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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Casey Anthony Not Guilty of Murder
Aired July 5, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight, the stunning verdict.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first-degree murder, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty.
MORGAN: The case that shocked the world.
JEFF ASHTON, PROSECUTOR: People don't make accidents look like murder. That's absurd.
JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If you don't know what happened, that's it. If it wasn't proven to you that it happened, that's it. It's over.
MORGAN: Casey Anthony, not guilty in the death of her 2-year-old daughter. What happens now? Will there ever be justice for little Caylee? What does this case say about America and its justice system?
I'll talk to the biggest names in our legal system who have been watching the case from the start and talking to them about one of the biggest upsets in modern legal history.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. It's the most controversial verdict since O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder more than 16 years ago. Casey Anthony not guilty of the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, a decision that shocked America and the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first-degree murder, verdict as to count one, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty. So say we all. Dated at Orlando, Orange County, Florida, on this 5th day of July, 2011, signed foreperson.
As to the charge of aggravated child abuse, verdict as to count two, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty. So say we all, dated at Orlando, Orange County, Florida, this 5th day of July, 2011. Signed foreperson.
As to the charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child, verdict as to count three, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: The jury deliberated for less than 11 hours. Casey not guilty on all of the most serious charges. Guilty on four counts of providing false information to police.
Casey's defense attorney, Jose Baez, suddenly the most successful lawyer in America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BAEZ: We should all take this as an opportunity to learn and to realize that you cannot convict someone until they've had their day in court.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Joining me now to discuss this shocking verdict, Aphrodite Jones, host of "True Crime," on Investigation Discovery, Orlando reporter Jacqueline Fell, who's been covering the case and tweeting about it since the beginning. Criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, author of "Trials of Zion," and in an exclusive interview, the defense's lead forensics expert Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance Brennan novels, an inspiration to the TV series "Bones."
Kathy, let me start with you. In the end, was it the lack of forensic evidence which you think led to this acquittal?
KATHY REICHS, DEFENSE FORENSICS EXPERT: Well, in my mind it is, because the state really didn't have any valid evidence to go on. They had no physical evidence to tie Casey to the death of her daughter.
MORGAN: I mean you examined a full skeletal autopsy of Caylee Anthony's remains. You visited the crime scene, you examined pieces of evidence. From everything that you saw, from everything that you examined, did you ever see evidence of premeditated murder?
REICHS: No, and that was one of the problems that the prosecution had is there was no cause of death. There was nothing on those little bones to indicate when she had died or where she had died or how she had died. It was the skeleton of a well taken care of little girl.
There was no indication of any kind of mistreatment or child abuse or malnutrition or anything along those lines. So there was nothing in the bones to indicate what happened to her.
MORGAN: I mean, do you have any personal feeling about what you think happened to her?
REICHS: You know, I really don't want to speculate. The defense story was that her daughter drowned in the pool. And I don't think I'm in a position to question that.
MORGAN: But did you see anything -- when you examined Caylee's remains, did you see anything that would go along with that theory, that would corroborate it in any way? REICHS: Well, one of the things that forensic anthropologists look for is manner of death or cause of death. And you can only see evidence if it's something that leaves its mark on the bone. A gunshot wound, for example, or a stabbing or blunt instrument trauma where you've got fractured patterning.
Those are things you can see in the skeleton, but there are lots of different types of death that aren't going to leave a mark, such as drowning, such as suffocation, those kinds of things.
MORGAN: Jackie Fell, let me bring you in here. You were there every step of the way on this, tweeting away, it was obviously a fascinating, compelling case. When the verdict came in, I was watching it live like most people, I'd imagine, I gasped when I saw the verdict. I'm pretty sure you would have done.
What was the reaction like in the courtroom?
JACQUELINE FELL, REPORTER, NEWS 13: Well, you know, before the verdict was read, you could have heard a pin drop in there. No one was talking. Everyone was just dead silent. And the same thing when the court started reading the verdict, the court clerk.
Casey Anthony was really the only one to show any kind of emotion. And then of course her attorneys grabbed her hands, and almost all of the defense team was crying at that point in time.
Now when the jurors were finally dismissed for the very last time, we saw one of the jurors crying. Afterwards, when people were released, the public was able to leave the courtroom, they started talking. But really, once again, it was dead silence in that courtroom.
MORGAN: I mean, it looked pretty unedified, I've got to say, seeing them all sort of cheering and celebrating. On the other hand, it's been a hell of an ordeal for them, and if she is innocent, as this jury has decided that she is, you can understand that explosion of emotion at the end, can't you?
