Tag Archives: forensic

The Nature Of Evidence

By Steve K

Young, unmarried woman has baby. Young woman would rather party than take some responsibility. Young woman relieves herself of the inconvenience by disposing of her child. Young woman is now free to enjoy the local nightlife and. ironically, further engage in reproductive activity. She doesn’t see fit to notify anyone that her toddler is missing for 30 days. When the police are called, young woman lies, and lies, and lies. After an investigation there is sufficient evidence to charge the young woman. (“sufficient” means “enough” for those of you in Orlando who might be jurors one day). The case goes to trial; a jury is seated; the evidence is exhibited; the case goes to the jury; jury finds the young woman innocent of everything except lying. Young woman goes free.

Concerned mother desperately searching for her daughter

The young woman, unless you’ve been living under a rock. is Casey Anthony. But I’m pretty tired of hearing that name, so I’m going to call her Guiltsey Anthony. Yes, I know the jury said otherwise, but the jury is stupid. We all know Guiltsey is guilty, just like we all know O.J. did it; and the O.J. trial proved that juries can be brain-dead.

Concerned mother recruits friends & neighbors to aid in the search for the missing toddler

This was a jury of grazing sheep, with no real leadership, no independent thought, no critical thinking, no ability to look simultaneously at details as well as the big picture, incapable or just plain too lazy to put the pieces together and see the case, as a whole, form before their eyes. We’ve all watched Wheel Of Fortune and seen contestants correctly solving incomplete puzzles. We’ve even solved them ourselves and shouted the answer at the TV, so we know it can be done. Inference can be used to process circumstantial evidence (anyone remember Scott Peterson?), but somehow either the prosecution failed to define for the jury what all constitutes evidence, and explain to them the different kinds of evidence, or the defense was successful at falsely limiting the definitions, or both, leaving this jury expecting Vanna to leave no letter left unturned for them so they wouldn’t have to think. “Washingtom, Washingtoe? Washingtor? This is hard! We’re stumped without that last letter. We give up. Not guitly!”

The search continues into the night. Beverages are provided to the volunteers.

I’m hearing and reading a lot of people saying “there just wasn’t enough evidence to convict”. There is a serious lack of understanding of the nature of evidence and what kinds of evidence can be used. Some people won’t be convinced unless they can see a video of Guiltsey clearly doing the deed, or if a group of eyewitnesses testify that they saw her do it, as if a person planning on killing her child just can’t wait until there’s no one around. Physical evidence (which includes forensic) is but one kind of evidence, and there’s been an over-reliance on the empirical to the near exclusion of the logical. We use logic to make inferences. If A is more than B, and B is more than C, then A is more than C. Even though we might need to empirically determine what constitutes A,B,&C, we infer by reason that A is more than C even if A and C cannot be directly compared to each other. It wouldn’t make sense for someone to say “We just can’t determine whether or not A is greater than C because we can’t directly compare one to the other”. A person making such a statement is expressing doubt, but it’s not reasonable doubt. Somehow this jury had it in its collective head that they cannot make a determination of guilt unless the case is free from all doubt. You can show these people two of something, and then show them three of something, but they won’t put two & three together. They won’t believe it’s five unless you show them five, because using logic to add two & three is just hard. It makes their head hurt.

It seems like the jury looked at one piece of evidence, decided that it didn’t prove guilt beyond all doubt, then looked at the next piece of evidence and decided the same thing; going over all the evidence one piece at a time and rejecting it because no one piece by itself hit a home run in their minds. They failed to see how all the evidence came together and combine into a totality of circumstances. It’s like not seeing the forest because of the trees. What were they looking for, a sign over the body with an arrow pointing down saying “Mom did this”?

With schools & universities replacing education with indoctrination, we have told students what to think instead of how to think. We’ve even strayed so far from logic and reason that some people can’t even grasp the notion that there are such things as absolutes and universal truth, without which logic and reason are meaningless. It’s no wonder, sadly, that this is the outcome.

This is how lazy these individuals are: there were seven (7 for those in Orlando) charges against Guiltsey. They deliberated for only 9+ hours on all seven charges. My wife has spent more time than that going shopping. Less than ten hours for seven charges, and we’re supposed to believe that the jury gave this thoughtful and careful consideration? It’s as if this jury went to the deliberation room and said “Ok, we’ve been sequestered for six weeks, we’re tired, let’s wrap this up so we can all go home!” I can deal with Guiltsey being acquitted of Capital Murder, but how do they acquit her for Aggravated Manslaughter? Here is the Bill of Indictment:

  • “And the Grand Jurors of the County of Orange, duly called, impaneled and sworn to inquire and true presentment make in and for the body of the County of Orange, upon their oaths do present that CASEY MARIE ANTHONY, between the 15th day of June, 2008 and the 16th day of July, 2008, in said County and State, did willfully or by culpable negligence, in violation of Florida statutes 782.07(3) and 827.0393), while a caregiver to Caylee Marie Anthony, a child under 18 years of age, fail or omit to provide CAYLEE MARIE ANTHONY with care, supervision and services necessary to maintain CAYLEE MARIE ANTHONY’S physical and mental health, or fail to make a reasonable effort to protect CAYLEE MARIE ANTHONY from abuse, neglect or exploitation by another person, and in so doing cause the death of CAYLEE MARIE ANTHONY.” (elements that apply here are in bold yellow type for those of you in Orlando)

It’s going to be a real challenge trying to convince me that Guiltsey wasn’t culpably negligent at the least. So they convicted her of lying. Why? Lying about what? What did Guiltsey have to lie about?

Concerned mom taking a much-needed break from all that searching

What the jurors don’t understand is everything isn’t C.S.I. They are allowed to use deductive reasoning and common sense. This is why you can convict on circumstantial evidence. This matters because Scott Peterson sits on Death Row for the murder of his wife Laci and their unborn son, convicted on far less physical evidence and with the cause of their deaths never determined. Scott could be a free man, if only his jury was as intellectually lazy as the jury who let Guiltsey get away with murder.

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