Jury Sequestration Coming Under Fire From Those Who Question The Casey Anthony Verdict
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Above and below: The jury’s Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando; there are more images here].
The jury was imported for the Casey Anthony trial from a Gulf of Mexico town 100 miles west. They stayed in this hotel for nearly seven weeks.
Now they are rather defiantly starting to speak out (see the ABC News video posted below) to explain that, given big gaps in the evidence against Casey Anthony, and the dubious scenario presented (that she put the baby she loved to sleep with chloroform and duct tape in the trunk of her car while she went off to have a good time), they did what they had to do: unanimously vote no on the charges of murder and manslaughter.
There seem to be no signs that during the trial a hue-and-cry media had any pro-guilt effect on their thinking - in Tuesday’s post we suggested that if anything it seemed to do quite the opposite.
But it is now being suggested that while staying all together in this hotel the 20 jurors became just a little too chummy.
The former Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark, who is critical of both the verdict and the prosecution, argues in the Daily Beast that jury members themselves are signaling that their sequestration was a very big factor.
I’m going to start by saying that, for those who thought the jury came back awfully fast—less than eleven hours spent in deliberation, you should now wonder what took them that long. Because from the very first vote, this jury was already close to a unanimous verdict of acquittal - at least as to murder: ten to two for not guilty. That’s an impressive show of solidarity for a first vote. And it shows they were almost unanimously inclined to acquit right from jump.
It’s the fact that this jury was already in sync in a case that posed so many debatable issues is what’s so noteworthy. And it has everything to do with sequestration. This jury was sequestered for more than two months. When jurors are forced to spend day and night with each other, apart from their families and friends, they become a tribe unto themselves. Because they only have each other for company, and because most people prefer harmony to discord, there’s a natural desire to cooperate, to compromise in order to reach agreement. And they have no safe retreat. If they disagree with their fellow jurors, they can’t go home to a husband, a wife, a friend, where they can regroup and marshal their energies. Make no mistake about it, sequestration is no picnic and I have sympathy and respect for the jurors who put up with that incredible hardship.
But we can’t ignore the mental and emotional impact it has on the jurors—an impact that likely thwarts the whole point of drafting twelve individuals to decide a defendant’s fate. The point of having twelve jurors is to have an array of differing points of view. The belief is that people of different backgrounds and experience will naturally bring a variety of attitudes to bear, and thus produce a more balanced view of the evidence. What one juror doesn’t get, another one does, and each of them sees different aspects to each witness and piece of evidence. The idea is for them to share differing views and reach a greater understanding—not to have them shave off their square corners so they can all roll together.
Unfortunately—and psychological studies bear this out—a group that is kept together for any length of time becomes more and more alike, more in sync, as time goes on. (By the way, this phenomenon is also in play with regard to proximity to the defendant. The longer the jury is in contact with the defendant, the less sinister he or she appears. In this way, familiarity with Casey Anthony turned her from a potential murderer to an abused, perhaps disturbed, but certainly nonthreatening, child.) Add this phenomenon to the natural desire to avoid contentiousness and seek harmony and you can see how individuality begins to erode in a sequestered jury.
Now add to that the psychology of group dynamics—a subject well known to trial lawyers and jury consultants. In every group there will be leaders and followers. Listening to Juror Jennifer Ford, who was very likely a leader, it became abundantly clear that the leaders on the Anthony jury were cheerleaders for the defense.
“The longer the jury is in contact with the defendant, the less sinister he or she appears. In this way, familiarity with Casey Anthony turned her from a potential murderer to an abused, perhaps disturbed, but certainly nonthreatening, child.”
Did this happen to the Massei jury over Amanda Knox? They did find her guilty but it was emotionally tough and they did find for mitigating circumstances.
It is those mitigating circumstances that the appeal prosecutors are appealing against. They feel that Knox and Sollecito should not have had five years lopped off their time and they want those five years put back on.
The appeal jurors are going to be seeing a lot LESS of Knox and Sollecito than the Massei jury (so far a mere 11 days) and courtroom reports are that they sit there stony faced and apparently not succumbing to the suggested Knox magic.
