Casey Anthony Not Guilty of Murdering Daughter Amid Public Outrage

Liz De La Torre

Move over, OJ Simpson. In a whirlwind frenzy that has taken the entire world by storm, the most sensationalized criminal case in history now belongs to 25 year-old Casey Anthony who was acquitted

Casey Anthony in court during her trial.

of murdering her two year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008. Since Casey Anthony, or the “white OJ” as she is called, walked a free woman on July 17, she has been named the most hated person in the world by E-Poll Market Research.

As Caylee Anthony’s remains were unearthed in the woods by her grandparents’ house in December of 2008, the mystery surrounding her death seemed to give rise to quick theories and toss up a game of blame. The prosecution made Casey Anthony out to be a wild, care-free woman who killed Caylee by smothering her with chloroform and duct tape to get back to the fun-loving, party hard life she had to give up for her daughter. The defense, spearheaded by her attorney Jose Baez, called Caylee’s death an accidental drowning in the family pool and that Casey’s father, George, helped her dispose of the body. Allegations of a nanny kidnapping Caylee and Casey’s father and brother molesting her in younger years also surfaced during trial bringing more twists to the mix.

One would think that the “chloroform” and “neck breaking” computer searches, the duct tape discovered over Caylee’s skeletal remains, witness testimony of a “dead body” stench emanating from Anthony’s trunk, the thirty-one days before reporting Caylee missing, Anthony’s “Bella Vita” tattoo, and partying after Caylee’s disappearance would do Casey Anthony in. Altogether, it seemed to paint an insurmountable case against Casey Anthony and doubt or, at least, questions involving her innocence surrounding the death of Caylee. But when the verdict returned not guilty, much of the world was left feeling confused, furious, shocked, and disgusted with the reality that Casey Anthony would walk away a free woman.

Despite being called weak with only circumstantial evidence at its side, the public says otherwise. From the millions of viewers glued to to spectators waiting to catch a glimpse of Anthony outside her Florida jail to the Internet, radio, television, and streets, the world has been abuzz with an outpour of overwhelming fervor and unhappiness with Casey’s freedom. Even when news anchor Julie Chen read the breaking news, she appeared shaken up and upset. Throngs of people who idly waited as she was released berated her shouting “Baby killer!” and carried signs saying “Don’t be a part of Blood Money” and “Travesty of Justice” and “Justice for Caylee…Bella Vita.” One woman said that Anthony should watch her back as she is “not welcome back in Orlando.” Another said that she would not be surprised if Casey was killed in a few years.

In July, a woman named Sammy Blackwell was rammed while driving and had her car flipped twice by a deranged motorist who had pursued after thinking she was Casey Anthony. Among the many death threats Casey has received, one included a photo shopped photograph of Anthony with a bullet in her head. In addition, “I Hate Casey Anthony” pages were started on Facebook with posts coming in at least 10 per second. Celebrities like Star Jones voiced their reactions on Twitter and Facebook: “I believe in the jury system and accept the verdict, but I can’t take smiles from Casey Anthony right now. She may be not guilty but her baby is dead!” Socialite Kim Kardashian tweeted: “WHAT!!!!???!!!! CASEY ANTHONY FOUND NOT GUILTY!!!! I am speechless!!!” Director Fred Savage cited the infamous OJ Simpson trial and outcome: “I guess OJ has a new friend now. Disgusting.”

But why is everyone so upset about the Casey Anthony verdict? UCLA forensic psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman notes, “The main reason that people are reacting so strongly is that the media convicted Casey before the jury decided on the verdict. The public has been whipped up into this frenzy wanting revenge for this poor little adorable child. And because of the desire for revenge, they’ve been whipped up into a lynch mob.”

And when MTV’s The Voice host Carson Daly said, “That jury better get into hiding,” he could never have been more right. Within days of the verdict being announced, the jurors were targeted. More than anything, everyone wanted to know how or, more importantly, why the twelve jurors let her go. “Everybody agreed if we were going fully on feelings and emotions, she was done. I wish we had more evidence to put her away. I truly do, but it wasn’t there,” Juror No.2 said. Regardless, the jurors have felt the wrath of their decision.

One juror who has chosen to remain anonymous said that the transition back to normalcy has been anything but and said that the verdict has put a strain on relationships: “One of my friends told me that his wife forbade him to talk to me. My own sister cussed me out. It has ruined my life.” Other jurors have received death threats and been ostracized, banned from certain shops and eateries, as well as rejected by family and friends alike. Evidently, one juror was so fearful of the immense resentment by the public that she quit her job in Florida and moved out of state.

Although Casey Anthony was found guilty on four counts of giving misleading information to law enforcement officials, the public outrage says it is not enough. As for speculations as to Casey’s whereabouts or next move, nothing is clear. But a paralegal named Margie Walter reinforced the fact that Casey will have to come to terms with a life of fear as no one is her friend right now: “She has a life sentence even if the jury didn’t impose it.”