Monday, July 4, 2011

The Casey Anthony Murder Case and Predicting Jury Verdicts

[Photo from]
As I am writing this post, the jury has been out for several hours while deliberating in the Casey Anthony murder trial.  With little more to report, various television news programs are presently featuring criminal lawyers and former prosecutors who are all trying to predict what the Anthony jury will do.  But does anyone really know the particular verdict which this, or any, jury will return?

The straight, simple answer is "No!"  No one, not even the criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors who have just given the closing arguments can really guess what the jury will do.  Jury deliberations are, of course, done in secret.  And that is the way it should be.

Of course, sometimes, as an Augusta, Georgia criminal defense attorney, (and as a former A.U.S.A., or federal prosecutor), I can tell if  jurors are making good eye contact with me, or otherwise paying close attention to me, during closing argument.  The lawyers in the Casey Anthony case will also know how well each side of the case was presented to the jury.

In other words, the lawyers may have hunches.  But that's about it.  Trust me, nobody, not even the lawyers in the case, really, truly knows what is going on in the jury room!  In short, jury deliberation privacy is one of the wonderful things about our criminal justice system!  We, including the public, the lawyers, and the defendant Casey Anthony, will all know the jury's verdict soon enough.

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