Casey Anthony is completely innocent, and a good mother. The prosecutors tried the case well, the defense defended adequately, Anthony had due process under the US legal system, and she was rightly acquitted. She made some mistakes, but just because her grief reaction wasn’t what people “expect” it is a sorry outrage that the likes of Nancy Grace and co are allowed to start a lynch mob on national television. About 20 years ago in Australia, there was a case of a Woman whose child got killed by a dingo. Just because she didn’t react and cry the way that people expected, she was villified, and was later proved to be innocent. I wish Casey Anthony all the best, she looks like a beautiful person. On the other hand,in reference to this blog, Knox is guilty as sin.
I have taken an interest in this case in the US over the past few days. I would sincerely like to know why you think Casey Anthony is innocent? What do you think happened to the baby? How do you explain the duct tape, evidence in car boot, chlorofome etc. You seem, rightly, to have come to the conclusion of guilt by Knox by examing the evidence.
hi proud american! I too am curious as to how you came to the conclusion that you did- that casey anthony is innocent. I myself have been reading the last 3 years of evidence released under florida’s “sunshine laws” and am completely convinced of her guilt. I am also convinced that miss anthony is a true sociopath. thanks
Funny, though. It would have been really macabre if Casey Anthony had hired Gogerty Marriott to stuff the web with social websites devoted to proving her innocence. Yet the SYSTEM exonerated her, and Americans want the same system to apply to Amanda Knox? Curious. In the matter of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, I trust the Italian system, thank you very much. Funny, though. What interested me right from the beginning was that I have been tracking the way the Military Industrial Complex creates these websites to drum up support for war and tea bagging politics, so here’s Boeing’s PR agency, Gogerty Marriott, showing up in this debate as well, lol.
Hi Lola and Rach,
Thanks for your replies. A competent jury of Anthony’s peers analyzed the evidence carefully and felt there was no evidence against her. That’s why they found her not guilty. Despite what you hear on Fox news, there really is no DNA or forensic evidence linking Casey to the death of Caylee Marie Anthony, OR, to suggest that this was anything other than a tragic accident. The Jury’s learned verdict needs to be respected or the U.S. Constitution will be made a mockery of.
I think that this was a tragic accident, and Casey’s excellent attorney Jose Baez gave a credible account with graphic evidence (freeze-framed shots - I watched him live on Orlando Sentinel website) as to how Caylee was strong enough to climb into the pool herself - disproving what Casey’s mother said. And there lies the major crux of the problem - the grandparents. Something terrible has happened to Casey as a child, and I blame Casey’s father and think that the mother is covering for him - as many women who are in domestic violence and pedophile/child abuse relationships do. The only piece of evidence with the Duct tape and the can is linked directly to the father. It’s likely that he removed the body to the swamp, and I think that he has been manipulating Casey. I found it quite compelling that Casey was brave enough to reveal how her father came into her room and abused her when she was 8.
I’m quite taken aback by the amount of hatred against Casey Anthony, and I think that she’s being persecuted by nasty TV stations looking for ratings and mindless ignorant lynch-mob crowds who have miserable lives so they are trying to use Casey as a common denominator to let out their social problems. It didn’t help either that Jeff Ashton (the prosecutor) showed what an evil, vicious individual he truly is, laughing at Mr Baez in such a serious case. The Judge was right to reprimand Ashton.
And that cock and bull story that Casey’s mother tried to spin about chlorophyll in the google searches - even the computer scientist found no link to “Chorophyll”. It was probably Casey’s father searching for the Choloform, and the neck breaking, and disposed of the body in the car. He testified that there was maggots and a smell (so conveniently in Casey’s car) - he’d know.
Finally when I look at Casey Anthony I see a frightened and deeply vulnerable young mother, who probably panicked after the accident and then was manipulated by her father. There’s no evidence to the contrary.
When George Anthony walked out the courtroom after the NOT GUILTY verdict, he was furious. It would have suited him that Casey had been sent down to the lethal injection chamber and his crimes neatly packaged away into a coffin. I hope he didn’t get a chance to abuse Caylee in her short time on this earth.
