Five years after Casey Anthony’s acquittal, prosecutors from the case are opening up. The “Tot Mom” from central Florida was accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony, back in 2008, and was at the center of a trial that drew immense public interest. She was found not guilty of first-degree murder charges in July 2011 after a trial that lasted just over two months.
WFLA 8 reports that Anthony prosecutors, Jeffrey Ashton and Frank George, sat down for an interview to discuss the reasons why they believe Casey is a free woman today.
Five years later, prosecutors speak out on Casey Anthony case https://t.co/lBEfgGYnS7 pic.twitter.com/Mdb4PEDwQJ
— WESH 2 News (@WESH) February 23, 2016
Ashton says that for him, it’s all about “trying to make sense of it.” He doesn’t fully comprehend why the case hit meteoric heights in terms of public interest. The prosecutor has his own theories as to why it was such an intriguing case for people — emotions.
“Casey Anthony is an easy person to hate,” Ashton says.
There are five major theories that Ashton and George suspect had a hand in Casey Anthony being found “not guilty” of the crime.
- Looks. “One of the things that I have said about the case is that everybody involved in the case was photogenic,” Ashton said.
- Relatable. George acknowledges Anthony’s middle-class parents and the middle-class neighborhood they lived in. He reveals that a “large part of the population who are watching television saw people who could have been their neighbors or could have been them. Ashton inserted that it was “like it was made for TV.”
- Sympathy. George notes that the defense was successful at “presenting” Casey Anthony as “vulnerable, small, scared young lady.”
- Evidence oversight. Ashton names defense attorney Jose Baez and the book he wrote which revealed that his forensic computer examiner “had found on the Anthony computer that somebody, on the day that Caylee disappeared, had Googled fool-proof suffocation. That one piece of evidence that certainly would have been wonderful to have.”
- Acting. The prosecution team credits Casey Anthony for her performance as a woman in sorrow over the loss of her daughter. “Well, Casey played it very well. She would sit in the courtroom and cry at all the right times. They would put her seat very low so she would look like a little girl,” Ashton said. He added that her statements were bold and she was evidently unafraid. This is thought to have contributed to her not guilty verdict.
WESH 2 News sits down with Jose Baez nearly five years after Casey Anthony trial https://t.co/nVyRw8lQFc pic.twitter.com/H6jvY9LTOH
— WESH 2 News (@WESH) February 24, 2016
WESH 2 News spoke with Jose Baez about the case and he views the outcome completely differently than the prosecution. Anthony’s former defense attorney sums it up as saying he was “the person they never saw coming.”
He knows many render the Casey Anthony verdict as a “grand miscarriage of justice,” but asserts “it was one of those rare cases where the system worked.”
Baez praises Judge Belvin Perry for giving Anthony a “fair jury” and credits it for ensuring Casey got a “fair trial.”
The attorney also raves that the jury didn’t cave under extreme pressure from the public and for seeing “reasonable doubt in the state’s death penalty pursuits.”
“This was clearly not a death penalty case, never has been, never will be,” Baez says.
Anthony’s case was sensationalized on social media. Baez explains that there’s downside to getting news instantaneously, especially in court cases where live tweeting occurs.
“While I think media coverage is very important to a case, you kind of forget about the presumption of innocence,” Baez surmises.
When Baez was asked if he was the one who took down the “giant,” he reveals that he “always felt I had them right where I wanted them.”
There will always be chatter over Casey Anthony’s acquittal. Many believe she killed her 2-year-old daughter and she’s watched closely in the media. She was in the news recently for registering her own photography business and tabloids are claiming that she’s pregnant.
[Photo AP/Brian Blanco, Archivo]