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Casey Anthony Trial Shows the Limits of Forensic Science in Proving How a Child Died

The Casey Anthony trial riveted America, with many TV experts and viewers almost certain of the young mother’s guilt. But with no eyewitnesses or confession, the case demonstrated how difficult it was to prove to a scientific certainty how 2-year-old Caylee died.

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Casey Anthony reacts to being found not guilty on murder charges at the Orange County Courthouse on July 5, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images)

Earlier today, an Orlando, Fla., jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, bringing to a stunning end a trial that had fixated the nation for weeks.

The case turned on similar questions of forensic expertise and evidence as those featured in The Child Cases, a joint reporting effort by ProPublica, PBS "Frontline" and NPR.

In stories published last week, we found that child deaths pose special technical challenges for forensic pathologists; in cases involving children, prosecutors and police often rely heavily on autopsy findings.

Our reporting showed that these cases have been repeatedly mishandled by medical examiners and coroners, sometimes resulting in innocent people being wrongly accused. In the Anthony case, it's unknown if flawed forensic evidence led to a false accusation or made it impossible to convict a guilty person of a horrible crime.

The verdict shocked a bevy of TV legal analysts as well as the millions of viewers who had slavishly followed the case's lurid twists and turns.

Caylee Anthony disappeared on June 16, 2008. Her decomposed body was discovered six months later—her face wrapped in duct tape and her body covered in plastic and laundry bags—in a wooded area near the Anthony home.

Chief medical examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia, who appears on the Discovery Health Channel show Dr. G: Medical Examiner, concluded in her autopsy report that the cause of death was "homicide by undetermined means."

Based on Garavaglia's report and other evidence, prosecutors charged that Casey Anthony, 25, drugged her daughter with chloroform, and then put duct tape over her mouth and nose to suffocate her to death. Based on a rancid smell and a single strand of decomposing hair, the state alleged that Anthony hid the child's body in the trunk of her 1978 Pontiac Sunfire before disposing of it.

The defense argued that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that Casey Anthony and her father, George, covered it up. (George Anthony denied participating in a cover-up.)

Defense experts challenged each element of the prosecution's forensic evidence. Two experts disputed the state's claim that the levels of chloroform in Anthony's car were exceptionally high. One of them, FBI forensic chemist Michael Rickenbach, testified that the child's car seat, a steering wheel cover and doll all tested negative for the presence of chloroform.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz testified that he believed the duct tape was placed on Caylee's body after her flesh decomposed, perhaps to hold the jawbone while moving it. He also criticized Garavaglia for a "shoddy" autopsy because she failed to cut open the child's skull and look inside.

An FBI forensic expert testified for prosecutors that the hair found in the car trunk showed signs of decomposition consistent with coming from a dead body, but admitted on cross-examination that her conclusions were based on a still-evolving area of forensic science.

State Attorney Lawson Lamar acknowledged after the verdict was announced that doubts about the forensic evidence may have added up to reasonable doubt for jurors. "This was a dry bones case, very, very difficult to prove," he told Reuters "The delay in recovering little Caylee's remains worked to our considerable disadvantage."

Though the jury found Casey Anthony innocent of murder and child neglect, she was found guilty of providing false information to police. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday.

Aside from possible human error, I think the biggest issue in the Anthony case was the advanced corpse decomposition. Even if the forensic work had been flawless, when so much time has elapsed and the corpse is so badly deteriorated as this was, many unanswerable questions will always remain.

Now I guess she can go back to fornicating and living for herself interests without the burden of caring for and loving a beautiful child that God gave her but that she chose to murder. She will stand some day before the Judge of all the universe and be given a sentence worse than death unless she repents of her sin by confession and places her faith and trust in the shed blood of the LORD Jesus Christ. Be sure your sins will find you out.
this also goes to show that if your not ugly and a female you can get away with killing your own baby, at least in this life. Why should we be surprised when 3000 innocent children a day are murdered before they are even born.