One more thing - the 31 days when Casey was partying and getting the “la bella vita” tattoo. This is just HER coping mechanism and grief reaction. It’s her way of being able to carry on. Her life was in tatters, her daughter was gone forever, and her father is a monster. What the hell, go and party, she was trying to forget everything existed and just wanted to be someone else for a few hours each night. In some cultures, when someone dies they go and have a party. Some men go and see a dominatrix, others listen to Marilyn Manson. This is just Casey’s extreme coping mechanism to an extreme situation.
proud-american, with all due respect, you illustrate the same sort of behavior the Amandii do. She’s innocent because you feel so. “There is no evidence to the contrary” (of the father’s guilt-Wow) but lots of evidence, in your mind, that he was a pedophile-Casey Anthony’s word is good enough for you, and not, that she introduced this into court when she thought she might be convicted of a capital crime.
Anyhow, I look at your argument and see a house of cards, and instead of using it to defend Amanda Knox, you defend Casey. Which you have every right to do, and just as when OJ Simpson was acquitted by the jury for the exact same reasons, we will respect the system, even if we don’t agree with the verdict.
But if you see my comment about jury member Jennifer Ford, I hope you, and every one else here, understand the term Stockholm Syndrome.
Thank you for your response.
“The Jury’s learned verdict needs to be respected or the U.S. Constitution will be made a mockery of.” Jury’s decision does need to be respected; don’t think I said it wasn’t. Doesn’t mean to say juries don’t sometimes get it wrong in the US. I admire the Italian system because there is in effect a second trial with a new jury.
I got interested in this case only a few days ago when it was discussed on here. As a UK resident, I certainly don’t watch Fox News, but have viewed some coverage on CNN (? Nancy Grace) which seems to be a slightly more credible source (I may stand corrected on this by you Americans!) Am certainly not type of person who gets information from tabloids/sensationist media. Been on this site for some time as found it to be only reliable source of accurate information.
After a couple of days only I do not pretend to have all the information on the case; maybe you can point me to a reliable internet source so I can do some further reading. I am getting intrigued now as so much of America seems to be outraged by this verdict, comparing it to OJ Simpson miscarriage of justice. Commentators on here have too indicated their belief in her guilt. You seem though to implicate the father in covering up for what you say was an accident. Viewed part of a documentary where it showed that the mother was hysterical about the missing toddler; and also both parents giving interviews expressing their anxiety about the disappearance and imploring Casey to tell the truth. As say, will delve into case more and hopefully find a reliable, comprehensive source on internet.
Jury sequestration is a disaster. Social pressures remove freedom of conscience so that the jurors cannot vote their mind. I hope the U.S. can overhaul our justice system soon.
There is a glaring mistake here which is endemic to American Jurisprudence. The jury where not given adequate advise in that (And as Jennifer Ford stated) they could not agree upon whether it was accidental death or murder or whether there was a motive and several other reasons which had nothing to do with the case. (Casey Anthony claiming molestation by her father and brother for example) It is not the job of the jury to examine these factors but to examine the evidence presented. There was a conviction in the Scott Peterson Trial using circumstantial evidence only. Yet here with much more evidence (The duck tape, the body etc:) there is an aquital. Whether this is the correct decision by the jury is a moot point. The entire point of this (Perhaps) miscarrage of justice is the lack of instruction to the jury by the bench.
The three Casey Anthony posts we have up don’t take a point of view on the outcome. Each mainly seek moderation against a main Knox bandwagon talking point: negative media bias against Knox (of which I for one saw little) “caused” her verdict; the judges on her jury biased the verdict; her jury should have been sequestered.
The three learning experiences for Perugia suggest quite the opposite. In the Casey Anthony case (1) media bias actually didnt matter; (2) juries in both countries have their pluses and the Italian in some eyes looks pretty good; (3) sequestration would not neccesarily have given the Knox people “their” outcome (they didnt have Nancy Grace to incite them anyway, so what would be the point?).
