Although I tried not to pay attention to the trial of Casey Anthony, I did see the verdict read live on CNN. As you probably know by now, Anthony was acquitted on first and second degree murder charges of her two-year old daughter, Caylee. Prosecutors in Florida had sought the death penalty. She was convicted on lesser charges of lying to law enforcement officials and is due to be sentenced on Thursday for those charges. I imagine the judge will sentence Anthony to four years (a year on each count) in prison and that she will be out of jail within 18 months.
I can accept that the prosecution didn’t meet its burden. It couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Caylee Anthony died at the hands of her mother. The medical examiner could not determine how she died. But what’s hard to accept is that she did not report her daughter missing and that her remains were found in a plastic bag six months after her disappearance was reported by her grandmother. If Casey Anthony didn’t kill her daughter then who did?
Or was just a terrible accident after all? If it was, you would think she would have been forthcoming with the police. When I worked for the Massachusetts Child-At-Risk Hotline, I once had to write a child neglect report of an accidental death of a young child during a snowstorm. The mother of the child immediately notified the local police who then called in the report. Any woman with an ounce of maternal instinct would be overwhelmed with guilt and scarred for life. But not Casey Anthony. There’s something very disturbing about woman who gives birth to a child who then cannot be bothered to report that child missing.
It’s hard to fathom what life must have been like for Caylee Anthony. I can only imagine how confusing, lonely and sad it must have been to live in a world in which her mother did not want her.