Family Dysfunction: The New Justification for Murder?
Caylee Anthony’s disappearance and subsequent death aside, the most tragic event coming out of the recent Casey Anthony trial was the verdict. Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her two year old daughter, the reason, among other things, her family’s dysfunction.
Having personal experience in Kings County (Brooklyn) and Queens County Family Court, I have seen my fair share of authentic family dysfunction which I will not reproduce here out of respect of privacy for the individuals. Replicated in this article however, are Ms. Anthony’s accusations of dysfunction against her parent.
George Anthony, father of emancipated, was allegedly an absent and non-involved father. On the flipside he was violent and abusive towards Casey. True, George may very well have a temper. So do millions of people. Then again, America witnessed George as he was pushed to his limit on his own property when he reacted violently as people protested outside his house and the media bombarded him in this personal matter. Given the circumstances, it is not difficult to understand his outbursts when people were on lawn and name calling. All of the disgrace, humiliation, embarrassment while trying to his life together may have gotten to him. In addition, apparently when Ms. Anthony’s father visited her in jail she spoke vulgar towards him. If she indeed feared George’s violence, why would she have spoken to him like that? Casey further complains that her father sexual molested her. Whether or not it is true would not account for Casey waiting 31 days to tell anyone that Caylee was missing.
Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, claims she searched for chloroform by mistake when she was searching for chlorophyll. This activity took place at the home computer at a time when Mrs. Anthony would have been at work. There is no point asserting she was lying, but combine this with the fact she mouthed “I love you” to her daughter during the trial, these actions do not sound like they come from a mother who can be blamed for raising a murderer in a dysfunctional home. Lee Antony, Casey’s brother, apparently molested her as well. She must have enjoyed it since she wrote Lee was “the coolest brother one could have” on her Facebook page.
Given that we live in a stare decisis court system, I am fearful the verdict of Casey Anthony will set a slippery slope precedent in which criminals can use the “family dysfunction” approach as a way to justify unlawful conduct. More frightening is that the definition of a dysfunctional family can be applied to your every day, average, run of the mill, next door neighbor household. Next thing you know, we will all be products of this phenomenon.