By now, most of you reading this will know that Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her daughter, Caylee. Casey was found not guilty of any act for which she was charged that caused harm to her daughter. She was only convicted of four (4) counts of giving false information to law enforcement authorities. If you've been listening to the radio, browsing the internet, or scanning your Facebook and Twitter accounts this afternoon, you're aware that virtually everyone commenting on the Casey Anthony verdicts are outraged. Whether such outrage is justified, one will never know.
In this country we have a criminal justice system that is designed to allow anyone accused of a crime to have their case heard in court. A jury of our peers examines and considers all of the evidence and decides whether such evidence supports the crimes with which a person has been charged. In the case of the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, the jury determined Ms. Anthony to be not guilty of murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child. As a result, Casey Anthony will soon be a free woman.
Given the jury's verdict in the criminal case against Casey Anthony, is there any other way to try and hold her accountable for actions that many believe she committed? The bigger question is, should Casey Anthony be held accountable arising from conduct for which she was acquitted? As you may recall, nearly fifteen (15) years ago, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman. However, what you may not know is that the Goldman and Brown families pursued a civil action against Mr. Simpson to prevent him from profiting from the sensational 'trial of the century' and, most importantly, to hold him accountable for his actions. Following months of legal wrangling, the Goldman and Brown families received a verdict of $33.5 million dollars against O.J. Simpson. By receiving this verdict, the Goldman and Brown families prevented Mr. Simpson from ever profiting from the deaths of their family members and, for all practical purposes, held O.J. Simpson financially accountable for his actions for the remainder of his life.
In the case of Casey Anthony, she may be able to capitalize on her acquittal of murdering her child. No matter what happens, Ms. Anthony cannot be tried again for the same crime and, given her diabolical nature, she could certainly entertain financial offers to write a book or develop a movie about her experience. Therefore, she could literally write a book titled 'The Secrets of How I Killed my Daughter, Caylee, and Why.' While such an idea seems unfathomable, I can assure you that there are thousands of people who would buy such a book to read the lurid details. In fact, I imagine that there are many publishers rushing to give Casey Anthony a signing bonus for a book and/or movie deal immediately upon hearing the verdict.
How can Casey Anthony be held accountable if a jury of her peers acquitted her? That answer is simple. While I can't speak to Florida's laws, I can say that in West Virginia, a court appointed representative of Caylee Anthony can initiate a civil action in court to pursue a civil claim against Casey Anthony hoping that a verdict will be returned against her. Such a verdict would prevent Ms. Anthony from ever profiting for what many believe to be her intentional and illegal activities, as well as, forever holding her accountable for the death of her daughter, Caylee.
Filing a civil lawsuit against Casey Anthony on behalf of Caylee would, hopefully, prevent Casey Anthony from gaining financially from her actions. While nothing can prevent her from becoming infamous and notorious, a civil action pursued on behalf of her deceased daughter can at least prevent Casey from living the ‘bella vita.'