Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The psychology of the Casey Anthony trial


By GARY BAUMGARTEN
The case against Casey Anthony was not just played out in court. It also took place in the court of public opinion.
It’s pretty evident the day after the verdict that while Anthony was acquitted by a jury of her peers in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, the public jury came up with a different verdict.
All of that, says psychologist Dr. Patricia Farrell, a result of what she describes as a “media lynching” of Casey Anthony.
Farrell, in an interview for News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network, says it was a testament to the jury that it saw through all that and reached a verdict based on evidence.
Farrell also verbally slapped some of her peers for going on national television to analyze Casey Anthony without having first examined her.
The defense brilliantly raised the specter of the possibility – never proven – that Casey Anthony’s father sexually assaulted her. But Farrell, who has treated many sexual assault victims, says those kinds of attacks don’t generally lead to the victim becoming murderers.
As to the public, Farrell says, those who gathered outside the courtroom, fought to get the few seats inside, and cried in anguish over the verdict present interesting psychological case studies. Clearly, she says, they were disappointed in the outcome of what, to them, was a “bread and circus performance.”

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