A Sordid Cast Around Casey Anthony

AS a reflection of the criminal justice system, the not guilty verdict for Casey Anthony — who in all likelihood bore responsibility for her 2-year-old daughter’s death, but will never pay for that particular crime — was reassuring. Juries are supposed to presume the innocence of even the vilest defendants. Evidence must outweigh emotion. And in the end there simply wasn’t enough lucid, specific proof that Anthony had murdered her little girl.

But as a mirror of people’s opportunism, avarice, hypocrisy and hysterics, the case was galling. In the Anthony trial a system that worked almost too well met a cast of characters almost too bad to be believed, and that’s true not merely, or even mainly, of the Anthonys. It applies just as much to the rogues’ gallery around them.

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