Did You Know that Casey Anthony CAN be Tried in Court AGAIN?

Tim Miley
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Injury Lawyer, Author, & Owner of The Miley Legal Group

Did you know that Casey Anthony could possibly still face a civil courtroom? 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. 

You may wonder how Casey Anthony can be tried in a civil proceeding given her acquittal in a criminal proceeding.  In a criminal proceeding, someone's guilt must be proven ‘beyond a reasonable doubt'.  In a civil proceeding, someone's liability must be proven ‘by a preponderance' of the evidence.  In other words, the burden of proving your case is lower in a civil case than it is in a criminal case.  Given that someone's liberty (and sometimes life) hangs in the balance in a criminal proceeding, it certainly makes sense to have a higher standard before potentially putting someone in jail, or to death, for their actions.

To help explain the differences and the burdens of proof, think of a scale of 1 to 100.  Hypothetically, imagine that the burden of proving a case "beyond a reasonable doubt" must get to the 75 % threshold or above in order for there to be a criminal conviction.  Now, also think of a civil "preponderance" burden of only having to be above the 50% threshold.  While our legal system doesn't actually have scales and % thresholds, you can see from the imagery created that there would be almost 25% ‘room' to be able to present your case and have a jury return a verdict against Casey Anthony in a civil proceeding even though a jury did not return a verdict against her in a criminal proceeding. 

While it may be difficult to understand, that is exactly what happened in the case of O.J. Simpson.  The prosecution was not able to reach the 75% threshold in the criminal proceeding, but the attorneys for the Goldman and Brown families were able to meet at least the 50+% threshold in a civil proceeding. 

It's also important to note that once someone has been acquitted in a criminal proceeding, they are not permitted to assert their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination in a civil proceeding.  In other words, once a person has been acquitted in criminal court, they are required to testify in a deposition and in open court in a later civil proceeding.  The failure of the defendant to testify in a civil proceeding after they have already been acquitted in a criminal proceeding can and will result in a default judgment being entered against them which means they automatically lose the case.  At that point, the only action that remains to be taken against such person would be to present evidence of the harm caused by that person.  In this case, the harm allegedly caused by Casey Anthony toward her daughter, Caylee, is death and therefore would most likely be measured in the millions of dollars. 

While nothing can ever bring Caylee back and there will forever be the fear that Casey Anthony may have gotten away with the murder of her child, at least filing a civil lawsuit on behalf of Caylee would, hopefully forever prevent Casey Anthony from gaining financially from her actions.  Ms. Anthony has achieved infamy but a civil action pursued on behalf of her deceased daughter may at least prevent her from continuing to live the 'Bella Vita.'

Note: the reference to 'Bella Vita' is due to the tattoo Casey Anthony got approximately two weeks after her daughter's death.  'Bella Vita' are Italian words meaning 'Beautiful Life' or the 'Good Life.'

This whole thing is a total mockery of how our justice system really works. After seeing a special on tv about the trial and the evidence and what not, I saw that that a lot of evidence wasn't allowed to be presented to the jury because of certain laws. Then after witnesses testified and were cross examined they were made to look uncredited. I know a lot of criminals have been put behind bars thanks to our justice system, but to think that there are so many more like casey anthony that get to walk free because of how our justice system works sickens me. And it really disturbs me to think that now that casey anthony has been tried and found innocent of murdering her little girl (which even a top medical examiner like dr.g knows to be untrue) that the only thing our legal system can do now is keep her from making a finacial gain on it.
by Mar January 15, 2012 at 12:26 AM
I really think she needs to be tried again! She should not be able to get away with what she did! Horrible Mother!
by L.A July 7, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Ok but who would be the one to file the civil suit against casey anthony???
by Maria rivera July 7, 2011 at 12:25 AM
Ok but who would be the one to file the civil suit against casey anthony???
by Maria rivera July 7, 2011 at 12:25 AM
I would love to see her tried again.... If it wasn't for her lies maybe they could have proven how that poor little girl died.... I think there should be a law against all the money people make after committing a crime.
by Connie July 6, 2011 at 09:59 PM
I always say beyond a reasonable doubt is more than 90%, rather than more than 75%. Of course, nobody has put a solid number on it, but the larger gap makes your point even more true.
by Kevin July 6, 2011 at 05:24 PM
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