PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh defense attorney Bill Difenderfer says the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial surprised him.
“Yes. I was. I was. I thought it was going to be a conviction,” said Difenderfer.
Difenderfer has tried six death penalty cases and wonders if prosecutor Jeff Ashton’s attitude may have put off the jury.
“To be condescending, overly confident, cocky — the laughing — might, might be something that affected this jury,” he said.
Defense attorney Caroline Roberto has handled dozens of homicide trials and says the Anthony verdict proves the justice system works.
“Clearly, they understood the concept of reasonable doubt and they followed the law and so I was relieved in a way,” said Roberto.
A jury in Orlando, Florida, found Anthony not guilty in her 2-year-old daughter’s death. She was found guilty of lying to the police.
Both Roberto and Difenderfer say the prosecution had a problem with the evidence.
“I think a lot of their forensics stuff was contradicted,” said Difenderfer.
And Roberto believes relying heavily on circumstantial evidence may have backfired.
“By focusing so much on her character as the reason why she would want to kill her daughter, because she wanted to go out and party,” said Roberto.
Interestingly, she says all 12 jurors believed in the death penalty, making them a conservative group that would normally favor prosecution.
“There must have been pretty compelling evidence raising reasonable doubt,” Roberto said.
Difenderfer says when it comes to juries, “There is no way we can sit here and predict or say why. This isn’t a sporting event when the momentum changed after the three-pointer was hit.”
Anthony cannot be tried again because that would be considered double jeopardy.