Casey Anthony Trial: Her Father Fights Back

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Would Casey Anthony's Testimony Help or Hurt Her Case?

But even the way Casey Anthony shows emotion if she takes the stand, could help or hurt her.

"Her breaking down on the stand and crying, most jurors are going to say these are crocodile tears or these are tears of remorse. She's finally admitting what she did was wrong," Jarvis said.

Mary Anne Franks, a University of Miami Law School professor, said that jurors tend to judge young women perceived as bad mothers very harshly.

"The jury will want to look in Ms. Anthony's eyes to see if she's telling the truth this time, and to see which image being offered of Ms. Anthony actually seems to fit, the heartless party girl or the traumatized sex abuse victim," Franks said.

Franks said that Anthony's potential testimony about alleged sexual abuse would add even more emotion to a trial that has been packed with gut wrenching testimony from Caylee's grandmother, Cindy Anthony, pictures of Caylee's skeleton and a time lapse video of the decomposing toddler.

"You're going to move into tricky territory if this trial's narrative has gone from a beautiful little girl has died to there's another victim in this case, Casey Anthony...it's going to shift it into a higher emotional gear," said Franks.

On cross-examination, the prosecution could attempt to debunk the abuse claims by asking about explicit details of the abuse, hoping to catch Casey Anthony in a lie. That strategy could also backfire because of the emotions involved, making prosecutors look like a bully, experts said.

If jurors feel that Anthony is lying on the stand, it could anger them and hurt Anthony, experts said.

The prosecution could still gain from Anthony's testimony. Even if it is emotional, it might not provoke any sympathy.

"Many people, and jurors are no exception, have a strong sense of how they think an innocent person should look and behave, and if the defendant doesn't conform to those expectations, the impact can be devastating," Franks said.

Nearly all experts agree that putting a defendant on the stand is a desperate move.

"Putting a defendant on a stand in any case is a 'hail Mary' pass. It's something you do when you have nothing else. It will be the defense conceding they have nothing," said Jarvis.

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