I am the mother of a five year old little girl. If for some forsaken reason she ever severely hurt herself, to the point of death, my maternal instinct would be to call on anyone to help me try and perform a miracle to save her. My first instinct would have been to dial 911. Never would I think to cover up an accident.

Matt McCusker

July 6, 2011, 1:09 a.m.

As a Trial/Jury Consultant who has worked death penalty cases, I believe this verdict was the result of the prosecution’s desire for a death qualified jury. This required them to tell a ridiculous story of premeditation that raised as many questions as the defense.

What is more frightening is the fact that the prosecution (and judge) have set terrible precedents for the admission of “junk science” in future trials. I have written a blog about it at http://www.jurylaw.typepad.com

I have also done research (and read the research) on the so-called CSI Effect (suggesting that unexpected verdicts are the result of a jury’s desire for ironclad forensic evidence). This theory has been debunked by most research. You can go to read more about it http://jurylaw.typepad.com/deliberations/2010/05/what-the-csi-infection-teaches-us-about-assumeing-juror-biases.html

Instead, these verdicts are typically the result of an incoherent narrative and overreaching charge.

Television fiction has given most people an unrealistic sense of what forensic examination can provide. In the real world, useful DNA, fingerprint, and trace evidence is scarcer and more ambiguous than our entertainment media would have us believe.

The jury did not find Casey Anthony “innocent of murder.”  Like all verdicts, the accused is either guilty or NOT GUILTY. This may seem a fine distinction, perhaps even semantics, but it is a distinction many citizens, including this one, find helpful in grudgingly accepting how an accused person who otherwise SEEMS clearly guilty is determined to be NOT GUILTY due to a lack of a clear tie to the act. 

If a jury were given the responsibility to determine innocence versus guilt, they likely could not handle the responsibility in cases such as the Anthony case.  To say that the evidence did not erase all reasonable doubt of guilty; therefore, the accused is NOT GUILTY is a far cry from saying that the evidence shows the accused to be innocent.  From a legal standpoint in society, Ms Anthony is presumed innocent unless proven guilty, but from a legal standpoint, she is ONLY not guilty. 

I would have expected more of Pro Publica.

Now that I got that off my chest… In following the series by Pro Publica and NPR on the issue of investigating and prosecuting cases of a death of children, it is interesting to note that the man in the first NPR report on the issue was one where the accused, and condemned man actually called 911 trying to get help for what may have been a very sick child.  His reward, to be sent to jail for 60 years.  In the case of Caley Anthony (for whom no justice will likely ever be done), if there was an accident, no 911 call was made, and no one will go to jail.  What is the lesson to be learned in these two cases.

James B Storer

July 6, 2011, 8:38 a.m.

The statement in the report “…it’s unknown if flawed forensic evidence made it impossible to convict a guilty person…”  I disagree with the implication here.  The legal system seems bent on taking verdicts as gospel (right or wrong).  Therefore, if a person is not convicted, the system cannot rightfully, then, refer to the person as guilty.
  Mike Licht:  Right on, concerning television fiction’s asinine presentations of forensic examination capability.  Even if some of the outlandish claims are accurate, the “results” are often so questionable that they can be used to convict an innocent person as easily as to convict the factually guilty person.
  ED (comment yesterday, 11:29PM):  Your comment stands alone as an intellectual, religious, and literary gem.  It adds to my personal dedication to being agnostic.
  Skartishu, Granby MO

Forensic evidence is there, anyone who watches Bones or CSI knows that! She’s guilty!

i agree with Ganski.  God help an innocent person whose fate is in the hands of twelve.  if you are guilty, why not roll the dice, what do you have to lose.