More factually wrong and defamatory smearing of Mignini. This time by someone in Germany called David Martin on a Seattle TV site.
David Martin should follow our link to Mignini in the right column here and in particular read all his interviews. That might bring Martin’s blood pressure back to normal. The idea that Mignini manipulated 20 plus judges and half a dozen jurors and 95% of opinion in Italy is quite ludicrous.
And he is NOT guilty till all his appeals are over if he loses. As his ONLY conviction came for proving that a Florence prosecutor was being intimidated not to pursue the Monster of Florence case, it is extremely unlikely to stand.
I believe David Martin should definitely have his blood levels ckecked. As far as I know Mignini is a severe and tough prosecutor but he´s definitely a very competent one.And German police and law are much more corrupt than Italy´s in my opinion.
A question for Peter Quennell.
You have declared repeatedly and ad nauseam, against all facts and common sense, that the Italian justice system has come to the right conclusion in the first trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. What are you proposing to do when, as will surely happen soon, the current appeal grinds to the revised and finally correct conclusion that they are as innocent as I am of Meredith Kercher’s murder? Are you still going to pursue them with your self-appointed, sanctimonious, and doubtless well-funded venom? And when Mignini and his minions are finally brought to justice for their life-ruining lies, will you set up a new website entitled ‘True Justice for Giuliano Mignini’?
It’s high time you exercised a little common sense. Innocent people have no need to lie repeatedly to the police and give multiple conflicting alibis. Nobody has ever provided a plausible innocent explanation for the numerous lies that Knox and Sollecito told before and after 5 November 2007. Lying repeatedly to the police will always be considered a clear indication of guilt.
If TJMK and PMF were only the tip of a media iceberg, a typhoon, if you will, of voices calling for the punishment of Amanda Knox, I might see where you are coming from.
As it is, the opposite is the case, and the media drumbeat for almost four years now has been how poor Amanda was in the wrong place at the wrong time, her innocence is taken at face value, and her parents’, friends’, and sympathetic pundits’ voices are the only ones that are heard.
It is highly disingenuous to come here to criticize the one of only a few places on the entire planet where evidence is looked at clearly, in the light of day, and not PR spin.
A murder defendant and her attorneys and desperate family are fickle allies.
A Poem for Meredith
No prison wraps my pretty hands,
No gates corral my throne,
Above all starry plains and pens
I triumph all alone.
this is just the first verse, I have written 14 others for Meredith.
TJMK won’t stop until Meredith is draped in garlands from the fight for justice. Until then I sing Mandalay, and I agree with Earthling and The Machine.
Hi David. The Machine is right. You need to become way less superficial if you want to change any minds here. The only 2-3 things I have read by you have been all emotion and no facts. You clearly dont know Amanda - and you clearly dont know Mignini.
On Amanda the alibis are a good place to start. But tackle also the hundreds of questions by Kermit and SomeAlibi via the Vital Must-Read Posts at top right. There is a right-column link for Mignini’s interviews too. Impressive guy.
Interesting, Peter, that you don’t answer my question. Personally, I have confidence in the Italian Appeal Court, which I regularly attend.So my question was, when these two innocent targeted youngsters are freed, as will happen soon, are you still going to pursue them with your self-appointed, sanctimonious, and doubtless well-funded venom?
Funny name to hide behind, ‘Ihe Machine’, but here is your entry Macho, old fellow. (You are not, by some chance at times also Harry Rag? But I digress)....
‘It’s high time you exercised a little common sense. Innocent people have no need to lie repeatedly to the police and give multiple conflicting alibis. Nobody has ever provided a plausible innocent explanation for the numerous lies that Knox and Sollecito told before and after 5 November 2007. Lying repeatedly to the police will always be considered a clear indication of guilt.’....
First, it is not clear that they did, but in as far as stories changed the simple explanation lies in one word—-TORTURE. This is one reason why in Britain and the USA it is illegal to interrogate suspects during the normal hours of sleep; after a certain point most of us will buckle and say anything just to get some rest. And it is in the police’s court to provide the recordings which prove who lied, Amanda or the Police. Personally my money is on the latter, and yours would be if you weren’t so trusting of Authority.
