Professor Warnken Interviewed Regarding Casey Anthony Verdict
On July 5, 2011, a Florida jury unanimously found Casey Anthony “not guilty” of murder, manslaughter, and child abuse. The jury found her guilty of four counts of lying to the police. She faces a maximum sentence of four years and has already served three years. The nation has closely followed this case for three years. The vast majority of people surveyed believe that Casey Anthony is “guilty” and that she “got away with murder.” Professor Warnken offered the following opinion:
The 12 jurors – not you and me – sat through a trial of nearly five weeks, with more than 100 witnesses. The 12 jurors – not you and me – listened to the judge’s jury instructions. The 12 jurors – not you and me – each discussed the case with 11 other jurors for a period exceeding ten hours. The 12 jurors then rendered a unanimous verdict of “not guilty.” This means that not one member of the jury could answer “yes” to the question of whether the State had persuaded that juror, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Casey Anthony intentionally caused the death of her daughter or caused the death of her daughter while committing child physical abuse. The members of the public acquired their understanding of the case from the media. The media acquired its understanding of the case from watching Nancy Grace on late-night television. She made the prosecution of this case her full-time job for three years. Nancy Grace is not a former prosecutor who became a member of the media. Instead, she is a prosecutor who prosecutes Defendants on television, without an opposing counsel present, and while not limited by the rules of evidence.
In fact, Nancy Grace vigorously prosecuted the Duke lacrosse players for rape a few years ago. After the prosecutor in that case was disbarred for hiding exculpatory evidence that was favorable to the defense, Nancy Grace never mentioned that, not did she apologize for heavily defaming the lacrosse players.