Why Casey Anthony Could Go Free

PEOPLE Cover Story: Why Casey Anthony Could Go Free
Caylee (left) and Casey Anthony

06/22/2011 AT 08:00 AM EDT

The evidence against Casey Anthony is extensive and incriminating: Computer searches for "chloroform" and "neck breaking," photos of her partying in the weeks after the disappearance of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, testimony from multiple witnesses about a "dead body" smell coming from the trunk of Casey’s car.

But, in the eyes of the jury, it might not be enough to convict.

"This is definitely not a slam-dunk case," Karin Moore, a former criminal defense attorney and law professor at Florida A&M University, tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "The state doesn't have an eyewitness. They don't have a confession, so most of the evidence is circumstantial."





A prosecution source on the case acknowledges that there is "no one smoking gun" but counters that the evidence is "solid."

"People hear 'circumstantial' and think that means it's a weak case," says the source. "But what it means is that we built a case using a lot of evidence."

As for Casey’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony, a family friend says that having heard the state's case, they are not sure what to believe about their daughter's guilt or innocence.

"Honestly, I think they're all over the place with that," says the friend. "What they want, and what they've always wanted, is to know what happened."

For much more on the Casey Anthony trial, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday



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