The Casey Anthony Case Essay

2616 words - 10 pages

The Casey Anthony case was one that captured the heart of thousands and made it to the headline of national TV talk shows, newspapers, radio stations and social media networks for months. The root of the case was due to a clash between the parental responsibilities, the expectations that went with being a parent, and the life that Casey Anthony wanted to have. The case was in respect to the discovering the cause of Casey’s two-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony’s, death; however the emphasis was placed on Casey and her futile lies, which resulted in a public outcry. The purpose of this essay is to delve into the public atmosphere and inquire about why the media and social media collectively attacked the case by uncovering the content of the case, the charges that were laid, and later dismissed, the “performers” of the trial and the publics reaction. It will further discuss how it defies universal ideologies and how the media represents this. The discussion of the complexities of the case and its connotations will incorporate Stuart Hall’s Representation and the Media, Robert Hariman’s Performing the Laws, What is Ideology by Terry Eagleton, The Body of the Condemned by Michael Foucault, and a number of news articles, which will reveal disparate ideas of representation in the media, and the role of the performers of the law and their effect on the understanding of the case.
To begin, I will provide a summary of what happened prior-to and throughout the duration of the trial. Caylee Marie Anthony was a two-year-old American girl who lived in Orlando, Florida with her mother, Casey Marie Anthony, and her maternal grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony. On July 15, 2008, she was reported missing to 9-1-1 by Cindy, who said she had not seen Caylee for 31 days and that Casey's car smelled like a dead body had been inside it. Cindy said Casey had given varied explanations as to Caylee's whereabouts before finally telling her that she had not seen Caylee for weeks. Casey told detectives several lies, including that her nanny had kidnapped Caylee on June 9, and that she had been trying to find her, too frightened to alert the authorities. She was charged with first-degree murder in October 2008 and pleaded not guilty. The prosecution sought the death penalty and alleged Casey murdered her daughter to be free from parental responsibilities by administering chloroform and applying duct tape. The defense team countered that the child had drowned accidentally in the family’s swimming pool on June 16, 2008, and that George Anthony disposed of the body. The defense contended that Casey lied about these issues due to a dysfunctional upbringing, which was said to include sexual abuse by her father. On June 5, 2011, the jury found Casey not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child, but guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. She was released on a bond...

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