Would the Verdict Have Been Different if Casey Anthony was Black?

Image: FoxNews.com


Would the Verdict Have Been Different if Casey Anthony was Black?  In my opinion that is definitely a question worth contemplating.

The acquittal of O.J. Simpson set a precedent that is directly linked to what happened in the courtroom of the Casey Anthony case today, whether or not we Americans choose to admit it.  Back when scores of black Americans were seen celebrating that day in October of 1995, contrary to popular belief, they were not celebrating the liberation of their beloved wrongly accused hero.  The celebration was because the rest of the world was finally let in on an ugly little secret that was already well known if you were black or poor or both, i.e., the flawed characteristics of the United States criminal justice system.  O.J.’s freedom was due not to his innocence, but to his capability of having the best legal team that money could buy.  With that, the myth of the American justice system being fair and blind was shattered.

To quote State Attorney Lawson Lamar, prosecutor for the Anthony case after the announcement of the not guilty verdict, “This is justice in America”. My sentiments exactly, as justice in our country seems to be reserved for a select few, and left to the interpretation of those with specific features and specific powers. No, Casey Anthony may not be a rich former football hero or a wealthy and powerful head of an international banking institution, but it seems to me that in America, white and cute is a whole other form of currency.  The end result of this case astounds me as a human being and an American, sickens me as a mother, and exasperates me as a black person who, like most black people, has seen how biased a place the courtroom can be if you are not the right color or gender.  I can’t help but think that if Casey looked like I do and the evidence were the same that the jury may have responded in another way.



  1. says

    Thank you for writing about this!  After the ruling, I couldn't help but wonder, would a black mom have gotten off so easy?  I mean, with all the negative stereotypes about black moms, people are often much more harsh.  I remember earlier this year when we heard about Kelley Williams-Bolar and her name was dragged through the mud, people wanting to practically crucify her for taking her kids out of district, and yet, so many seem to be able to sympathize with this young, white mom…and even feel sorry for her, despite the fact that she's admitted to being involved in the disposal of the body!  I'm really disheartened by the whole thing and disappointed that she wasn't given the same punishment that I feel a black mom would have gotten.  It's also upsetting to see the amount of attention this case has gotten in the media…in the first place, when a black or latina mom has a child go missing, when have we seen the same outcry from the media to locate children of color.  I disappointed on so many levels.  Thanks for talking about the other side of the story. ♥

  2. says

    If she was of color, I don't think the case would've received as much attention as it did, and yes…the verdict would've been different.

  3. says

    Had she been a woman of color, I'm confident she would've been convicted.

    Amanda raises an interesting point in her post, does the outcome in this case mean that our criminal justice system is finally working? Maybe the prosecution should've brought charges for which the standard of law would've been met? Still makes me wonder. Had the prosecution done that, and the standard had been "met," would she still have walked?

    The tragedy here is that there was no justice for this little girl.

  4. says

    To be honest, until the verdict neither my husband or I had ever even heard of this case. After the verdict there was so much talk that we decided to find out more about it. Our thinking is that Nancy Grace's attention to the case made it a dream job for just about any defense team looking to become more high profile. The lure of free publicity eventually led to a not guilty verdict. Could Casey Anthony have afforded her defense team on her own? We doubt it. Money buys the best legal representation and gets you the verdict you want. No money = no justice. And if she'd been Black, Latino, or Arab and poor–definitely a different story. 

  5. Meliss36 says

    I don't think it makes a difference what color Casey was.  They weren't able to prove beyond a reasnoable doubt that she murdered her child.  The opening statements brought new light to Casey's "character" as being a victim of child abuse both mentally and sexually from her Father and her Brother. He Father convinced her to cover up the drowning of Kaylee so that the Mom wouldn't get mad at Casey for being an irresponsible parent.  I may be the few but I think yes she lied BUT I don't think she killed her daughter.  I think Kaylee drown in the pool.