What's Behind the Casey Anthony Jury Decision?
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 5, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: At this time, there are no jurors interested in speaking to any members of the media. They do however, have your packets and they've asked for their privacy. And they will contact you, if they are interested in speaking to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, HOST OF “HANNITY”: That was the Orange County court's public information officer telling the press that the 12 members of the jury in the Caylee Anthony murder trial who acquitted Casey of first degree murder, manslaughter and aggravated child abuse earlier today, decided they would not speak after delivering their verdict. So, the question is, how did these 12 jurors come to the conclusion that Casey Anthony is innocent?
Here to help answer the question, a jury consultant, Susan Constantine and criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor Kelly Saindon is here. Guys welcome back to the program. I appreciate it.
Look, no DNA on the duct tape. Let's just run through to this. We still don't know what caused this little girl's death, at this particular point. The smell issue in the car was disputed in a timeframe that frankly was exculpatory towards Casey Anthony if everyone wants to look at the timeline. That was the shovel issue was disputed in a lot of different ways. It was only borrowed 45 minutes; she didn't come back sweaty on top of it. The cause of death we don't know. How did she die? How did she get into the woods? You know, how, when, why, where? Never resolved by the prosecution. So, I ask both of you, help me out here. Why is everyone angry at the jury?
KELLY SAINDON, FORMER PROSECUTOR: It's a great question, Sean. I'm not sure why everyone’s angry at the jury. I apologized. But the thing is they did their job. And I think from everything that we've seen she got a fair trial. I may not love the outcome, but what was put before the jury beyond a reasonable doubt is a high standard. I thought they were going to get a conviction of manslaughter because the jurors were going to be outraged that a mom didn't report her daughter missing for over thirty days. But they are isolated, they're in a bubble. They don't see everything that we see. And jurors use their life experience, they use their own common sense, they weigh what was put before them. And I believe they took beyond a reasonable doubt very seriously.
HANNITY: Yes, you know, and I go to you, Constantine, I agree the 31 days kills me, I don't get it. Not reporting it kills me. The lie about the boyfriend, Universal, it's unanswered. The nanny, it's unanswered. But the standard is very clear. The judge's instructions were very clear. Whatever evidence was presented, in this case, was contradicted or totally impeached by the defense. And therefore, I don't see how they could have come to another conclusion. Help me out.
SUSAN CONSTANTINE, FORMER JURY CONSULTANT: Well, what I'm seeing right here with this jury is that, really what they did was they just didn't find some of the witnesses credible. There was so much information. They were inundated with forensic evidence. My God, I think there were like 80 something witnesses. You know, these are just average people. They’re just average people that were chosen to be on this jury trying to sift through all this minutia and all these lies that when it really came down to it, they go, we don't know. And that's really what happened. That's what I think what happened with this jury. They couldn't come with a verdict of guilty, because there was too many things and too many obstacles in the way that says, I can't cross the I and dot the T. And it was the credibility of those witnesses that they didn't trust.
HANNITY: Yes. And by the way, I meant to call you Susan, I do apologize for that. But Kelly, this is the thing about our system. I really want to get to the answer here. All of those things about Casey that disturb everybody and that raised real suspicion. I didn't go along with the defense attorney saying, there's a mob mentality out here and people were speculating. They were speculating for good reason. Because of her lifestyle, the way she reacted to this and the lies that she told. But that doesn't convict somebody of murder. Can you give me one case where the prosecution made a rock solid case, tying her to this murder?
SAINDON: No, you’re absolutely right. There wasn't DNA evidence. There wasn't solid forensic evidence. This was all circumstantial, and that's the problem. And the second thing that I think is the problem for the jury is this was such an overzealous prosecution by first degree, by going for the death penalty and not something lower as the high mark. The entire time the jury is thinking in their mind, not only do we have to go beyond a reasonable doubt. But when we do, she might die. So, that's in their mind. They've been prequalified as jurors; can you convict someone and sentence them to death? There was a two-fold prong to pass to be on this jury. So, I think that there's not solid evidence, there's not direct evidence linking her. And they’re looking for an out and they're doing their job.
