Thanks to my colleague Sunny, I found out last night right before bed that Casey Anthony was released from Florida’s Orange County jail at midnight. I was too tired to watch then; not just physically exhausted after a long day, but also tired of our national obsession with Casey Anthony news. It’s not that I’m “over” the results of her trial and sentencing. On the contrary, my personal investment in all of the drama surrounding Casey Anthony has to do with the potential her case has to draw attention to the problem of sociopathy and what can be done to stop these criminals from exploiting the system to their advantage. My colleague Stephanie suggested this morning that Casey Anthony will never be truly free, but sociopaths suffer no remorse. Casey Anthony is free from guilt, both in the eyes of the law, and I believe in her own mind as well.
Given the nature of our site, of course we’ve been covering all of the news surrounding this trial of the century very closely, so I turned HLN on this morning fully expecting their unique brand of “news and views.” As I watched Jane Velez-Mitchell and Mike Galanos play and replay ad nauseum the 15 second footage of Casey Anthony in her hot pink t-shirt walking toward the front door of the jailhouse, coyly thanking one of the corrections officers for protecting her from the angry public with his ginormous machine gun, I thought, “HLN might as well be HSN, because they sure are selling this thing, aren’t they?”
Velez-Mitchell and Galanos are still on air at HLN, four hours later, milking Anthony’s release for all it’s worth. They were just speculating about whether or not Anthony will give a television interview anytime soon. Galanos said, “Casey Anthony is too toxic [for a major network]. There would be too much backlash.” The pair added, “People say they won’t watch, but they do.” According to HLN, protesters at the site of Anthony’s release made it clear that they will boycott any corporation that gives money to Casey Anthony. Whether or not Anthony will get a movie or book deal remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, her name is not likely to disappear from the press – including this site – anytime soon.
Since that’s the case, what I would love to see is some substantive discussion about what went wrong during the Casey Anthony trial and what can be done to punish sociopaths for their pathological lies. Casey Anthony was convicted of lying and did serve time in jail, but she walks free now without any sense of responsibility or shame. She thought nothing of ruining her relationship with her parents in order to escape punishment for a crime that will forever remain unsolved. She has shown no grief in the wake of her daughter’s death, and that fact alone – while not enough to prove her guilty of murder – should be a wake-up call for all of us, begging us to encourage the psychiatric community to begin to take the problem of anti-social personality disorders more seriously and to call con artists and manipulators out for their crimes. By investing in the understanding and treatment of these disorders, we can potentially prevent thousands of tragedies. Let’s not just be fascinated by the minds of sociopaths/psychopaths, let’s actually make an effort to face the scourge of criminality caused by anti-social personality disorders. If the Casey Anthony trial could spark that kind of development, all of this attention she’s received will have been worthwhile.
Photo: Orlando Sentinel