Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee. Those aggravating factors are cold, calculated premeditation; the victim’s being younger than 12; the victim’s being in her mother’s care; that the murder was committed during aggravated child abuse; and that it was a particularly atrocious, heinous or cruel crime.
These aggravating factors only come into the penalty phase if she's convicted of 1st Degree Murder. I suppose the obvious questions, which are my argument against this, about her mental health, are examined in determining the degree of the crime.
My opinion is that some violent crimes are so horrible, like this one, that the offender must immediately be considered to have diminished capacity. "Calculated premeditation" is exactly what people like this cannot do. They are not operating with free will. They cannot be held responsible for what they do.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying she should receive a slap on the wrist and go free. What I'm saying is to condemn someone like this to death is worse than the crime itself. A judge and jury who do that truly are using "calculated premeditation."
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.