All this past summer Birdsong heard about the search for 3 year Caylee Anthony. A missing child case here in Orlando. Suspicion focused on her mother Casey Anthony, the 22 year old mother of the baby. When the child was missing over two months people started suggesting that Casey had killed her child. We do not know if that is the case. No body has been found. Casey has told 4 different stories of what might have happened to the child. All have turned out to be false.
This week, specifically on October 14, 2008, an Orange Country grand jury indicted the mother, Casey Anthony, on seven criminal counts, including First Degree Murder. Murder I, as it is called, would allow prosecutors to ask for the death penalty. Birdsong has been drawn into the case by having been interviewed by local TV news and the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper for his views on the case.
Birdsong, as his students know, is against the death penalty. Birdsong says this certainly isn’t a case for which prosecutors should seek the death penalty. There is no body. There will be no forensic findings of what happened to the child, there is no motive, no eye witnesses and no confession from the mother, and no snitches have been found to whom Casey may have confided while locked up in jail with no bond. In addition, Casy Anthony does not seem to be a predator and, so far, has no criminal record.
In essence, this is going to be a tough case for prosecutors to show guilt of First Degree Murder beyond a reasonable doubt. However, prosecutors indicate that they have a stong circumstantial case. There have been murder convictions without a body. But not many.
If there is no demand by Casey Anthony for a speedy trial in 90 days, the prosecutors have six months to take the case to trial.
Perhaps, that will be enough time for police to find a body.
Oh, did I mention that the District Attorney who sought and obtained the murder indictment is up for reelection three weeks from now?