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Drama at Casey Anthony Murder Trial

Published on 07/06/2011 -

More Drama at the Casey Anthony Murder Trial

The murder trial of Casey Anthony, the 25-year-old woman charged with killing her two-year-old daughter in 2008, has entered its fifth week and the courtroom drama continues. For those who have managed to miss media coverage of the trial, here's some background:

  • The charges against Anthony are that she killed her daughter by making her unconscious with chloroform and/or suffocating her with duct tape.
  • Prosecutors also claim that Anthony covered the child's body with several layers (blanket, garbage bags, laundry bag), kept it in her trunk and disposed of it in a wooded area.
  • The child's body was discovered months after her death.
  • The defense has claimed that the child drowned in the family pool and Anthony and her father attempted to cover up the event.
  • The seven criminal charges against Anthony include first-degree murder. If convicted, she could be eligible for the death penalty.
Surprise Witnesses, Texting Accusations

Emotions have apparently been running high throughout the trial. Reports note that the judge has frequently reprimanded both the assistant state attorney and the lawyer defending Anthony. In prior weeks, the judge has reportedly called unexpected recesses and otherwise made headlines.

The latest news from the trenches indicates that the defense called a forensic anthropologist without informing the court ahead of time. Legally, both sides are required to identify all expert witnesses they plan to call so that both sides have a chance to interview them.

Later, it seems the state's attorney accused the defense attorney of texting during the trial, which frustrated the judge to no extent.

Better than Reality TV?

Each day, fifty tickets are given to spectators interested in watching the trial's proceedings. Last week, folks waiting in line apparently got into scuffles that made the news - it seems someone tried to cut.

And while none of this behavior is the sort of thing that would earn folks gold stars (if the judge were an elementary school teacher and inclined to give out gold stars), it certainly illuminates some interesting parts of human nature:

  • Were fascinated by murder. If the Law and Order franchise wasn't enough to prove that to people, trials like this should be.
  • We haven't changed much over the years. Most modern people are repulsed and horrified at the thought of public hangings of the sort that were popular a few centuries ago - but watching killings on TV (or the aftermath of alleged killings in court) isn't all that different.
  • We root for justice. Or at least something that approaches our ideal of justice.

And hey, lets not hate too much on human nature. After all, for most of us, watching dramatic reenactments of crimes on the screen or the legal fallout in court lets us get all the nastiness of murder out of our systems without actually killing anyone. Phew.

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