FELL: Oh, yes. I mean, you saw her attorneys basically huddle around her, and you just heard Casey Anthony gasping and crying. Jose Baez hugged her. Everyone hugged. And at one point Jose Baez even grabbed one of the youngest attorneys on the team, Liz Fryer. She's a very petite.
He practically -- he picked her up off the ground and just spun around with her. The motion was -- it was definitely the most emotion we've seen from anyone and especially from the entire group.
As far as the audience members, though, I think everyone was sort of afraid to react just because Judge Perry, you know, he lays down the law and he told everyone when the jury was in there do not show disapproval, approval, or any sort of reaction.
MORGAN: Aphrodite Jones, you were also there today. Were you as shocked as everybody else? APHRODITE JONES, HOST OF "TRUE CRIME" ON INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY: My jaw dropped, Piers, and something else. Everybody was not only stunned. Yes, Casey was grabbing on to her attorney's hand. She was holding on for dear life.
But she looked surprised, frankly, because prior to the verdict, she came in all puffy faced, she clearly had been briefed. She had been prepared for a guilty verdict. And she had been crying. And that was clear.
She was seemingly surprised herself, and as the verdicts continued to come in not guilty, not guilty, on any count to do with murdering her child, suddenly you saw a new Caylee -- a new Casey, rather, somebody who was at the end of it started to smile. And, you know, she still has a dead baby there, and we have a lot of questions. There is still a lot of explaining to do.
And to say that they found her innocent, Piers, I beg to differ. They found her not guilty. That doesn't mean they thought she was innocent. They just felt that the state did not have enough evidence to prove beyond their reasonable doubt that she did it.
MORGAN: Alan Dershowitz, let me bring you in here. I mean, from a legal point of view, were you surprised at the verdict?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You're always surprised at verdicts in cases like this. There are hundreds of people in prisons, some on death row today, based on less evidence than this. This was a sufficient case to go to the jury and a sufficient case for a jury to have gone either way. It all depends on whether you trust the jury system.
We have to remember that jury trials and homicide cases are not whodunits. It's not about justice for Caylee. The prosecutor said, quote, "This case is about seeking justice for Caylee." No, it's not. It's not even about finding the truth. It's about figuring out whether or not the admissible evidence proves the charges in this case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The jury very reasonably had a doubt. They didn't know when she died. They didn't know the cause of death. The government's theory was very speculative. The defense theory was even more speculative. By the way, I don't think the defense attorney did such a great job here, getting up in front of the jury and saying he was going to prove that she was abused.
Why would you argue that the defendant was abused if she didn't do it? The abuse excuse is generally something that you introduce to mitigate guilt. So he got better as it went along, but the prosecution overcharged the case. It never should have been a capital case. It never should have been a first-degree murder case.
They overtried the case. They introduced absurd evidence from an expert that he could smell death.
By the way, this case, even had there been a conviction, probably would have been reversed on appeal based on the junk science. So this is really a case if you trust the jury system, if you believe that better 10 guilty go free than one innocent be wrongly confined -- if you really believe in proof beyond a reasonable doubt, this is the right verdict.
If you think the object of a criminal trial is whodunit to do justice for the victim, then this produced the wrong result.
MORGAN: Kathy Reichs, junk science? Would you go along with that?
REICHS: Well, I think it's fringe science. I think it's science that hasn't really been validated or tested adequately enough to prove that it's reliable enough to present in court. Some of it. Some of it.
DERSHOWITZ: That's junk science.
REICHS: Yes. And I do disagree strongly with the rebuttal statement of the forensic anthropologist that you don't open a skull at autopsy. I always open a skull. If you want to see what's inside there, you're not going to try to peek in through the frame and magnum.
And while I'm not a pathologist and I don't do regular autopsies with soft tissue, I've witnessed hundreds of them at our lab. And in every single one the pathologist removes the skull cap and looks inside the skull.
MORGAN: And Aphrodite Jones, I mean, Alan Dershowitz there saying that it was a reasonable verdict based on everything that happened. Many people would argue that it was a very strange verdict given what we do know, the incontrovertible evidence that came out. For example, that this mother didn't report her daughter being missing for 31 days.
I mean, I don't know anybody at all who's a parent who in similar circumstances would not have reported immediately their child missing. So there are some very big unanswered questions here, aren't there?
JONES: You are so right, Piers, and everybody in America and all over the world who are following this know that in their gut, in their heart of hearts, people are upset about this verdict. Why? Because the evidence, the circumstantial evidence surrounding the killing or the death of this child, which before and after only points to one person, that is her mother, is enough, would have been enough for a reasonable jury, in my opinion, to have come back with a guilty verdict.