I think Hollywood has finally overtaken reality.  I agree Mike Licht, while I am not in law enforcement, I have friends who are, and reality is *NOTHING* like 1-hour TV dramas.  And, while I think Casey was involved in her daughter’s demise in some fashion, thank God that a person can’t be convicted on emotion and mob justice as pumped up and portrayed by the likes of CNN and Nancy (Dis-)Grace (don’t get me started!!) !!  That would be like going back to the days when a lot more innocent men and women went to prison over biases and prejudices interpreting circumstances versus trying to prove it with irrefutable evidence.  Someone mention that Scott Peterson was convicted on the circumstances, yes, that is true.  Ultimately, it comes down to the individual jurors in a given case deciding what they believe guilt or no to be.  This is the system in the US and it ain’t perfect, but I’ll take it.  I followed a lot of the trial, and personally, as I said, while I believe Casey is culpable, I too felt the prosecutions argument was failing to stick.  In fact, I think their reliance on the emotional factor too much made it stick even less.  I think it hinted an air of desperation on the prosecution’s part which the jury picked up on as Baez drove home in his closing statements.  But, I guess they had to try something.

This case was lost (as the OJ case) when the Jury was chosen. It was decided on emotion, rather than evidence. On feelings, instead of intellect. Close attention to the make up (sex, age, background, etc.) of the Jury made the verdict very predictable.

agree totally w/T Ganski

How does one explain people who are found guilty
when there is no body ever found?  It does happen.

Goes to show that circumstantial is too high brow a concept for jurors to understand. Justice has prevailed.

In the U.S. it is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.  To protect against the possibility of putting an innocent person to death or in jail for a long time.  It is set up like this because we believe (supposedly) that punishing an innocent person is a greater error than letting a guilty person go free. I actually use this and explain it in terms of null and alternative hypothesis in statistics courses.  I do believe for many students that is the first time they really GET why we do this.  Think of how it would be if we presumed guilty and those charged had to somehow ‘prove’ they didn’t do it…...proving a negative is difficult, if not impossible.  Personally, I like our set up and I believe it is best.  The media got in the way of this trial, it stirred up hysteria and mob/group think.  I understand a business model but I believe that ‘news’ should be held to some kind of standard. 

For the so-called CHRISTIAN above…........I am with Mr, Skartishu, Granby MO
Thanks for the words….......

“Though the jury found Casey Anthony innocent of murder and child neglect—”  This is shoddy and unprofessional reporting. She was not found innocent. She was found not guilty. There is a difference. More dumbing down as usual.

Like the OJ case we will discuss with disgust the outcome. We/I learned a lot from this trial and the commentary. I wish to disagree about all jurors being blanket coded as too dumb to understand forensics and the differences between reality

31 days—I suspect most reasonable people would believe that is neglect.

As for the Religion bashing—I would prefer G-d fearing Christians who when asked freely admit that they are imperfect, as opposed to agnostics who look down their noses at those who disagree with them

Holy Cow!  I agree with most, that she was involved, most likely an accident.  Cover up is not a good thing, but, there are cases where coming forward result in terrible consequences by our lawmen who sometimes go after one person to the exclusion of all else.  This happened in this case.  There was no solid evidence against her.

Sure, she was a bad mom it would seem on some days, but she apparently loved this little one.  Accidents happen.  I am not siding with her, I am just saying that she made some bad decisions—- then the media blows it up AND the public becomes a lynch mob!  Then the jury says let’s get real and the public becomes a raging lynch mob! 

It seems as if news media tried and convicted her before she ever came to trial, and spun up the public to agree with that.  I read a news article stating “the trial where the public was enthralled” should really be written as “the trial that was on EVERY channel where the public could do NOTHING but watch”.

OJ’s forensics were there and the jury aquitted him on the basis of popularity.  The jury here, well, I don’t think we will ever know except that the evidence wasn’t there for motive or cause of death.  Let it be…. God forbid any of you people spun up on media hype have to live this one.

My greatest concern re the not guilty verdict of Casey Anthony is that it may serve as an example for other mothers who are so inclined to murder their children, since they now know that they can do so without punishment.

This gives all of us the responsibility of spreading the word that this jury’s verdict is not a green light.  I haven’t figured out, yet, how to do this, but I’m open to suggestions.

It amazes me what drives so many people to care so much about certain news.

If the prosecution had a solid case you would all be happy. The moral here is don’t charge someone with a crime and waste tax payer dollar when your case is so circumstantial.

I managed to avoid all the news whoring on this case somehow. yeee me!

