite many safeguards, and I came down firmly on the side of “no death penalty” because, “let 100 guilty men go free to prevent one innocent man from dying” and all that. Then, like so many in these comments, I personally experienced the pain and fury and horror of a loved one’s murder. Matt’s grandmother was senselessly murdered in her home for her checkbook and a little cash, wrapped in a blanket and dumped on a rural road. The man who did it tried to pass one of her checks at a bank a few days later, was arrested and plead guilty in the face of overwhelming physical evidence. I wanted him dead – and it was 100% vengeance. Which was the strongest argument possible to me that these things should be left in the hands of a (hopefully) impartial judicial system with life imprisonment as its harshest penalty.

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Kim Garcia June 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I have been in the hospital for a week for surgery watching the trail and alot of movies. I watched the movie Georgia Rule with Lindsay Lohan made in 2007. My thoughts started going crazy after watching this movie. Both Casey and Lindsay were born in 1986, so I am sure that Casey idolized her. In the movie the character lies really bad lies, the whole time you are thinking she has been molested alot like Casey is claiming now. In the end Lindsay Lohan’s character is really telling the truth (unlike Casey I believe) but I wonder if while in jail Casey came up with this defense thinking everyone will believe her and feel sorry for her as in the movie and all will turn out well? She is crazy you know, do you think the prosecution has thought of this?

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racine June 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Kim,

Strange you should mention the LL movie. To me LL and KC have alot of similarites. Both have entitlement attitudes. Both were enabled by their mothers. As you mentioned, both born in the same year. Both have Sun/Moon combinations as water, (astrologically speaking this is quite the coincidence!)

The prosecution can’t think of everything, but should! I was unaware of the movie similarity. Maybe you could e-mail them your analysis.

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