Third Law Article

Jul
2012
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CASEY ANTHONY INNOCENT?

 

86-APR Fla. B.J. 42

Florida Bar Journal

April, 2012

Column

Book

IMPERFECT JUSTICE: PROSECUTING CASEY ANTHONY BY JEFF ASHTON WITH LISA PULITZER

Mark Lewisa1

Copyright © 2012 by The Florida Bar; Mark Lewis

Disclosure: 1) I am a prosecutor; 2) I know and have great regard for Jeff Ashton; 3) I think the jury got it wrong.

Although not necessarily written for this purpose, Jeff Ashton, in his book about the Casey Anthony trial, appears to try to understand how the jury, given the formidable circumstantial evidence and the overwhelming number of incidents *43 of the defendant’s lies, could have reached a “not guilty” verdict in such a short amount of time.

The majority of the book concentrates on the investigation leading up to the filing of charges and the ultimate trial. Ashton, who came onto the prosecution team due to his expertise in scientific evidence, presents a compelling case for conviction, even in light of the medical examiner’s inability to specify a cause of death. As prosecutors often state in closing arguments, while people may not always be telling the truth, the circumstantial evidence does not lie.

On the subject of lying, Ashton documents the incredible number of times during the investigation that Casey was caught telling one false tale after another. He depicts a person who would unashamedly lie until backed into a corner, which is what literally happened when she led investigators through Universal Studios to point out her office, finally admitting, while standing at the end of a hallway, that she did not work there.

In the end, Ashton admits to some faults, but is firm in his belief that the prosecution team did the best it could with what it had. He takes a few jabs at the jury, noting how they seemed more interested in deciding what DVDs to watch in the evenings than in viewing the evidence. But he ultimately stands up for the jury system, even if it is “imperfect” at times.

Imperfect Justice is a good short recap, with some new insights, of a case that captivated the country for such a long time. For prosecutors, it is a frustrating reminder that proving a circumstantial case beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt is rarely easy. Ashton states he believes that Jose Baez won in spite of himself. I am not so sure.

Imperfect Justice is available from William Morrow (324-pp.) for $26.99.

86-APR Fla. B.J. 42, 42-43

CASEY ANTHONY INNOCENT?

 

86-APR Fla. B.J. 42

Florida Bar Journal

April, 2012

Column

Book

IMPERFECT JUSTICE: PROSECUTING CASEY ANTHONY BY JEFF ASHTON WITH LISA PULITZER

Mark Lewisa1

Copyright © 2012 by The Florida Bar; Mark Lewis

Disclosure: 1) I am a prosecutor; 2) I know and have great regard for Jeff Ashton; 3) I think the jury got it wrong.

Although not necessarily written for this purpose, Jeff Ashton, in his book about the Casey Anthony trial, appears to try to understand how the jury, given the formidable circumstantial evidence and the overwhelming number of incidents *43 of the defendant’s lies, could have reached a “not guilty” verdict in such a short amount of time.

The majority of the book concentrates on the investigation leading up to the filing of charges and the ultimate trial. Ashton, who came onto the prosecution team due to his expertise in scientific evidence, presents a compelling case for conviction, even in light of the medical examiner’s inability to specify a cause of death. As prosecutors often state in closing arguments, while people may not always be telling the truth, the circumstantial evidence does not lie.

On the subject of lying, Ashton documents the incredible number of times during the investigation that Casey was caught telling one false tale after another. He depicts a person who would unashamedly lie until backed into a corner, which is what literally happened when she led investigators through Universal Studios to point out her office, finally admitting, while standing at the end of a hallway, that she did not work there.

In the end, Ashton admits to some faults, but is firm in his belief that the prosecution team did the best it could with what it had. He takes a few jabs at the jury, noting how they seemed more interested in deciding what DVDs to watch in the evenings than in viewing the evidence. But he ultimately stands up for the jury system, even if it is “imperfect” at times.

Imperfect Justice is a good short recap, with some new insights, of a case that captivated the country for such a long time. For prosecutors, it is a frustrating reminder that proving a circumstantial case beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt is rarely easy. Ashton states he believes that Jose Baez won in spite of himself. I am not so sure.

Imperfect Justice is available from William Morrow (324-pp.) for $26.99.

86-APR Fla. B.J. 42, 42-43

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