Because remember Scott Peterson. That's a case that was entirely circumstantial, and guess what? They came up with guilty and death for that killer. And I think people feel cheated. I think the justice system in America feels to -- many people like it's been broken. And I could tell you being here on the streets in Orlando that there are people who were screaming, "We don't want a killer on our streets." And that was happening at the same time that Mr. Jose Baez is celebrating a champagne toast inside the restaurant across the street from the courthouse.
Justice for Caylee? This is what he wants? Or to be the most famous attorney in America with a new agent that wants to go become the next Mark Geragos or whatever it is that he has in mind.
It's very, very disturbing. It's truly disturbing to me and to many people who are out there looking at this and seeing what we see as a broken system.
DERSHOWITZ: I agree, by the way --
MORGAN: I mean, Alan Dershowitz -- Alan, let me just put to you, Alan, what you said to me. I mean you said that it wasn't about justice for Caylee.
DERSHOWITZ: That's right. Yes.
MORGAN: But to me, to me, on any human level, that's exactly what this was about. And, yes, you can hide behind legal semantics about what the case was technically about. But the reality is a very young girl lost her life and we appear to be no nearer the truth now than we were before. And frankly, we probably never will be now. So we haven't got justice for this girl, and people are angry about that.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, if you want justice, don't look to the criminal law system. That's not its job. Its job is not to produce a just result. Its job is to produce a legally correct result.
We have a system that says better 10 guilty go free than one innocent be wrongly confined. If you have a 60 percent likelihood a person did it, you must acquit. If you think he probably did it, you must acquit. If you think he almost surely did it, you must acquit.
We acquit lots of guilty people, and that's the right thing to do. When we convict an innocent person, that's the wrong thing to do. That's our system of justice. Many people don't like it. Many people think the opposite, that we have too much popular justice, too much dependent on elected prosecutors, elected judges, elected officials.
The French, for example, don't understand our stem with a case that's going on now with the rape in New York. They don't understand our system. They say it's much too popular. In France, there's a professional system. They have professional judges, professional prosecutors, professional jurors.
We've opted for a much more democratic system, and it means that in the end you're going to be dissatisfied with a lot of verdicts. Just don't expect too much from our legal system. Don't expect truth. Don't expect justice, because that's not what it's supposed to give you.
It's supposed to give you a legal process that only convicts if admissible evidence proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt. If you don't like that system, I've got plenty of other systems for you that are more accurate. The Chinese system, the military justice system, the Russian system. Many European systems. But the American system errs on the side --
MORGAN: Alan, Alan, hold that --
DERSHOWITZ: -- of freeing the guilty instead of the innocent. Right.
MORGAN: Hold that thought, Alan. I want to come back to you after the break and examine your thesis that it's not about truth and justice.
MORGAN: Because that's getting my blood boiling.
DERSHOWITZ: It's good.
MORGAN: So hold it there and we'll be back in a moment.
What will happen to Casey now? More insight from our top legal experts, including the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case.
But first, here's a look at the Casey Anthony defense team captured celebrating after the verdict, giving each other hugs and high-fives outside an Orlando bar. Pretty unedifying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAWSON LAMAR, CHIEF PROSECUTOR, ORANGE COUNTY: I never, ever criticize a jury. Theirs is the task of deciding what to believe. Reasonable doubt as to each and every element in a case especially a case like this, which is a mosaic of proof, with no smoking gun and a tiny victim who was reduced by time and the elements to skeletal remains -- those remains lacking in any chemical evidence that could be brought forward. This was a dry-bones case. Very, very difficult to prove.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A disappointed prosecutor told reporters after a shocking end to the murder case everyone's been talking about. Casey Anthony found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. She escaped the death penalty. She faces just four years in prison on counts of providing false information to police.
So what will happen now? We the turn to attorney and author Lisa Bloom, criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz still with us, and Marcia Clark joins us, former prosecutor in the O.J. trial, which many are comparing to this with the sensation of its verdict.
Marcia Clark, let me start with you, because you've been exactly in the position of that prosecutor. You lost an incredibly high- profile case when everybody imagined that you were going to win.
What is that moment like when you realize that it's going against all popular thought and actually you're going to lose the case?
MARCIA CLARK, AUTHOR, "GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION": Well, Piers, to tell you the truth, it's really not like that because there was predictions that we were going to lose this case or at least not be able to convict from long before we even started to pick the jury because of a variety of issues including celebrity, race, the Rodney King riots.
There was a lot of belief even before we finished the preliminary hearing there would be no way that we could convict. So that belief was there and that understanding was there for quite some time, and then throughout the trial things occurred. So I cannot say --
MORGAN: Let me -- let me rephrase the question. I suppose what I was getting at is, where there's a popular belief that the person that you're prosecuting is guilty, as indeed there has been in this case, forget for a moment the realities of O.J. Simpson's fame and so on. But where there is a common consensus that people believe the person is guilty.
