First, your semi-daily Casey:
After a nothing day in court on Monday — literally, there was no testimony, jury never even entered the courtroom — Casey Anthony’s lawyers continued to present her defense on Tuesday. They re-called a crime scene investigator and a cop to the witness stand to show that items were moved in the course of processing the scene where the Caylee’s remains were found and that no physical evidence of chloroform was found when the Anthony home was searched. The defense team also called three experts, and they may wish they hadn’t called any of them. The first, a botanist, testified that plant growth at the scene where the remains were found was consistent with the bones having been placed there as recently as a couple of weeks before they were reported. That might’ve cast some reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s theory (because Casey was in jail a couple of weeks before the remains were found)…until the botanist also testified that the bones could’ve been there considerably longer, i.e. she couldn’t really tell how long the bones had been there. In a humorous exchange at the end of her testimony, the prosecutor asked her whether the depth of the burial of one of the bones indicated that it had been at the scene for a considerable length of time, and she responded that the bone could’ve been buried more recently by, perhaps, a coyote (which are found here in Kansas, but not in Florida). The second expert, a master’s-degree-level graduate student, from the Netherlands, who apparently runs his own DNA laboratory, testified that he’d expect DNA to have been found on the duct tape if it had been applied to Caylee’s face prior to decomposition. Similarly, that might’ve cast some reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s theory…until the “expert” also testified that DNA degrades under conditions similar to the ones in which the remains were found. The third expert, a chemist, testified that he found trace amounts of chloroform in a carpet sample taken from the trunk of Casey’s car but that, due to the degradation of chloroform over time, there could originally have been considerably more chloroform present. His testimony seemed to actually corroborate the prosecution’s theory rather than cast any reasonable doubt on it. All in all, not a good day for the defense. There was talk at the end of the day of both a potential surprise prosecution witness (a woman who was in jail with Casey whose toddler son had drowned in a pool and was found by his grandfather, i.e. a potential inspiration for Casey’s latest explanation of what happened to Caylee) and a surprise defense witness (a woman who claims that she had an affair with George Anthony since Caylee’s death and that George told her the death was an accident). It’s not clear whether these witnesses will actually be called to testify (e.g. the defense’s other supposed surprise witness — the convicted kidnapper who supposedly had phone contact with George Anthony around the time of Caylee’s disappearance — apparently didn’t even have the phone number in question back at that time), and even if they’re called, it’s not clear whether either witness’ testimony would be admitted over a hearsay objection, so stay tuned!
Now, I’m not sure whether the following two people are actually Casey’s friends — in fact, I’m sure they’re not — but there seem to be enough common threads to title this post as I did. Basically, these are more sad stories about more profoundly-selfish young people, committing more profoundly-selfish acts that killed more innocent people:
First, one of the stars of the asinine TV show “Jackass” apparently got drunk, then drove 130 mph, lost control of the car, and killed both himself and his passenger in a fiery crash. I can feel sorry for the passenger, but it’s tough to feel sorry for the driver. Famed film critic Roger Ebert apparently said something like that and was roundly criticized for it. He’s absolutely right, though, so I have no problem seconding it here.
And second, cops in New York are searching for a suspect who walked into a pharmacy over the weekend, shot and killed everyone in there (four people), and stole some painkillers before fleeing. Some media outlets have reported that the murders were caused by addiction. No, the murders weren’t caused by anything. They were choices, profoundly-selfish choices, just like virtually all addicts’ destructive behavior. Remember, addiction occurs in the mind. It doesn’t force anyone to do anything. Whether the guy’s really addicted to painkillers or just stole them to sell on the street, the mitigating effect on his sentence when he’s caught and convicted should be the same — none.