There have been many murder trials in the United States which have gripped the nation, OJ Simpson, BTK, Lee Harvey Oswald. But more shocking to the consciousness of America is the story of a child which has been killed. Such would be the case of Caylee Anthony, and the trial of Casey Anthony. In this assignment the discussion will focus on this case, exposing the much of the drama created by this case.
On July 15th, 2008, two year old Caylee Marie Anthony was reported missing by her Cindy Anthony, Caylee’s grandmother. Caylee was missing from the home of Casey Marie Anthony, her mother, and the maternal grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony. The grandmother reported that she hadn’t seen Caylee for over a month and that when she confronted Casey Anthony, she received questionable responses about the whereabouts of the child, creating confusion and concern. (Jones, 2011).
It was after Cindy Anthony could smell an unusual odor coming from the vehicle of Casey Anthony, did it become necessary for Cindy Anthony to report her what she feared had become the fate of Caylee Anthony.
It was December 11th, 2008, when the remains of Caylee Anthony were discovered by a meter reader not far from the Anthony residence, in Orlando, Florida. Those remains would later be positively identified as those of Caylee Anthony, and would lead to the trial of Casey Anthony for the charge of Murder. She would be acquitted of on July 5th, 2011. (Weiss, 2011).
Several charges were filed against Casey Anthony, to include Murder, aggravated child abuse, manslaughter of a child and 4 counts of providing false information to law enforcement. Of the charges only that of false statements to law enforcement would be successfully prosecuted in court.
It was discovered that a computer had been used by Casey Anthony, which would be seized and a forensic investigation done of the data on that computer, using software called “Cache back”, by designer John Dennis Bradley, which had been used to determine what searches were made on a computer. The evidence would indicate that someone had searched the word chloroform on that computer at least 84 times around the dates of the dates when Caylee Anthony was suspected to be missing. It was later that John Bradley would discover inaccuracy of the data caused by the software, which he would to authorities.
Additionally there was photographic evidence entered on the case which had been retrieved from the computer of Ricardo Morales, a former boyfriend of Casey Anthony. The picture was that of a poster which said “Win Her Over with Chloroform”. (DD, 2011).
The prosecution had based much of the case on the digital evidence found on the computer that Casey Anthony used, with most of the attention given to the 84 times that the word chloroform had been searched. That evidence would later be challenged by John Bradley himself, who would change his original statement and reveal that there was only one reference found in the computer related to the search of chloroform. (Jones, 2012).
Other challenges to the computer forensic evidence were provided in the case by one of the investigators, Detective Yuri Melich, who by using Net Analysis was able to determine that there was inaccuracies in the data on the Casey Anthony case, which brought into question the data itself as well as whether Casey Anthony could have been the only person to access the computer in question. (DD, 2011).
When John Bradley designed the “Cache back” software, the idea was to be able to extract search information from a person’s computer. His programming at that time wasn’t well tested before being use it. Later Bradley would become concerned about sending someone to prison on evidence he presented, so for Casey Anthony’s sake he did some work to confirm if the data presented was accurate.
The search confirmed what Bradley had feared, that there was inconsistency in the data data presented in the case, and that there had only been a single search on that computer using the word chloroform.
The perception caused by the inaccurate data, coupled with the overwhelming lack of physical evidence necessary to connect Casey Anthony to the death of Caylee Anthony, left no option but for the jurors to rule as they did in the case. The facts that Casey Anthony lied to investigators wasn’t proof that she had murdered her daughter, only that there was suspicion that Casey Anthony had knowledge of something happening to Caylee.
Jones, K. (June, 2011). Jones & Dykstra: The Casey Anthony Trial
Weiss, D. (July, 2011) ABA Journal: I Warned Prosecutors Casey Anthony Didn’t Do It. http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/computer_expert_i_told_prosecutors_casey_anthony_didnt_do_84_chloroform_wor/
2011). Digital Evidence Discrepancies – Casey Anthony Trial. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blog.digital-detective.co.uk/2011/07/digital-evidence-discrepancies-casey.html. [Last Accessed 11/25.2012].