CLARK: It's extremely stunning. I have to say that I was actually more surprised by this verdict than I was by the Simpson verdict. Given everything, there was a popular belief then, but it was not completely shared in the Simpson case. But in the Casey Anthony case, I think it was much more unified belief by -- among the people at least that I spoke to and saw that she was going to be convicted of something.
The question was always to me whether it would be conviction of premeditated murder or manslaughter. Those were the big issues given the lack of physical evidence. But it was a stunner to me that she was convicted of none of the homicide counts involving Caylee Anthony.
MORGAN: No, but Lisa Bloom, let me bring you in here. I mean I've got to say in Britain we don't have cameras in courtrooms. And it seems to add a gravity to proceedings which I just don't see in cases like this in America.
I was quite disturbed, I've got to say, watching this. The reaction from people that I knew, from friends and work colleagues in America who were gripped by every twist and turn, that they were watching what appeared to be an ongoing reality TV show and not a very serious murder trial.
Is this not the problem with having cameras in these courtrooms?
LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: Well, I'm very proud that we have the First Amendment here in America and we can shine the light on all three of our branches of government -- legislative, executive, and judicial.
Anyone can walk into a courtroom and watch a trial. We have open, public trials. And sticking a camera in the courtroom only adds modern technology to that equation. In all the studies -- I was at Court TV for eight years. All the studies show after the first hour or two everybody in the courtroom forgets about the cameras.
And if there was ever an example of how cameras in the courtroom don't affect the outcome I think it would be this case. I mean, there was a media drum beat for three years of guilt, guilt, guilt, and the jury today not only rejected the prosecution's case, they rejected the media's view of this case.
So I think this is a perfect example of how cameras don't harm anything. Jurors weigh the case based on the evidence. And that's what they make their decision based upon, and I say good for them.
MORGAN: Alan Dershowitz, I mean, before the break you were informing me that it's not about truth and justice, the American system. I was pretty shocked by that statement, I've got to be honest with you. I mean if a legal system isn't based on truth and justice, then what kind of system is it?
DERSHOWITZ: Well, if you want truth, get scientists. If you want justice, get philosophers. Oliver Wendell Holmes was once asked by his law clerk, but he said this result is unjust. And Holmes, the great juror, said, young man, we're not in the justice business. We're in the law business. And that distinction is very, very important.
When our legal system is supposed to be based on a combination of factors -- we want to make sure we preserve the privacy of defendants, we want to make sure that he has his rights given to him, we want to make sure there's no junk science.
We keep out evidence that might be relevant but it's to prejudicial. We're not on a scientific quest for truth. We're not trying to do justice for Caylee or any particular person. We're trying to have a verdict consistent with constitutional rights.
The system as a whole should be just, but it will in a given case produce innocent verdicts for guilty people. That's just the way it turns out. And that's the way it should turn out if we believe better 10 guilty go free than one innocent be wrongly confined.
One thing about TV in the courtroom, what TV does -- because I agree with you, Piers -- it makes trials look like reality shows. In reality shows, there's always a certain outcome. They would never end a television show with this kind of uncertainty, with all these questions unresolved.
It would never be on television. In television, your get certainty. In real life, there is uncertainty. No one will ever know what happened to Caylee. And the question is, do you resolve doubts one way or do you resolve doubts the other way?
By the way, this was a much, much weaker case than the O.J. Simpson case in terms of the evidence. The O.J. Simpson case was far stronger than this one. There was a cause of death, there was a time of death, there were motives alleged. There was a reasonable doubt, the jury found, but this case was much, much weaker.
And so one should have anticipated greater doubts in this case. If they had charged this woman just with covering up, lying to the police, failing to report, she would have been easily convicted. If they had charged her with manslaughter, accidental manslaughter, probably she would have been convicted.
But because they sought the death penalty and overcharged and overtried, they ended up with nothing. It was badly tried.
MORGAN: Marcia Clark, badly tried? Do you agree with that?
CLARK: No, I don't. I really don't. I think that, you know, whether or not they should have asked for the death penalty, that's a whole separate question. I don't want to go there right now because we could go there for hours.
But in terms of trying the case, yes, they proved it. I mean, this is a circumstantial evidence case, of course it is. They didn't have the physical evidence that we did in the Simpson case, but don't forget, in the Simpson case, there was abundant DNA, but no one believed it at the time. It was 16 years ago.
