The 12-member jury in the Casey Anthony murder trial will start deliberations at 8.30 today, after a 6-hour session on Monday failed to arrive at a verdict.
The jurors will be studying documents relating to the 35-day trial that grabbed global eyeballs and assessing the strength of the evidence brought against her by the prosecution.
As the 3-year-old case draws to a close, the relentless focus is on how the jury will decide in the case – whether they will find Casey Anthony guilty of first degree murder o hand a less serious sentence.
Casey Anthony, 25, is accused of murdering her daughter Caylee Anthony three years ago by applying chloroform first and sealing her mouth with duct tapes. The prosecution has built a formidable case against her, depicting her as a liar, a woman who went after the good life and wanted to kill her daughter so she could enjoy a carefree life with boyfriend. Her moral integrity was torn to pieces by the prosecution which highlighted Casey's admission that she could not exactly say who fathered her daughter.
The prosecution attorney Jeff Ashton said Casey's argument that two-year-old Caylee drowned accidentally in the swimming pool was absurd. He said no one in the world will try to make an accident look like a murder.
The prosecution displayed images of Caylee's remains several times over the in the court to prove that a duct tape had been applied over her mouth before her death. It was also proved that someone in the Anthony home had googled 'chloroform' and the ways to make it.
The prosecution also unraveled what it called was a web of lies Casey spun after her daughter went missing. Casey Anthony had denied the charges that she murdered her toddler daughter. If she is found guilty of first degree murder, Casey Anthony could be sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Will the jury find it easy to make a verdict in the case? This is a complex case and it will take some time for the jury to sort out, Donald Jones, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law, said, according to USA Today.
This is a case in which there's no physical evidence, there's no confession, there's no fiber, there's no fingerprints, there's no trace of blood ... But the case becomes complex because the behavior of the defendant and the personality that she has exhibited is one that seems inconsistent with an innocent person, the expert said.
What this means is that the jury will have to swim against the tide and find reasons that override the lack of physical evidence in order to pronounce Casey guilty of first degree murder. This is apparently not going to be an easy task. As Jones points out, what the jurors could rely on will be Casey's behavior that is inconsistent with an innocent person’s.
To this argument, the Casey Anthony defense has already made a reply. They have tried to show that Casey lived in a dysfunctional home and that she has been subjected to sexual abuse as a child by her own father and brother. Both father and brother have denied the allegation. However, it emerged during trial that both father and brother had undergone DNA test to prove that they did not father Caylee.
Testimonies have revealed some conflicting situations in the case. For example, a woman called Crystal Holloway said Caylee's death was an accident. The woman testified that she had an affair with Casey's father George. She said the death of Caylee was an accident that snowballed out of control.
The question is if, at the end of the trial, the jury will have enough clarity of the situation that they can hand a guilty verdict. Will they be convinced enough that those 'conflicting situations' are of no significance to the case?