Five witnesses and one Weiner

First, your semi-daily Casey:  On Tuesday (day 18), the jurors heard from an FBI expert on DNA who explained why the DNA (“mitochondrial”) gleaned from the hair samples found in Casey’s trunk could be sourced to a female in Caylee’s hereditary lineage but not exclusively to Caylee (exclusive DNA matching would’ve required more complex “nuclear” DNA which has identifiable variations even within families).  Jurors also heard from a crime scene investigator who described some heart-shaped stickers found in Casey’s and Caylee’s bedrooms in the Anthony home.

Casey’s mother Cindy returned to the witness stand, where she told jurors about her hair color and length in 2008 (to further exclude her as the source of the hair found in the trunk) and about various items (e.g. bags and a blanket) found with Caylee’s remains that appear to have originated in the Anthony home (Cindy wasn’t sure, however, whether the duct tape found on the remains was of the same type used in the Anthony home, nor did she recognize the shirt that Caylee apparently had been wearing at the time of her death).  Poignantly illustrative of this case’s resemblance to a classical Greek theatrical tragedy, Cindy reportedly mouthed “I love you” to Casey before leaving the witness stand.

The jurors, however, seem not to be looking at Casey much these days, even when she gets emotional, and I think that’s significant.  As I said on Monday night’s Joy Behar (pictured above), when otherwise-engaged jurors like these start seeming disinterested in a potential piece or source of information, it suggests to me that the jurors have already reached a conclusion about that piece or source of information.  In this case, I bet the jurors have concluded that Casey’s emotional expressions are either fake, or if they’re genuine, that they’re expressions of self-pity rather than remorse.  I’ve often thought that the tearful breakdowns looked genuine but self-focused; what psychologists sometimes call a “narcissistic collapse” — a sudden realization that one’s personally-aggrandizing and/or guilt-absolving self-concept is unfounded.

Another crime scene investigator also testified briefly on Tuesday about photographing Casey at the jail.  Then finally, a tattoo artist testified about giving Casey a “Bella Vita” (Italian for “beautiful life”) tattoo during the time when, according to Casey back then, Caylee supposedly was missing with “Zanny the nanny,” and according to the defense now, Caylee had just drowned.  (And when considering whether Casey’s behavior in the days and weeks after Caylee died is consistent with the behavior of a mother who played no part in her child’s death, keep in mind, it’s not just the partying, tatooing, etc. that she did — once it became known that Caylee was “missing,” Casey also let everyone she ever knew, plus local, state, and federal law enforcement, plus scores of complete strangers, spend incredible amounts of collective time, energy, and money searching for a child whom she now admittedly knew was dead.)

The prosecution plans to rest its case Wednesday morning.  At that point the defense will likely ask the judge to dismiss the charges (alleging that the prosecution simply didn’t prove its case, i.e. that no reasonable jury could find Casey guilty), and the judge will likely refuse, whereupon it will be the defense’s turn to call witnesses and present evidence, which is expected to take several days.  Stay tuned — even Casey’s apparently listening intently to me (see photo below)!

 

 

 

 

In other Lawpsyc news, Congressman Weiner, under intense pressure from members of both parties to resign, is off to — surprise, surprise — rehab.  That’s right, Weiner’s apparently taking a page from Tiger Woods’ play book, and if you’d like to know how bogus I think that is, check out what I said back when Woods tried it!  It’s short enough that I can paste it below so you don’t have to go looking for it in the archives:

Sex Addiction? Really?

Originally posted 1/21/10

So, apparently Tiger Woods is not responsible for his behavior with various women other than his wife after all.  Why, you ask?  Because he allegedly has a disease.  What’s the disease?  “Sex addiction.”  That’s a disease, right?  And no one who has a disease can be expected to fight it successfully, right?  And because Woods is reportedly now in “treatment” for it, we all have to applaud his “courage” and support his “recovery,” right?  OK, before I throw up, “addiction” remains the favorite responsibility-evading excuse for public figures who get caught behaving badly, when in reality, it excuses nothing.  As I said back on 12/15/09 when some in the media first started buying into the possibility that Woods was a “victim” of a disease process beyond his control, wanting to do something so badly that you’re willing to hurt your family to do it may mean you’re a messed-up individual psychologically, but it still doesn’t mean you can’t resist doing the behavior.  It mostly just means that you’re selfish enough to put your wants above your family’s needs. 

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