If you must use emotion rather than a dispassionate examination of the evidence (all of it) then please read ‘Lies our mother told us’ http://missrepresented.net/blog/
You can even pick and choose if you like since there are long articles there. In them by the way you will find conclusive proof that three people killed Meredith.
Examine the information concerning the bruising of her lips the attempted strangulation, and the defensive wounds on her hands. Then come back and provide just why you believe both these two are innocent.
I don’t believe you or anybody else can. Sounds like you have been reading Bruce Fisher.
The FOA are like a brainwashed cult whose members parrot the same talking points and refuse to change their opinions despite incontrovertible evidence which shows these opinions are wrong. For example, numerous white knights like David C Anderson claim that the double DNA knife was incompatible with the wounds on Meredith’s body even though multiple witnesses for the defence testified that the knife was compatible with the deep puncture wound on Meredith’s neck.
Thank you Machine.
I have to admit that I get physically ill reading some of the outright slander and lies that come from Knox’s immediate family and freinds. If this were just another murder among so many then it would have flown under the radar long since, but these very sick would be manipulators of the truth such as Candice Dempsey who promotes herself as a ‘best selling author,’ or the most repulsive Chris Mellas who smears the name of Meredith at every opportunity makes me sick to my stomach.
A poignant and touching verse. Am sure the other 14 verses would be a further welcome tribute on this site.
“A murder defendant and her attorneys and desperate family are fickle allies.” An apt quote.
Knox and Sollecito lied before and after 5 November 2007, so you can’t attribute these lies to police coercion or brutality. Sollecito admitted to the police that he had lied to them and put the blame on Knox:
“In my former statement I told you a load of rubbish because I believed Amanda’s version of what happened and did not think about the inconsistencies.” (The Times, 7 November, 2007).
Sollecito has never claimed he lied because the police mistreated him.
Amanda Knox lied to Filomena and the postal police on 2 November 2007 and to her friends in an e-mail on 4 November 2007.
“self appointed, sanctimonious, and doubtless well funded venom”
“illegal to interrogate suspects during the normal hours of sleep”
I’ll work backwards. It is not illegal to interview (interrogate) suspects at night, at least not in the UK. PACE simply states that a person in detention at a police station must be allowed 8 hours rest during any period of 24 hours, and during interviewing must be allowed a break for refreshment approximately every 2 hours.
As for “TORTURE” frankly I am clueless as to what is going on in your mind. Waterboarding? Amanda’s questioning from approximately 11.30 pm to 1.45 am may have been past her bedtime, but hardly torture - except perhaps for us geriatrics! As she was not actually under detention she was also presumably free to leave at any time prior to implicating Lumumba.
As for “sanctimonious” and “venom”, that is a paranoid mischaracterization of the presentation and comment on this board.
Sound comments above in response to to David Anderson’s wrong facts and irrelevancies. He refused to go away for a while and simply read though he seriously needs to. His grasp is abysmally weak.
In his original article in some UK tabloid he sounded even more besotted by a faux Amanda Knox than Girlanda and Fisher and Moore and Heavey and Krum and Wiesner and Nigel Scott. Doesn’t Knox or her mom find this kinda guy kinda freaky? Pity her if she ever gets out.
Most of the piece was about him and how he shot himself in the foot in an old UK case. Somehow he found that relevant - that the Perugia judiciary is therefore all as muddled or dumb as he was. Say what? We could not even be bothered to do a post.
On his suggestion that he has an advantage over us in that he is in court for appeal sessions. Does he really imagine we don’t have a dozen court sources all of whom are far more qualified than himself? We absolutely run rings around pretenders like him.
On his suggestion that he knows authority and I don’t, well, I have worked at the top levels of dozens of governments while he was locked away in insignificant labs, and I have never ever seen the kind of conspiracy that his paranoia tells him exists here.
And he thinks Judge Hellman is the man that will spring Knox? Really, get real. Does he know who Judge Massei is? Here is a repeat of a comment on Judge Massei I just posted under Fly By Night’s post on the DNA report.
