Today we've asked our contributors to weigh in on the Casey Anthony case. The question asked: Should Casey Anthony’s trial be moved out of the county where the crime occurred?
Laura James: The pretrial publicity is a problem. I can't imagine how they're going to get jurors who (a) have half a brain AND (b) haven't heard things on TV that won't be offered into evidence. Seems to me it ought to be moved, not only to ensure a fair trial but to ensure it's not overturned on appeal.
Kathryn Casey: This is such a national case, I don’t know where they could move it. If they had the option, which I don't believe they do, even moving it to another state wouldn't help. Is there a place where people haven't heard of it? My guess is no. It shouldn't be moved.
Andrea Campbell: Don't we get too bogged down in "fairness?" Was it fair for the little baby to be found with duct tape over her mouth and in garbage bags? I have no sympathy for narcissistic mothers who can't take care of their children because it might interfere with their lives.
Diane Fanning: A trial cannot be moved out of the state in which the crime has been committed unless it is a federal offense. Since Casey Anthony is facing state criminal charges, there is no option but trial in Florida. However, I do think attorneys could make a compelling argument for moving it out of the Central Florida area.
Jurors do not need to be ignorant of the news, but they do need to set aside the biases and interpretation of the facts derived from media reports and make their decisions solely based on the evidence presented in the courtroom.
Quite honestly, though, if I were Casey Anthony’s attorney, I’d be look for the best plea bargain I could negotiate. Casey’s actions and words in June and July 2008 combined with the forensic evidence gathered by law enforcement paint a strong portrait of guilt. It seems to me that an attorney would have to have an enormous ego to believe he could overcome the strength of the prosecution’s case, based on what has been released thus far. I expect that the state has even more damaging information that has not yet been revealed to the public.
Robin Sax: The publicity concerns are the same in her home county in Florida as they would be everywhere. The case has had not only a statewide but nationwide media attention and therefore has nationwide exposure. What difference would one part of Florida make over another, other than inconveniencing everyone, costing more money, and delaying a trial for someone who should be begging for a plea deal.