Imperfect Justice Sheds Light on the Casey Anthony Trial

March 13, 2012

Most of the world was shocked by the recent acquittal of Casey Anthony, a young mother who stood accused of brutally murdering her daughter, hiding the body, and then reporting her missing to authorities. With the media circus surrounding the trial, it seemed like everyone was glued to Twitter or the 24/7 news cycle to hear the latest details: Did the duct tape in her trunk match the sample found on Caylee’s body? Were there really 80 searches for chloroform on her computer, or just one (which was allegedly present due to an auto-spell error during a search for chlorophyll)? And could Casey’s parents possibly been covering some of the gaping holes in their daughter’s swiss-cheese story? So it came as a bit of a shock when, three years after Caylee disappeared and six months after Casey’s trial began, the woman at the heart of this unsolved mystery was pronounced “not guilty” and cleared of all charges.

Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony is an audio book by Jeff Ashton, one of the prosecuting attorneys on the Casey Anthony trial, and Lisa Pulitzer, a former correspondent for the New York Times (and current author and ghostwriter). It seeks to shed light on some of the many unanswered questions presented during this case that gripped a public audience eager to see justice done on behalf of a little girl whose life ended in violence. In truth, most people just wanted to know what the heck happened, and Casey seemed incapable of telling the truth, with a story that seemed to change on a whim (first a fictional nanny took Caylee, then she was kidnapped, then she accidentally drowned…you get the picture). With this audio book, Ashton attempts to untangle her web of lies, as well as the shroud of misdirection cast by the defense, and get to the heart of what actually happened during the investigation and trial, as well as the events leading up to the surprise verdict.

For anyone who paid attention from the time Caylee went missing in 2008 until her mother was finally acquitted in 2011, the information presented in the first several chapters will be familiar, providing a comprehensive review of the facts surrounding the investigation. From there Ashton goes behind the scenes, covering the case from the perspective of an insider in order to reveal information that the media and the public were never made privy to. In some cases he puts media speculation to rest, but he also discusses how the never-ending news cycle not only disrupted the case, but likely played a role in distracting everyone involved from the true focus, Caylee, which potentially led to her mother’s acquittal on the shakiest of grounds.

Even¬†criminal justice¬†students will agree that the case was mishandled by the media and beset by a campaign of false information and courtroom antics on the part of the defense (if you didn’t hate defense attorney Jose Baez before, you certainly will after listening to this audio book). And all of it added up to the release of a woman who was more than likely responsible for the death of her own child. While some will find this book infuriating (for what is says about our criminal justice system), others will simply be relieved to get the answers they’ve long been waiting for.

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