There were a lot of questions about the evidence collection. In rebuttal -- in my rebuttal argument, I had to get up and tell the jury forget about the DNA. Just look at the circumstantial evidence that we have. And by the way, that was enough to convict him 10 times.
They had enough to convict her here. They certainly had enough to say that there was a homicide committed and that Casey Anthony was the one who committed it, the question being what she did, not whether she did it, in my opinion. And to say that no one will ever know what happened to Caylee Anthony, oh, I think someone does know.
And I think that person is Casey Anthony. Whether she will ever tell us, well, no, I don't think so.
MORGAN: Lisa Bloom, very quickly. What happens to Casey Anthony next?
BLOOM: On Thursday is her sentencing. I expect her to get time served for the four misdemeanors, and that will probably be it.
I want to say one other quick point that nobody has addressed when we talk about the media. High-profile cases attract skilled, free attorneys. And she didn't just have one attorney, Jose Baez, who we all talk about. She really got a dream team, and not only skilled attorneys but investigators and experts who worked for nothing or for next to nothing.
That's what makes a difference in an O.J. Simpson case, in a Casey Anthony case. You know, where people are more likely to get that acquittal because they have very skilled team around them that other indigent defendants in this country don't get.
DERSHOWITZ: But explain why a skilled attorney would raise an issue of abuse?
MORGAN: Lisa Bloom, Marcia -- oh, go on. Alan?
DERSHOWITZ: I'm just wondering why a skilled attorney would raise allegations which he couldn't prove of sexual abuse by the father of the daughter. That seemed to me to give the jury --
MORGAN: OK, well --
DERSHOWITZ: -- a very false lead.
BLOOM: Well, look, that's hideous. But the bottom line is he got an acquittal. I mean he pulled victory from the jaws of defeat in this case --
BLOOM: -- when nobody thought he could do it.
MORGAN: I'm going to have to --
BLOOM: So for the most part, he did a good job.
MORGAN: I'm going to have to hold you --
MORGAN: I'm going to have to hold you there, Lisa. I've got to hold you there. I mean that is the point, though, isn't it, Alan? Whatever you think of him, and he got whacked all over the place -- Jose Baez -- he pulled it off.
DERSHOWITZ: That's right .
MORGAN: So he couldn't have been that bad.
Anyway, let's leave it there for now. Thank you all very much.
Still ahead, the judge from another celebrated trial weighs in on what happened today. And we'll find out what the jury was thinking. We'll hear from an alternate juror who sat through the whole trial and the world's top jury consultants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSSELL HUEKLER, ALTERNATE JUROR: The prosecution did not prove their case. The big question that was not answered, you know, how did Caylee die. I think there was probably a lot of discussion that it was probably a horrific accident, that dad and Casey covered up, and unfortunately did so well and it got away from them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's an alternate juror from the Casey Anthony trial, slamming the prosecution's case. The acquittal stirring up some very strong reaction. Some calling it more shocking than the O.J. Simpson verdict.
Joining me now, jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, former Florida Circuit Court Judge Alex Ferrer. Marcia Clark is a former prosecution in the O.J. Simpson trial, still with me, and Richard Gabriel, who was a jury consultant on the Anthony case.
Let me start with you, Jo-Ellan Dimitrius. Did you predict this not guilty verdict?
JO-ELLAN DIMITRIUS, JURY CONSULTATNT: Well, I actually predicted the best-case scenario for the defense would be a hung jury. So I, like many other people, are very surprised. And it's kudos to Richard Gabriel for that.
MORGAN: What's extraordinary is that everyone that I was watching on television when it was all going out live was saying that, because they were coming back so fast, and -- relatively fast, 10,11 hours, because the jury hadn't asked for my any supplementary questions at all, the general consensus of all the experts seemed to be, before that verdict came in, they were going to find her guilty.
DIMITRIUS: Well, certainly that was the impression that everyone had. And to go back to one of the things that you were asking Alan earlier about cameras in the courtroom, the one thing that I think is sad about cameras being in the courtroom is that oftentimes you cannot -- the viewer cannot see what happens when those cameras are off, or what happens out of range of the cameras.
We don't know from the jurors if any of those things happened, as we know in some of the other high-profile cases. So I think that while it was certainly a shock to many people, the bottom line is, having worked for the defense for many years, is that Jose Baez left this jury with reasonable doubt. And that's the bottom line.
And when Mason said that this was this case was about the what, the where, the when, and the why, that is ultimately what this jury was asked to do.
MORGAN: Marcia Clark, I mean, you've been in the position of having to deal with a jury in the O.J. Simpson case. I heard Nancy Grace earlier saying that this came down to probably two or three jurors. And they were brilliantly selected. I mean, can the results of these cases literally fall down on one or two or three jurors and the selection process?
