The Associated Press reported last week that Casey Anthony’s acquittal in the death of her 2-year-old daughter has resulted in an online backlash to the Florida jury’s decision. Hundreds of thousands of people who are certain Anthony killed Caylee have expressed their anger at the verdict on Facebook and Twitter.
Dr. Phyllis Chesler, a psychologist who authored “Mothers on Trial,” told the AP the Anthony case connected with many Americans because it taps into their primal beliefs.
“Once a mother is merely accused, she stands convicted, because the instinct is to blame the mother,” she said. “She’s an outlaw even though she was found innocent. ... People in down times spend their waking hours looking for bright, bushy-tailed distractions. Casey and her poor daughter’s sick and sad saga will fit the bill for now.”
The defense argued Caylee drowned in the family’s swimming pool. Prosecutors couldn’t say for sure how Caylee died because the girl’s body was too decomposed for a proper DNA and forensic examination. Instead, the prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence.
A USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted days after the verdict was handed down found 64 percent of respondents believe Casey Anthony “definitely or probably” murdered her daughter. The poll of 1,010 adults found women are much more likely than men to believe the murder charges against Anthony and to be upset by the not-guilty verdict.
The verdict has prompted lawmakers in Florida to introduce “Caylee’s Law,” which would make it a felony for a parent or caretaker to fail to notify police of a child’s disappearance within 24 hours.
Legislators in Tennessee, Oklahoma, New York and Louisiana have expressed interest in introducing similar bills in their states.
Do you agree with the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial? Tell us what you think by sending your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or email@example.com. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification. We will print your responses on the Opinion pages in the coming weeks.
You also can go to www.johnsoncitypress.com to cast a vote in the online poll. Results of the poll and comments from readers will appear on this page July 26.