The Casey Anthony trial has captured the public’s attention because the accusation – that a mother killed her own toddler for convenience’s sake so that she could have more fun in life – is just too shocking.

Whether she’s actually guilty or not, we may never know because no recording or firsthand account of her daughter Caylee’s death has surfaced.  Regardless, we, as a society, are shocked by the idea that mothers would kill their own children.

The reality is that mothers do in fact willingly kill their children – and it happens more often than we think.

A common reason for killing their children is avoiding the burdens and responsibilities of raising a child, as ugly as that may sound.  In some cases, it’s motivated by extreme poverty and hardship.  In other cases, mother simply wanted a more carefree lifestyle (Anthony allegedly belongs in this category).

In the United States, more than 200 women kill their children each year, according to the American Anthropological Association. 

The prosecutor in the Casey Anthony trial portrayed her as a woman who heartlessly killed her daughter because the toddler got in the way of her party lifestyle.

“Caylee's death allowed Casey Anthony to live the good life,” said the prosecutor.   

She detailed how Anthony visited several nightclubs, visited a tattoo parlor (and got a tattoo that read “Bella Vita,” or beautiful life), attended parties, visited friends, went shopping, and hung out with her boyfriend – all while Caylee was allegedly missing.

Testimonies on Wednesday also revealed that she promoted nightclub events and entered a swimsuit contest. 

Moreover, Anthony’s former roommates – who partied with her sometimes – said her “demeanor never suggested anything was wrong,” reported the Associated Press. 

Casey Anthony’s attorney Jose Baez put forth the following defense:

Caylee Anthony never went missing.  Instead, she drowned in the family’s swimming pool and was first discovered by her grandfather George Anthony.  Caylee lied about her daughter's death because that’s what she’s always done, having been sexual abused by her father in her childhood and forced to lie her entire life.