CLARK: Well, it can. It's an interesting thing, Piers, because you have a dynamic. And that's why jury consultants like Jo-Ellan can be so very helpful. And I wish I'd had her when I had the Simpson case, but that didn't happen.
But you do have to watch out for who you pick, because you do wind up with kind of these little groups. And if you have a leading group, like two or three, that are very strongly pro-defense or very strongly looking for the doughnut hole, if you will, as opposed to the doughnut, that three can really persuade and pull along all the rest of the jurors.
So what you want to do is watch out for all of the groups that may form, and look to who are your leaders and who are your followers. So it may very well be true that a group of maybe two or three hung together and pulled the rest of the jury. It's entirely possible.
MORGAN: Richard Gabriel, you're a jury consultant. You consulted on the Anthony case. What did you make of the jury process here? There were obviously a bit of seven women to five men. Do you think that was help informal the end to Casey Anthony?
RICHARD GABRIEL, JURY CONSULTANT: Well, we didn't really focus on the demographics. What we were obviously most concerned about from the very beginning was how much prejudicial publicity there was in this case. So our first process was really deselection, taking away all those people who had already found her guilty as a result of the media coverage in the case.
And then as a result of sort of eliminating the people who were so prejudiced against her from the beginning, we were left with what we thought was an actual fair group, a group that would be able to listen, would be independent enough to really focus on the reasonable doubt and the aspects of this case.
And quite frankly, would be courageous enough to perhaps come in with an enormously unpopular verdict.
MORGAN: Judge Alex Ferrer, what struck me as also quite extraordinary about this is that the defense opened up by saying our client's a terrible liar. And yet at the end, the jury believed her or believed the defense or certainly enough to acquit her. Not often you see the defense being my client's a terrible liar.
JUDGE ALEX FERRER, FORMER FLORIDA CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, : That's true. I think I disagree with a lot that the defense did in this case. I also disagree that this case was won by Jose Baez. I think this case was won despite Jose Baez, because frankly I feel he's maybe a good lawyer, but he's in over his head in this case.
I think the problem here was not the weakness of the state's case or the creation of reasonable doubt. I think the jury just failed to follow the law on what reasonable doubt is. I think the jury, in this case, wanted beyond all doubt, which you can never prove.
They were imagining doubts. They were speculating. They were coming up with what-ifs. And the only way you can prove case beyond all doubt is if you're actually a witness and you saw what happened. Then, of course, you could never be a juror.
That point I don't think the jury really grasped, because when you heard the comments of the alternate juror, it seemed like they were looking for explanations that the prosecution was never going to be able to provide.
The prosecution can prove the elements of the crime. Most of the time, the prosecution can't prove why somebody did something. You can't get into the defendant's mind. They certainly will not be able to call the defendant to have the defendant explain it.
That's why it's not an element of the crime. I thought the case here was proven quite convincingly by the prosecution, simply not accepted by the 12 jurors who were selected. And that's the bottom line in our judicial system.
That's who you have to convince, not the popular opinion.
CLARK: Piers, let me jump in here. I wanted to add one thing. You were talking about cameras in the courtroom. I happen to agree that I don't think they belong there. It's a debate for another day.
But let me just say that I do think they have this impact on the jury. The jury knows the whole world is watching when that camera is in the courtroom. Everybody does plays to the camera. They don't behave the way they ordinarily would.
The jury, too, is affected by the presence of the camera. I think that the term reasonable doubt -- I really agree with Judge Alex. I think the reasonable doubt instruction is a very difficult one, reasonable doubt itself a very elusive, elastic concept. And I think that reasonable doubt turns into a reason to doubt.
Every defense attorney in the world, no matter how good or bad, can give a jury a reason to doubt. Oh, she was molested by her father. I haven't proven it, but I've just given you a reason to doubt. That suddenly turns into a reasonable doubt.
The distinction between a reason to doubt and a reasonable doubt is completely lost. And the jury, I think, then winds up acquitting even though a case has been proven, which I think this one was.
MORGAN: I think that's a good point. If I could just say, in relation to the cameras, my issue really was when I saw these cues of people fighting to get into the courtroom every day, and sort of clutching their tickets like Willie Wonka had let them into a chocolate factory. I found that disturbing.
That means that a serious murder trial had become a form of macabre entertainment. And that's my issue with that. Thank you all very much for your time today.
MORGAN: Well, yeah. I mean, what would your argument be, very quickly? Why do you need them?
