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A Criminal Analysis of the Casey Anthony Case
Rowan Cabarrus Community College
On July 16th, 2008, a month after the alleged disappearance of her daughter, Casey Anthony was charged with crimes related to the disappearance. The first pretrial procedure present in this case was the initial charges and bail hearing a day after Caylee Anthony was reported missing by her grandmother. Casey was initially charged with giving false statements, child neglect, and obstruction of the investigation. At first she was not given bail, but eventually bail was set. In the month between her initial arrest and indictment, she was brought in on unrelated check fraud charges multiple times. She was then indicted for the felony charges of “first degree murder aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and four counts of providing false information to the police”. The charge of child neglect was then dropped, and Casey Anthony plead not guilty to all charges.(Caylee, 2014) She refused the plea bargain offered to accept the manslaughter charge and serve 13 years.(Anderson, 2012)
Several constitutional issues came into play during this trial. The sixth amendment gives the right to a fair, quick, and public trial and leads us to the ideal that all people are innocent until proven guilty. Although it seemed to the general public that there should have been enough evidence to convict, Casey Anthony could not be proven guilty because the evidence presented was seemingly circumstantial. The fifth amendment rights involving self incrimination also became an issue surrounding this case. Casey and her lawyer used this right 60 times in the civil case brought against her by the fake nanny whom she pinned the murder on. (Hayes, 2011)
Due to the not guilty verdict for the alleged manslaughter charges, the elements of crime can only really be discussed for the crimes she was actually convicted of. Regardless of my disagreement with the verdict, it was decided Casey Anthony could not be proven guilty of killing her daughter. She was, however, convicted of telling multiple lies to the police and many counts of unrelated check fraud. I can only speculate that the lies she told were motivated by guilt of some other crimes involving her daughter's death, but speculation doesn’t convict criminals.
The first element of crime, actus reus, was Casey Anthony giving the police false information about her daughter’s fake babysitter, her employment, phone calls, and reporting her missing to coworkers. Having decided to tell these lies for whatever reason, she showed intent to commit a crime, or mens rea. When her intent to lie to the police was met with the action of doing so, concurrence of action and intent took place. The impact of her crimes were harmful to people, as they ruined the reputation of an innocent woman, and led the police and Texas Equusearch on a search effort with misleading information. These crimes also cost the police department money because of the search, and the accused woman lost her job thus losing her source of income. She then showed a casual relationship between the criminal act and the harm by continuing to lie to the police multiple times. (Caylee, 2014)
Anderson, C. (2012, July 05). Attorney: Casey Anthony rejected early plea
deal | Fox News. Retrieved September 01, 2016, from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/05/attorney-casey-anthony-rejected-early-plea-deal255160.html
Hayes, A. (2011, November 2). Casey Anthony takes Fifth 60 times in civil suit deposition.
Retrieved September 01, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/01/justice/florida-casey-anthony/
The Caylee Anthony Case. (2014). Retrieved September 01, 2016, from