Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wendy Murphy: Justice for Caylee is Still Possible

If you have been following the evidence in the Casey Anthony case put forth by Lawyer Wendy Murphy (Part One HERE) and her discussion of the not guilty verdict HERE
you will want to read her latest column from The Patriot Ledger: Below. Thanks to Wendy Murphy for her work for children and women.

Wendy Murphy during
a vist to K-State

By Wendy J. Murphy For The Patriot Ledger July 7, 2011

"People outside the courthouse in Orange County Florida, and across the country, are outraged by the acquittal of Casey Anthony in the murder of her toddler daughter, Caylee, and they have every reason to feel angry. But their energy is misplaced. Justice for Caylee is still possible, notwithstanding the acquittal, if people call for full disclosure of the entire investigative file - including an unsealing of the evidence thus far hidden from public view.
Release of the presumably sexual photographs of Caylee that were seized from the Anthony home and placed "under seal" by the court would be a good place to start. Many people are not even aware that a lot of evidence in the case is under seal, which itself is problematic. But the simple fact is, there's far more to be said about what hasn't been revealed in this case than what we've seen thus far.

Search warrants, including those that would have authorized law enforcement to look for child pornography, are also under seal.

The public may have had no right to see any of this evidence while the case was pending because it might have prevented Casey from getting a fair trial, but now that she's been acquitted, everything should be released. And if the photographs can't be released lawfully because of what they show, a description of what they reveal is an acceptable substitute. Courts describe inappropriate photographs of children all the time without releasing the images.
Among other things, full disclosure will help explain why the prosecution's case had so many gaping holes.

As I said right after the trial started a couple of months ago, if the prosecution's best case is that which they laid out in their opening statement, they had no hope of winning. Even a casual observer would have noticed how weird it was that the prosecutor spent no time talking about when Caylee died. It was widely reported in the early stages of the investigation that cops obtained cellphone records and "ping" evidence which would have shown who Casey called and where she went in the hours and days after Caylee was last seen alive, but the prosecutor made no mention of this highly relevant evidence. Why not?

And while the state opined that the child was killed so that Casey could go out partying, didn't it seem a bit of, um, overkill that a mother would seal her child's entire face shut with three levels of duct tape, then put her in a trunk, as a way of keeping the child quiet so she could have fun? If it was an accidental killing, wouldn't it have been enough to put her in the back seat with one piece? The prosecutor said Casey intentionally killed Caylee so she could be free to go out partying, but on the day the child was last seen alive, Casey stayed home all night watching movies. Where was the party?

The style of Caylee's death was more mob hit than parental homicide. And though the state claimed that Casey was the only one who could have killed the child, which is a compelling argument that often proves murder beyond a reasonable doubt in cases where there is no reasonable basis for believing that anyone else was involved, there were too many gaping holes in the timing of the state's theory of what happened to sustain that idea in this case.

Why Baez didn't pursue the obvious weaknesses in the evidence in favor of nonsense about an accidental drowning is perplexing and proves that he won not because of his skills but in spite of his failings. Any reasonable defense attorney would have defended the case by pointing out the myriad ways the evidence showed how someone else could have killed Caylee. Whatever one thinks of the kidnapping theory, there was at least evidence to support it - unlike the ridiculous story about the child drowning. No surprise that Casey's lawyer had a whopper of a Freudian slip during his closing argument when he said: "The truth stops here".

Since the verdict, virtually every defense attorney pundit has blamed the acquittal on the District Attorney's decision to "overcharge" the case as a death penalty prosecution. But this criticism is silly. Anyone who tapes a toddler's mouth and nose shut, wraps the body in multiple layers of bags and dumps it in a car trunk for a few days before tossing the remains in a swamp, is guilty of first degree murder. There's nothing accidental about any of it and if the jury had come back with a manslaughter verdict, the judge would have overturned the verdict as irrational and not based on actual evidence. In fact, while a child might die after having her mouth taped shut, the most rational view of the duct tape evidence suggests the child died before the duct tape was applied and that the tape was meant only to hold in decomposition fluids. When a dead body beings to decompose, fluids emanate from places like the nose and mouth, and they emit putrid odors. The best way for a killer to delay detection is to seal the nose and mouth.

It's certainly possible that at age 19, a high school dropout like Casey with no experience as a killer, nonetheless knew how to seal a dead body like a master murderer. And it's trued that her failure to report Caylee missing for more than a month is powerful evidence of her consciousness of guilt. The question is - guilt about what? It's just as possible Casey did not kill her child; that she was afraid to call the cops - and that her fear was related to those sealed photographs of Caylee.

As Casey's brother Lee testified at trial, Casey was told that Caylee was taken from Casey to "teach her a lesson". If, as I wrote in an earlier column, Casey knew the people who had Caylee, and stayed quiet in the hope they would give her child back, her failure to report Caylee missing makes sense.
All of this provides some explanation for the not guilty verdict, but it also leaves us with the new responsibility of demanding immediate and full disclosure of the case file. When a child is killed, her mom or dad can be expected to lead the fight for justice and demand that state officials tell the truth about what they know. But when a parent is involved, the rest of us have to step up. Millions of people have watched this case unfold from day one, riveted by the story of a little girl who was tossed away like trash and a mother who didn't seem to care.