This case makes no sense to me.
1. If my child drowned I would be so grief stricken the last thing I would think about is covering it up.
2. If Caylee drowned and her mother found her, she hid her body, then kept it a secret. This is so incriminating!!
The puzzle pieces just don’t fit.

We are quick to forget other cases where the media feeding frenzy and their quest for ratings circumvents our flawed justice system! How about the Jon Benay Ramsey case,another child killed and the system heads for what they thought the easiest target,the mother. How many heads rolled after that theory was torn apart? And look how quickly a certain CNN witch,Grace, latched onto that one? It’s all about ratings,not justice. Remember,“If It Bleeds,It Leads”! And as to the judicial system.I am aware of at least 3 cases in Florida alone where prosecutorial misconduct landed innocent people in prison for half of their lives and never a"I’m sorry"from anyone!

Matt McCusker

July 7, 2011, 12:03 p.m.

@Kathy Barth,

Our justice system puts no burden on the defense to prove innocence, so their story doesn’t have to make sense. The burden is on the prosecution to prove guilt through evidence (forensic, circumstantial, witness, etc.).

Odd behavior is certainly considered by a jury, but it can’t stand alone as proof of the prosecution’s theory of the case. In fact, when arguing for premeditated murder (as the prosecution did), this odd behavior works against the State.

Why would someone who premeditated a chloroform/duct tape murder not also premeditate a story to cover up the death? Why would they wait 31 days to report a premeditated murder? This is why the prosecution’s attempt to go for the death penalty (which required a premeditated case story) was such a dumb idea and likely lost them the case.

If they had just charged her with aggravated manslaughter and presented a case for aggravated manslaughter, there would have likely been a different outcome.

I am a person that knows how corrupted our justice system is.  Again with this case the prosecution was over stepping their powers and they lost.  Prosecuters seem to not care to see the obvious and in this case they did’nt either.  A jury found her not guilty, but in my eyes she knows what happened to her baby, I don’t think it was murder, but the prosecutors did and wanted her to die for it, which was wrong because again they acted corruptly by not using their common sense.  I applaud this jury for sticking to the law in judging her.  This is how all juries should judge and our countries wrongly convicted would cease.

@Betsy J, I truly do not believe that any mother will think this is the “green light”, I believe that when women do kill their children, it is due to mental illness and/or depression.  I would assume that in the great majority it it due to immaturity of the mother when having to deal with a baby who is sick or fussy, and then again the media and prosecutors over exaggerate the whys and hows.

I totally agree with you, sweety, but I DO think that this will put those mothers who may be borderline child murderers over the edge. 

I had been totally against the verdict until I listened to and read a lot of comments, and I do now believe that there wasn’t enough proof to convict. Worse than Casey Anthony getting off scott free are the thousands of prisoners who spend many years, if not life, in jail or who were executed and weren’t the least bit guilty.

I just don’t want Casey Anthony to ever have children again.  Ever!

@Mike
“As for the Religion bashing—I would prefer G-d fearing Christians who when asked freely admit that they are imperfect, as opposed to agnostics who look down their noses at those who disagree with them”

Please see “irony” and/or “clueless” in your favorite dictionary.

Bob,  would you include G-d fearing Jews?  Or are Christians the only proper G-d fearing folks?  I, personally, am an agnostic Jewess, and I love learning other people’s points of views, and I look down my nose at no-one, ‘though I’ve been discriminated against a lot.  And I hate to tell you who has discriminated against me.

This case was but another example of a media feeding frenzy.

The bozos and bozettes at HLN found the Anthony woman guilty when the child first went missing and gave incompetent politicians prosecuting this case and self promoting opportunitists a reason to overcharge the matter and more specifically to manipulate the system to get a jury that would convict a “ham sandwich”. ( anyone w/experience in jury selectiion of capital cases knows selected jury members must specifically have no objection to the death penality, which shows a likely preponderence to convict that same “ham sandwich” )

For certain there are facts that none of us will know until the books are published. This case, as was the Simpson, Peterson, Blake, Stewart, Libby cases, an opportunity to promote oneself in the eyes of the public at the financial expense of the taxpayers, to wit: Thomas Dewey, Rudolph Guiuliano, and others, past, present and future.