SAINDON: And the prosecution raised just as many questions as the defense. I agree with Susan, that when there's unanswered questions, how do you say beyond a reasonable doubt there's no other explanation? And that's the problem.
HANNITY: And that's why I think this jury is being attacked. And as somebody who watched much of this trial Susan, and in particular, I thought the closing arguments by the defense were extraordinarily effective. This whole notion of fantasy forensic. You know, you’re the first ones in the state of Florida to ever hear and they go through a whole list of forensic science, newly created for this case, never brought up before. And the jury -- it didn't convince me. And I am very pro-prosecution in this case. I still, I'm very suspicious of Casey in this case. Like everybody else because of the lies, I wanted to believe it. But they didn't even take me to first base.
CONSTANTINE: OK. You know, I was working on profiling these jurors here. What I found is that, we had a jury pool that was split. We had 58 percent of that jury was really -- they could actually bring a conviction forward. But we had the other that was more egalitarian. So, when you put them all into the room together and you have that reasonable doubt there, they're going to get in, they're going to say, hey, we're going to have to you to come to some sort of compromise because we are so far apart. The other saying is 61 percent of all jurors are visual. So, what did Baez do which was an excellent presentation.
HANNITY: I agree, it was outstanding.
SAINDON: Right. Right.
CONSTANTINE: It was outstanding. He had every player that was up there. And we know that jurors aren't very auditory. So, when you are listening towards a verdict (ph) that was fabulous speaker.
HANNITY: And the prosecution meandered and meandered, and it was so emotional. And they never said, we found this. This proves that she is responsible. We found this. This proves, all of that had been either impeached, or contradicted, one or the other. And there was not one thing in the end that I can cling to that said, that's it for me. The only thing we had, and I think why people are so angry, and Kelly, we'll give you the last word, is because, she lied and because of her behavior. But those two things, as awful and as horrific as they were, do not prove murder.
SAINDON: And they don't meet the burden, which is a very high burden.
SAINDON: They don't meet beyond a reasonable doubt. And the other kicker with this is the prosecution's closing was very boring. It did meander. It didn't draw anything new. And what I think actually happened is the prosecution said here's what you saw. And some of what he proffered in as his argument isn't what they actually saw. And we know that jurors are based on real people, eyewitnesses are some of the most unreliable evidence in the country, probably in the world. And so, they are all walking back hearing different things than what you heard, than what I heard. It’s like a game of telephone. So, collectively, when they got in the back, they all didn't hear the right thing to say beyond a reasonable doubt she is going down, we’re going to convict her. And they had no choice but to convict her for the lying to authorities, because she admitted it.
HANNITY: And everybody in Orlando has a right to be mad tonight for this reason. Not because of the jury, they shouldn't be mad at the jury. I think people have every right to be mad at Casey Anthony for her behavior, as it relates to the lies, and as it relates to her not reporting it, and as it relates to her dancing at a time when any reasonable person. Look, maybe she's got problems beyond which we know. But this is what separates America. And the people that are commenting on this, with almost a football super bowl atmosphere about her guilt, didn't listen for the evidence. And that's what makes our system better, unique, not perfect, but special. You're innocent until proven guilty. It is the prosecutor's responsibility and sole responsibility to make that proof and they did not meet that standard here. All right, guys.
SAINDON: She got a fair trial, I agree with you. I agree, and I don't think that the prosecution has any good grounds to appeal this case.
SAINDON: I'm not saying they’re not going to try. But realistically, most of the rulings were more pro-prosecution. There were a lot of things the defense didn't get in. When the defense complained, and said, hey, we're getting sandbag, the judge said, all right I'm going to give you a break, depose them, do what you need to do. I really think the judge did a phenomenal job of trying to let stuff in that he thought was fair. And the things the defense complained about, obviously didn't make a deciding factor, they weren't that important in the end.
HANNITY: I got to run. Jose Baez did do a good job.
SAINDON: OK. He did.
HANNITY: Setting up every step of the way, things on appeal. Maybe, he was thinking worst-case scenario. Guys, great job. Thank you both for being with us.
CONSTANTINE: Thanks, Sean.
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