It was three years ago that the "Trial of the Century," the jury trial of Casey Anthony for the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, ended with an acquittal for the woman who had, in the space of just a few months in 2008, gone from complete anonymity in Orlando, Florida, to international infamy. She was even voted as the most hated person in America in one poll. Still, some move on from the destabilization that legal troubles and media exposure brings, slowly but surely fading from the popular consciousness until the memory of their time in the spotlight and what they were spotlighted for recedes to a "remember when" moment. But, according to one of the lawyers that worked on her defense team, this has not been the case for Casey Anthony.
In an interview with CNN posted July 3, Cheney Mason, a Casey Anthony lawyer and author of a new book Justice In America: How the Media and Prosecutors Stack the Deck Against the Accused, described the now 28-year-old Anthony as "aloof," lives "constantly on guard," and "can't go out in public." By her own choice, she stays inside her home, performing secretarial, clerical, and housekeeping tasks.
"I think Casey has a lot of world left to have to deal with," Mason said. "She hasn't been freed from her incarceration yet 'cause she can't go out. She can't go to a beauty parlor, she can't go shopping to a department store, she can't go to a restaurant, she can't even go to McDonald's. She can't do anything."
Upon her acquittal on July 5, 2011, Anthony had already been the recipient of many death threats. A press conference in August that year admitted to the threats and, citing the "most hated" poll, noted that she would be under heavy security. She then went into hiding.
And has been there ever since...
She doesn't have much to do with her family, except for the occasional contact with her mother, Cindy, who faced the possibility of perjury charges after allegedly presenting false testimony during the trial with regard to a home computer and its usage, a computer that documented searches for topics and items the prosecution used as examples of premeditation in their case for a conviction. With her father, a former police officer Baez (and Anthony herself in letters to a psychiatrist) accused of sexually abusing her, she has "none," according to Mason.
Cheney Mason believes that Casey Anthony was tried for her daughter's death in the court of public opinion which swiftly turned on the young mother without giving her a fair chance. It is the subject of his book, Justice In America. He became involved in the case when Jose Baez, Anthony's then unknown defense lawyer, came to for his expert advice -- he was and is a respected death penalty lawyer -- on how to proceed at trial. But he had already become disgusted with the media's treatment of both Baez and Anthony.
"I was offended by it," he told CNN. "I was offended by the fact that he wasn't being treated fairly. I didn't know Baez. I had never met him."
He went to the Orlando jail and introduced himself to Casey Anthony as well. After the meeting he signed on to her defense team, working pro bono and putting in work that would have amounted to at least a million billable dollars had he charged his client.
But will Cheney Mason be able to sway an American public that basically believes that the jury let a murderer go free? Perhaps, but looking at the comment sections of the articles, such as at CNN, covering Mason's book and Anthony's life, most apparently feel outrage that a child murderer is free and that the prosecutors -- and/or the jury -- failed to do their jobs.
Some, like Cheney Mason believe Casey Anthony deserves a second chance after her acquittal. Others are apparently less forgiving. And it could be a long while, if ever, before Anthony leads something akin to a relatively normal life.
Justice In America: How the Media and Prosecutors Stack the Deck Against the Accused is set for a July 7 release date on ebook. It will be released on August 18 in hardback.