If we paid attention because our concern is sincere, we will keep fighting for Caylee until the whole truth is known. If we watched, instead, out of some sadistic voyeurism or need to feel better as mothers and fathers by jabbing a judgmental finger of blame at a worse parent, there will never be justice for Caylee - or any child - and it will our fault."

Sociopaths-- read more HERE


  1. How do you explain the duct tape,the trash bags,the laundry bag and her being wrapped in a Winnie the Pooh blanket that "all" and "only" came from the Anthony home? If she pimped out her daughter into the world of child pornography and Caylee died as a result of her actions and she covered it up to look like a kidnapping and threw her in a swamp then she deserves to be dead. I hope she gets hers!

  2. You can read Wendy Muphy's Blog at the site linked above.
    here is an entry: By Wendy J. Murphy
    For The Patriot Ledger July 16, 2011 (Blog entry)

    The energy at this site has been inspirational. A few updates:
    First, I'm excited to let you all know that I have a book coming out very soon. Technology allows for the publication of books far faster than ever before, but it still takes a bit of time to get things organized. Stay tuned here for more information on the likely release date. My hope is that it will be out before the end of August.
    Second, this blog site has produced many fair and important questions. Let me answer just a couple and know that lots of other questions will be addressed in my book.
    As to why my theory would be known only to me, and not to the prosecutors, rest assured. All the things that I am saying are well known to law enforcement officials involved in this case. As I've said in prior publications, information in this case has been ordered "sealed" by the court. Evidence as well as entire topics were ruled inadmissible at trial which mean any evidence that so much as relates to an excluded topic cannot be discussed by the parties or witnesses at trial or wlsewhere.
    Assuming the backstory includes “sealed” evidence of postitution and/or child pornography, there are two key reasons this information would have been excluded from trial. One is that the court "sealed" the information because it was never directly connected to Caylee's murder. If highly prejudicial information is not strongly related to proof of the crime, which is to say, the evidence does not help to prove or disprove guilt, the court would be compelled to exclude such information as unduly prejudicial without sufficient probative force. Recall that Casey was offered immunity early on in this case. She reportedly refused a deal which would have required her to tell what she knew about the involvement of others in Caylee's disappearance. Even if cops had already found evidence of child porn, they would have been unable to tie the porn to Caylee's disappearance in the absence of someone explaining the connection. Without it, the evidence adds nothing to the state's proof of murder. The second reason such information would have been sealed is that the feds are involved in investigating the porn issues and they want to be able to proceed on those charges against Casey, and/or others, in federal court. If the evidence had been allowed in during the murder trial, Casey's acquittal would have precluded retrial on the porn charges under double jeopardy principles.
    Let me explain further.
    Double jeopardy means a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice, but the concept is not limited to retrial on the same charges. It also forbids retrial on the same facts.

  3. part II:

    from WM blog
    Under the Supreme Court's “same facts” Blockburger test, if the state offered any evidence of Casey Anthony's involvement with prostitution or child pornography, those facts could not be used against her again, in a pornography prosecution, by state or federal officials.
    We know there was a collateral federal investigation going on during the state's investigation of Caylee's murder. Although the details of this information are being withheld from public view at the moment, and transcripts of FBI interviews have not been released, there are references to the feds being involved and witnesses being interviewed by the FBI, etc., in information that has been shared with the public.
    It's possible the court ordered certain evidence and topics to be placed "under seal" on both theories. And if this decision protected Casey Anthony's due process rights, so be it.
    But now that that she's been acquitted, the truth should be told about what was sealed during trial, and what's going on with the feds.
    That said, there's a good chance public demand for full disclosure of the sealed information will not succeed because state officials will claim the case is still "ongoing" notwithstanding the not guilty verdict. A popular, if overused exception to the public records law allows for information to be hidden from public view when certain matters are "ongoing". What could still be "ongoing" you wonder? One argument is that the federal investigation is not yet over. But the more likely claim will be related to the fact that Casey's attorneys last week filed an appeal from her convictions for lying to police. By filing an appeal, they can now argue that the court's "sealing" order must remain in effect until all appellate proceedings are resolved. This could take years and should raise even public suspicion as to whether the appeal is a smokescreen given that an appeal on the lying charges is an exercise in futility. Casey cannot possibly win a reversal of those convictions because she ADMITTED to lying, she's already served the maximum punishment on each count and the defense did not even rebut the charges at trial or mention them during closing argument. The only possible purpose of an appeal is to erect an excuse to further thwart the public's right to know the truth about the "sealed" evidence, and ultimately, what really happened to little Caylee.

  4. could the FBI have used real time satellite images to see the person or persons that put Caylee Anthony's body in the swamp and if it show the person could Federal charges be justified?

  5. That is a good question. Unless the movies are all complete fabrication, why is there not more use of satellite imagery?