Wednesday, June 25, 2014

[Review] Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony by Jeff Ashton

Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony by Jeff Ashton with Lisa Pulizter
Publisher: Harper True Crime
Publishing Date: 2011
Format: paperback, purchased
373 Pages


It was the trial that stunned America, the verdict that shocked us all. On July 5, 2011, nearly three years after her initial arrest, Casey Anthony walked away, virtually scot-free, from one of the most sensational murder trials of all time. She'd been accused of killing her daughter, Caylee, but the trial only left behind more questions: Was she actually innocent? What really happened to Caylee? Was this what justice really looked like?

In Imperfect Justice, prosecutor Jeff Ashton, one of the principal players in the case's drama, sheds light on those questions and much more, telling the behind-the-scenes story of the investigation, the trial, and the now-infamous verdict. Providing an inside account of the case, Ashton, a career prosecutor for the state of Florida, goes where the press and pundits have only speculated, detailing what really happened during the investigation, showing how the prosecution built their case, and explaining how a woman so shrouded in suspicion was proclaimed innocent.

Moving beyond the simple explanations, Ashton offers an in-depth look at the complex figure of Casey Anthony, a woman whose lies he spent three years trying to understand. And yet this focus on Casey came with its own risks; here he details how this widespread fixation on Casey—both in the media and in the trial—may have undermined the case itself. As everyone got caught up in the quest to understand the supposed villain, somehow the victim, Caylee, was all but forgotten—not just to the public, but more important, to the jury.

Complete with never-before-revealed information about the case and the accused, Ashton examines what the prosecution got right, what they got wrong, and why he remains completely convinced of Casey Anthony's guilt.

My Review 

When the Casey Anthony case was happening, I didn't follow it too closely. I watched news clips every now and then, new the gist of what the case was about and the latest theories, but didn't have much interest in following it religiously. Lately, I've been interested in reading true crime stories, so I picked this one up at my local book store. 

Since I followed the story a little, I knew many of the things that were discussed in this book, but some of it was new. It was interesting to hear the prosecutor's side of the story and I thought Jeff Ashton did a good job laying out the facts as they saw them. I liked that the book was in chronological order as well; it made everything much easier to follow. I thought this book was interesting, but it wasn't the best or most intriguing book I've ever read. I would have to say the first half - the investigation - was more interesting than the description of the trial. Maybe that's because I'm an attorney and know the process already, but I found myself getting a little bored with it. Nevertheless, I thought this was an interesting book that's worth reading if you don't know too much about the case or trial. 

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