In the aftermath of the Casey Anthony verdict, there was a certain amount of shock and disbelief that spread over the trial’s followers. Once this initial visceral response had subsided, the verdict itself should not be that surprising. The standard of proof for a criminal trial is steep.
Beyond a reasonable doubt means that all the defense needs do, is plant the seed that some other scenario is plausible. In other words for the guilty verdict to come in, the evidence would have to establish a particular point to a moral certainty, and that it is beyond dispute that any reasonable alternative is possible. This case was fraught with evidentiary problems, the greatest of which appeared to be that the autopsy report that could not establish an actual cause of death. It came down to the fact that she “just looked guilty,” but that’s no evidence that can convict someone of first degree murder, or even manslaughter. Thus, the public at large was outraged while interested attorneys watching the case just shrugged their shoulders in acceptance of the result.
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