The only proven facts that cost the Florida tax payers millions are, the Anthony family is disfunctional. Employees of the State of Florida are liars, especially the prosecutors and the medical examiners and the judge in this matter had no intentions from day one of seeing justice be done showing his continued prejudice against the Anthony woman and her counsel ( the hysterical lead prosector), his continued ignorance of the obvious misbehavior and covering the legal mistakes of the prosecution team (I wonder how many innocents are serving time after being convicted by this politician).

This trial was unnecessary to show the ignorance and prejudices of the talking heads most particularly Nancy Grace, former prosecutor, turned TV prosecutor, Vinnie Politan, son of a former federal judge who had learned at home there are no innocent defendants, and the slew of other former unemployed prosecutors who knew absolutely from July, 2008 exactly what took place and that the “mom did it”.

What did rational people learn?

Absolutely nothing except that every so often, a blind squirrel may find an acorn!.

@Betsy J

I don’t think there are mothers who are bordeline murderers, as you say, who will be put over the edge by the outcome of this trial.

If this trial proves anything it’s that Americans absolutely hate women who murder their children. Why would any women want to be the focus of the type of intense hatred that is now centered on Ms. Anthony? 

I don’t think Nancy Grace will be satisfied until one of her mouth breathing viewers makes an attempt on Casey Anthony’s life.

Forgive me if someone has already said this, but here (I believe), is what happened:
Casey figured out how to give Caley chloroform to make her quiet—for whatever reason—-obviously she’s an incredibly self-centered sociopath—-anyway, she overdosed Caley with the stuff, and Caley died.  You CAN die from chloroform.
Casey freaked out, because fluids started to come out of Caley, so that’s why she put the duct tape around her mouth and nose.  She triple bagged her and put her in the trunk because she didn’t know where else to put her.  Meanwhile, she acted like everything was normal (to her friends), and avoided her parents.  She was in a “frenzied state”—-partying, etc., for a while until her mom started questioning her, then she dumped the body in the swamp and began to tell everyone the crazy, made up stories…
I think if the prosecutors had charged her with involuntary manslaughter and death by overdose of chloroform, they would have gotten a conviction.  They got greedy with wanting 1rst degree murder and the death penalty…and that’s why she walked.
Caley died the same way Micheal Jackson did…so pathetic.

Does anyone recall if ANY body EVER mentioned that the reason for the duct tape was to stop fluids from coming out of Caley?

The biggest takeaway in this case, in my opinion, is the Florida criminal system’s reliance on juries in capital murder cases.  My sense is a three-judge panel would be a better alternative, and there would have been a conviction on some lesser charge than premediated murder - probably the most logical outcome given the evidence and known facts, the latter apparently beyond the understanding of this jury.  If we cannot depend on a modicum of common sense and reasoning ability from the general public then these cases should be adjudicated by judges.  This was a real pie in the face for the Florida legal system that needs to be addressed.  What they have is not working and they have put a potentially dangerous and obviously unbalanced person back on the street.

This country ought to re-look at our court practices, and we might even consider re-defining reasonable doubt.

The most frightening revelation in this matter is the popular reaction to the verdict. It is little wonder that so many innocent Americans are in prison. It appears that these Americans’ concept of a justice system resembles Sharia Law rather than presumption of innocence. The primary if not exclusive reason that Anthony is walking free was based upon the deliberate decision of the prosecutor to charge her with 1st degree murder rather than a lesser charge. This decision was no doubt based on the assumption that they could get 12 ignorant yahoos and sexual repressed Nancy Grace types on the jury to find Anthony guilty of whatever they asked for even if there was no evidence to support that verdict. Seems like a good day for American Justice and a bad day for those who would undermined our judicial system by attempting to rely on an assumption of lowest common denominators in American society.

@Ed’s july 5th post. Not only will everyone whose ever committed sin to this multitude stand in front of God and be judged for sin, but every man whose judged another man will also be judged. Its a nerve racking situation but please try to keep from judgeing others, I wouldnt want to see a fellow christian be judged just as well.