FERRER: Very quickly, we don't have star chamber justice in this country. People can come into any trial and watch it. The gallery only has so many seats. The only thing the camera does is it opens up to more people. The more our judicial system is open to the public to see, the more likely we're going to have fair justice. And anything that needs to be corrected will probably be corrected, because there are more eyes watching.
so I don't have a problem with the cameras. MORGAN: OK. Well, people can make their own minds up. I don't agree with that.
Anyway, thank you all very much for your time. Casey's parents, George and Cindy Anthony, sat silent when the verdict was read. What must they be feeling tonight? Up next, I'll talk to the former attorney for the Anthony family.
MORGAN: No visible emotion from Casey Anthony's parents in court today. George and Cindy Anthony sat their stone faced and silent as the verdict was handed down and left immediately afterwards, saying nothing. Their daughter not guilty of first-degree murder.
Instead of joy, they looked miserable. Who can blame them, being accused of abusing her and also, of course, of killing their own granddaughter. What on Earth could they be feeling?
I'm joined now by their former attorney, Brad Conway, and HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky. Let me start with you, Brad Conway. That was an extraordinary thing to watch, to see two parents in the moment when you would imagine they would have great joy at their daughter ears acquittal of first-degree murder, leaving the court, not exchanging a single word with her, looking, for all intents and purposes, like it had gone the wrong way, this verdict.
BRAD CONWAY, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR THE ANTHONY FAMILY: Well, it's good to be here, Piers. I think you have to remember that these two grandparents were on a search for the truth. The justice system is not always there to find the truth. The justice system is there to provide defendants a guarantee that they are innocent until proven guilty.
For George and Cindy Anthony to watch this, and especially George Anthony to have been accused of not only capital sexual battery, but hiding, disposing of his granddaughter in a swamp, I think is probably going to be the biggest hurt, biggest lose in this situation overall.
MORGAN: Dr. Drew, I mean, you've dealt with some tricky relationship situations. But I've not seen many quite as tricky as this. I mean, how on Earth does this family even attempt to rebuild any kind of relationship here, given what went on in the courtroom?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN ANCHOR: I don't think they do. I'll be very surprised if they really welcome Casey Anthony back into that household. Already I have talked to many people that were in that household. And it was already a very icy environment. Some have alleged that there was some emotional abuse going on by the parents and that kind of stuff.
Dysfunction is a word you've heard a lot. Now you shatter that family with this kind of chaos, and the probability of them getting back together is pretty slim, I think, and certainly not without a lot of work and a lot of intervention and a lot of help. But we'll have to see where this goes. I want to point out one other thing, too. If you read the Casey Anthony statement issued today by Mark Lipman, they very carefully navigate away from protesting Casey's innocence. They very carefully do not say that she was innocent.
So everyone, including her parents, believe she has some participation in what happened here, just not murder one.
MORGAN: Yeah, I mean, you followed the trial pretty closely here, Dr. Drew. What was your gut feeling when that verdict came in?
PINSKY: That I wasn't that surprised. And people are going to be angry with me because the court of public opinion is so much angry and so much wants there to be a guilty verdict. But I all along thought, boy, if I were sitting in that jury box, I wouldn't be able to understand why a mother would, in a premeditative fashion, do this.
I mean, the sort of loose allegation was that she wanted just to be done with this child and go out and party. I've treated over 10,000 addicts and psych patients in my experience, and I've seen egregious parenting practice. I've seen people leave kids on the street, abuse kids.
Not a once did one of them think to themselves, I need to off this kid so I can go out and enjoy myself a little bit. Not once have I seen that.
MORGAN: But, Drew, listen, I take that point, but have you ever in your entire career come across a mother who has lost a child and doesn't report that for 31 days?
PINSKY: I have not encountered that specific experience, but I've encountered -- this case -- Casey reminds me of several of my patients, frankly. And in that situation, I have no doubt they would behave precisely as Casey did.
And that's what the prosecution did prove. They proved that she was a liar. She was a horrible parent. And she participated in a cover-up.
But they didn't prove that she killed, and particularly in a premeditative fashion, her child.
MORGAN: Brad Conway, finally, do you agree with Dr. Drew that there's really no way back for this family, in terms of any relationship between the parents and their daughter?
CONWAY: Probably, Piers. But, Piers, I want to make a point that I think is incredibly important. There are two versions of this story. There's the version that we as the public, the nation, actually the world got involved in. We saw everything. We reviewed everything. We had access to documents, discovery. Florida has very liberal discovery rules.
The jury saw a very different view. The jury saw let's say about a tenth of what we saw. And that's why I think they came back with not guilty verdicts. What I was surprised was I really anticipated an aggravated manslaughter finding, and a guilty verdict on the four counts of lying to the police.