Hi Smacker. Yes Judge Massei is the President of the Court of Assize. Something was made of that when he was announced late in 2008 but it seems to have been forgotten (especially by the FOA) ever since.
Assize refers to county, and the equivalent of his court in the United States would be the supreme court in every US county like that huge one in all the movies in Manhattan.
The very senior Judge Massei took the Knox-Sollecito case because he had handled several high profile murder cases before. Hellman normally handles business trials if I recall.
The Knox cultist David Anderson posted a comment here a couple of days ago that Judge Hellman is not part of the Perugia clan or clique and presumed that that somehow suggests he is a maverick who will not hide the “truth” any longer.
What are those people smoking? Especially with the tough tone of the Cassation finding against Guede, Judge Hellman has EVERY reason to tread carefully.
I just don’t see him having the supreme intellect that would be required to successfully reverse the verdict and have Cassation make that stick. Nice enough guy though, so I’m told.
By the way the Perugia clan or clique, as the besotted David Anderson and other Knox groupies like to smear them, are very highly regarded in Italy.
When the investigation into Winter Olympic Games graft had to be farmed out by the central authorities in Rome it was the Perugia prosecutors that were selected to take over, as they are widely known to be very competent and squeaky clean.
I empathize with Dr. Anderson, because I have read about the Stefan Kiszko case that he had some connection to. It was an extremely sad case, and perhaps Dr. Anderson feels some regret (perhaps even some guilt, even if undeserved) at his small role.
In reality, the two cases are extremely different. Mr. Kiszko was poor, I believe, and had a lamentably bad defense team. If one can say anything about this case, it’s that Amanda Knox has had the best Italian defense team money could buy.
I could say a lot more about the differences between the cases, but for now, anyway, I’d just like to ask Dr. Anderson one question; or rather, ask him to consider one question, even if only internally. You, Dr. Anderson, have had the opportunity to observe both Kiszko and Knox in their respective trials. How have they appeared to you in their demeanors? I would imagine that Kiszko was shy, humble, unsure of himself, and frightened at his circumstances. Is that how Knox appears to you?
Hi Earthling. Good question. Mind you, Knox’s demeanor haa changed a lot. Doubtful that Anderson saw her in the early part of the trial or when she testified which converted several in the court away from her cause. She never resembled poor sub-normal Kiszko.
I wonder, given the enormous cautiousness built into the Italian system, did your reading turn up any close Italian parallels to the UK case Anderson had a role in? Things are slow but that is built in via the constitution and a serious framing or miscarriage would seem a tough sell.
Although we don’t rate common-law judicial systems as in any way inferior to constitutional law systems, the posts here and just below on what Alan Dershowitz and others had to say in their comparisons of the accuracy of the two seem worth recalling. This is Anderson’s starting point for his own comparison: “And when Mignini and his minions are finally brought to justice for their life-ruining lies…” Really? What lies?
The idea that the affable hard-working perfectly stable Mignini somehow conned a co-prosecutor he deliberately appointed, as well as 20 plus judges, a jury, and the Supreme Court is childish and quite ludicrous.
Note that Anderson never ever ever shows any caring for Meredith and her suffering circle. See his cracks above about money (actually we make none, and stand to make none, and spend very little while he apparently runs some sort of holiday resort where FOA stay).
And note the crack about “self appointed” as if stepping up for a victim and for public servants who do not find it easy to defend themselves from bigotry and defamation requires some sort of license. We fit in precisely with UN ideals.
Strange to relate, but if you face-book any of the immediate pro Knox bunch you will find them all there. That is except for Chris Mellas who promotes himself with his back to the camera. (Perhaps he’s ashamed or scared of something) Of course Bruce Fisher does not exist at all since he presents himself with just the outline of a face. Perhaps that’s all he has since slander and deformation are very prevalent in the USA, almost a national pastime
Where next:Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page
Or to previous entry Jennifer Ford Is The First Juror To Speak Out On The Casey Anthony Acquittal