The Bridgeport Kid

July 11, 2011, 9:20 p.m.

The state of Florida procecuted a fatally flawed case. The forensic evidence didn’t support the state’s theory of the crime, that Casey Anthony knocked out her daughter with chloroform and then suffocated her with duct tape. Without proving a cause of death there was no way for the jury to affix blame. similarly, the defense and the procecution agreed that Caytlee Marie Anthony died on June 16th 2008. It was Jeff Ashton’s contention that Caylee’s body was rotting in the trunk of a car while Casey Anthony went with her boyfriend to Blockbuster to rent a could of DVDs. Also not proven.The party photos? Those are not evidence of anything beyond poor judgement. My impression is that Casey Anthony was responsible for her daughter’s death but not guilty of murder. With her father not quite answering attorney’s questions and her mother committing perjury it leads one to think that one or both of them knows more about the child’s last days than they really let on.

All the state’s attorneys and the Orange Countyu Sheriff’s Office were able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that Ms. Anthony is a thief and a prodigeous liar, nothing more. There was no definitive proof of premeditated murder beyond the junk science used to demonstrate “shockingly high” levels of chloroform in the trunk of the now-notorious white Pontiac Sunfire. Only two people know what happened to Caylee Marie Anthony. One of them is dead and the other isn’t talking.

To be perfectly frank I thought she’d be convicted on a lesser charge like manslaughter, she’d stew in a prison cell for a couple years and the conviction would be reversed by the federal appeals court in Atlanta. The jury suprised me as much as anyone. Now that they have spoken we need to accept the verdicts as rendered. Ms. Anthony has a long road ahead, rehabilitating herself. Three years is a long time to spend in solitary confinement, waiting for her day in court. It’s obvious that she has some behavior health issues.

Bridgeport Kid have you ever seen the 11th DCA overturn anything?They are rubber stamps for the trial courts.Frankly I don’t know WTF they do with all the time the have on their hands not reading appellate briefs.

The Bridgeport Kid

July 12, 2011, 5:37 a.m.

The 11th DCA has turned over a lot of murder cases from Florida. Casey Anthony’s case would’ve gone to that court if the Florida Supreme Court didn’t reverse the conviction. And the Florida Supreme Court DOES overturn convictions based on shabby evidence. The procecution’s “scientific” evidence of “shockingly high” levels of chloroform in the trunk of the car was based on the research of one man, Arpad Vass. His methodology and research has not undergone thorough peer review and has no legitimacy in a court of law. I’m surprised Judge Perry allowed it in because it doesn’t come close to passing the Daubert standard.

I agree with those who think going for a premediated muder comviction may have been a bridge too far, but on the other hand the circumstantial evidence could lead one to that conclusion.  Most murder cases are circumstantial and the forsenics, while imperfect at times, is evidence.  One juror reportedly said she voted not guilty because the state did not prove motive, time, place, or method of death; all things the state is not required to prove.  This information was provided to the jury in written instructions and verbally by the judge.

The Bridgeport Kid

July 12, 2011, 8:16 a.m.

It was a stretch, based on the circumstantial evidence. Murder one wasn’t proven, nor were the lesser felonies. Remember, the juey was instructed that they could consider lower charges like voluntary manslaughter. They did and still felt the case wasn’t strong enough to support a conviction.

The procecution didn’t do itself any good by parading several of Casey Anthony’s former friends to the witness stand and asking them how she behaved during the 31 days her daughter was missing. On cross examination they were all asked if she was a good mother. They all said yes. There were also several photographs and videos showing Casey and Caylee Anthony had a great relationship. so there goes the motive, right out the window. The state of Florida contended that Casey Anthony wanted to be a party girl and that her daughter’s presence was getting in the way, so she was murdered. The truth will come out, Casey Anthony will write a book and make the rounds of the talk shows, but only after being vetted by legal counsel.