So my surprise was in the manslaughter. But the jury has spoken and what you have to respect is what they saw, what they did, and the fact that they followed the law as the judge read it to them. That's the basis of our system.
And like it or not, the jury has spoken. And we've all got to live with it. It doesn't mean that we found out the truth.
MORGAN: Yeah, that is the system. But as we've been hearing all night, it's not necessarily truth or justice. Thank you both very much, indeed.
Up next, what the Casey Anthony case says about sex, celebrity, and justice in America.
MORGAN: It's been called O.J. Simpson II. The Casey Anthony trial is probably the most followed, most watched and most controversial since that O.J. verdict 16 years ago. Here to discuss it with me now are victims rights attorney Gloria Allred, Judge Larry Seidlin, who presided over the Anna Nicole Smith custody trial, and celebrity defense attorney Yale Galanter.
Let me start with you, Mr. Galanter, You defended O.J. and Charlie Sheen. What is it like to work on a case with such a negative public opinion right from the start.
YALE GALANTER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Piers, it's like you're swimming upstream. You have to confront the media, all the talking heads every night. It's very difficult to get a verdict like this in this type of the case.
Kudos to the defense. They did a wonderful job.
MORGAN: I mean, it was extraordinary. Judge Seidlin, come to you on this. You judged the Anna Nicole Smith trial, one of the most high profile in recent years. There are -- it seems to me, you can take your choice with any of these trials. When it's high profile, when it's famous, predicting a verdict is almost impossible, isn't it?
LARRY SEIDLIN, JUDGE IN ANNA NICOLE SMITH CASE: Yes. These jurors were strong. They had integrity. They didn't allow the media to pound them. They stood and they listened to all the facts.
Quite simply, I challenge the critics. The state did not prove their case. They overcharged the defendant. What does that mean? They charged the defendant with murder one, which means there's 12 jurors. It's much harder to prove to 12 jurors the guilt of a defendant than there is to six. They should have charged the defendant with manslaughter. It would have only been six jurors. It would have lessened the pressure on the jury, on the prosecutor, on the defense, and on the witnesses. And that they could have proved.
By overcharging the defendant, they lose their credibility. They lose their bona fides, the prosecutor. And that's what happened.
I challenge all these other attorneys, maybe have been in the court system to long and they've become to cynical. A trial is the search for the truth. And the truth here is what came out. The jury, on what they heard, did not believe that the defendant committed this murder, any of these forms of homicide.
MORGAN: Let me bring in Gloria Allred there. Gloria, you're a victim's rights attorney who deals mainly with women. What I was struck about again with this case was I could hardly find a woman in America who had any sympathy for Casey Anthony at all. And yet she's been acquitted.
GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM'S RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I agree with you. She was probably the most hated defendant in America. And that's possibly because of her lies. Her lies are undisputed. And that is why she was convicted of lying to law enforcement. Made no sense.
On the other hand, again, as the defense said, just because she was a liar didn't mean she was a murderer. And obviously the prosecution didn't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt to this jury.
Since the jurors are not speaking, we don't know why they decided what they decided. But one thing is clear. The prosecution did not meet their burden. And frankly, I think the motive was very weak, even though they didn't have to move prove a motive. The idea that she would kill her own daughter because her daughter was 2.5 years old or three, and would soon be speaking and might reveal the lies, didn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
My guess is it didn't make a whole lot of sense to the jurors either.
MORGAN: That didn't make any sense to anybody, really. But what didn't make any sense either -- and I keep coming back to this -- is what kind of mother who loses a child doesn't report it for more than a month?
SEIDLIN: You're right, Piers.
ALLRED: That's true.
SEIDLIN: She's a bad mother. She's a liar. But is a liar a killer? The state couldn't put it together. They couldn't link the facts to the charging document. And that's why she was found not guilty.
GALANTER: She wasn't charged - Piers, she wasn't charged with being a bad mother. She was charged with murdering her child. And the fundamental building block of any murder case is manner of death and cause of death. And here the prosecution had no clue as to what the manner of death was. And they had no clue what the cause of death is. And it's almost impossible, as this jury verdict showed, to convict somebody when you have no idea of how the crime was committed.
MORGAN: It is. I accept all that. I've got to leave it there. But what I would say is there are bad mothers and there are terrible mothers. And a mother that doesn't report a missing child for a month? I'm afraid, to me, falls into the catastrophically bad mother category.
Anyway, thank you all very much. We'll be right back after this short break.
MORGAN: Thanks to all my guests tonight. A stunning close to a high-profile murder trial. One thing is for sure, we still don't know the truth about what happened to Caylee Anthony. And she most definitely has not had justice. That is the real tragedy of today's verdict.
Much more coming up on "AC 360." Good night.