Thank you, Bridgeport Kid.  Yours was the most cogent explanation of this entire case and verdict that I’ve heard on TV or in print.  I’d like you to distribute this to a lot of people!

CNN HLN is intent on milking this Tot Mom “reality” show for everything they can squeeze out of it.  Anyone who thinks for one second that anyone at HLN sees this as anything other than a ratings grab is living in a Matrix.  There are hundreds, if not thousands, of homicide cases tried each year across this country.  But, what do we hear about those?  Many more gruesome and/or more circumstantial (and likely as infuriating) as this trial.  But, they lack ad selling power.  Of course, this is nothing new, but 24 hr media coupled with instantaneous social media has created a state of never ending spin. 

This trial was (at its core) like any other (defense, prosecution, evidence, testimony, jury judgement), but HLN’s incessant, continued hyping over it keeps people tuning in.  How many 2-hour specials have they spun off of it already?  And, did anyone notice that during in-trial highlight video segment playbacks, HLN even played suspense *MUSIC* as if it were Real Housewives or some other reality show.  Just step back and look, all the TV docu-reality-drama components were worked in.  The HLN production staff must all have buckets hung around their necks to catch all the drool gushing forth from their mouths.  I wouldn’t even be at all surprised if the HLN production crew specifically directed on-scene HLN TV personalities to get out into the crowd to stir up a riotous atmosphere.  It is sickening.  And, what to me is more sickening, is the evidence of the vast majority of HLN’s (and others) viewers sopping it up like gravy with a biscuit!

One can only wonder how this whole affair would have been approached, handled and decided had there been little or NO media attention (as is the case with the vast majority of homicide trials). 

Oh yeah, has one also noticed Nancy Grace is already lining up the murder of Mercer U law grad, Karen Giddings, as her next media (ratings) crusade?

The Bridgeport Kid

July 12, 2011, 6:54 p.m.

Nancy Grace is a fraud. She’s been wrong before, most notoriously in the Duke University lacrosse rape scandal. That was the biggest miscarriage of justice on earth at the time. All the young men charged in that incident were exonerated and the county attorney was disbarred for procecutorial misconduct.

From Wikipedia:

“The Supreme Court of Georgia has twice commented on Grace’s conduct as a prosecutor. First, in a 1994 heroin drug trafficking case, Bell v. State, the Court declared a mistrial, saying that Grace had “exceeded the wide latitude of closing argument” by drawing comparisons to unrelated murder and rape cases.

“In 1997, the court was more severe, overturning the murder-arson conviction of businessman W. W. Carr in the death of his wife. While the court said its reversal was not due to these transgressions, since the case had turned primarily on circumstantial evidence, it nevertheless concluded ‘the conduct of the prosecuting attorney in this case demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness, and was inexcusable.’ Carr was freed in 2004 when The Georgia Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Fulton County had waited too long to retry him, thereby unfairly prejudicing his right to a fair trial.”)

Richard Ricci was arrested in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case. Nancy Grace went on the air and proclaimed him guilty. He died while in custody before Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee were arrested for the crime.

In 2006 Melinda Duckett, 21, committed suicide after an interview with Nancy Grace concerning the disappearance of Duckett’s 2-year old son.

This woman is dangerous, a bloodsucking parasite squeezing dollars out of other people’s tragedies.

It’s proven 100% that accidental drowning are always reported. Even if they were afraid to call, what kind of mother would throw own baby’s body to the woods because she may go to jail?  Caylee’s body was not even burried. It was left to feed animals.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Post Mortem

Post Mortem: Death Investigation in America

A year-long investigation into the nation’s 2,300 coroner and medical examiner offices uncovered a deeply dysfunctional system that quite literally buries its mistakes.

The Story So Far

In TV crime dramas and detective novels, every suspicious death is investigated by a highly trained medical professional, equipped with sophisticated 21st century technology.

The reality in America’s morgues is quite different. ProPublica, in collaboration with PBS “Frontline”  and NPR, took an in-depth look at the nation’s 2,300 coroner and medical examiner offices and found a deeply dysfunctional system that quite literally buries its mistakes.

More »

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