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March 20, 2011

51

consciousness of guilt – big?

by Andrea O'Connell

In his recent rulings, Judge Perry used the phrase “consciousness of guilt” as it related to the Miranda and the Agents of the State motions in the State v. Casey Anthony case.  After thinking about what it really means, or rather now that I have a better understanding of what it means, I realize its importance with regards to a jury’s consideration of guilt or innocence.

Standing alone, consciousness of guilt is never indicative of guilt or of innocence. For instance, the court says that “flight” after a crime could generally be indicative of consciousness of guilt.  But, the flight factor could apply to innocence, too.   There may be an innocent explanation to the behavior, i.e. the defendant may be perfectly innocent, but fled because they were scared.  An innocent person may also behave in ways that may appear irrational due to stress or other factors.   If the behavior tends to weigh more heavily on the side of guilt, the rest of the facts would have to bear it out – guilty or not guilty are certainly not judged on consciousness of guilt alone, but provides insight into why a defendant took certain actions.   Judge Perry will advise the jury what consciousness of guilt means, and he will tell the jury it must not be judged alone, but should be used to support other facts in the case.

When Casey Anthony is tried, the Prosecutors will point out various behaviors that will indicate consciousness of guilt.  And, the five factors used are:

  • Flight Clearly this will apply as Casey hid from her family for 31 days, she avoided certain friends who might question Caylee’s whereabouts, she abandoned her car knowing it would implicate her.  Did she leave her purse in the car to make it appear as if she’d been kidnapped?
  • False statements We don’t need to list all the lies Casey told – it would be an exhaustive list – but all her false statements were purposeful to avoid detection.  She told countless lies to hide her whereabouts from her family, she lied about Caylee’s whereabouts to everyone, etc.  This is clear consciousness of guilt.
  • Tampering with evidence Deleting files on her computer could be an example.
  • Threatening a witness I don’t think this applies.  But the Grunds have surely been hurt in this case.
  • Using false names I Don’t think she used a false name, other than when she used Amy Huiezenga’s identity and emptied out her checking account.

Whenever Casey lied about what she was doing during those fateful 31 days will be used to indicate consciousness of guilt.

I must admit, this case could not get any worse for the Defense.  The recent motions nailed the coffin tightly on the defense case.  And, given the defense’s inability to argue the merits of their side, it is quite possible they will not prevail in the upcoming Frye hearings.  The bottom line is, when placed side-by-side with the Attorney’s for the State of Florida, the defense keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller.  Like in the movie “Big” when Tom Hanks’ character wanted so badly to grow up, he was able to use a magic machine to grow up big and tall.

I’m afraid there’s no magic wand to help Casey Anthony’s attorneys grow big enough to challenge anyone, much less Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane-Burdick.

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51 Comments Post a comment
  1. Venice
    Mar 20 2011

    I just can’t believe those two shiester’s are taking this to trial. What’s even worse….they are trying to free a baby killer. Have they no shame?

    Hey Mason and Baez…..
    Johnnie Cochran. Robert Kardashian. Karma.

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      Hey Venice… that’s so funny, I was thinking about Johnny Cochran today and how he might represent Casey – if he’d even defend her knowing the odds against winning. The only way she’d belly up to the bar and face the music is if she got scared of the DP. She’s so delusional, and Baez is so addicted to the notoriety, it would surprise me if this case doesn’t go to trial….

      Reply
      • Venice
        Mar 20 2011

        Casey is probably saying to herself “DP. Yeah, Right”.

      • Mar 20 2011

        Yup, I think you are absolutely right. She’s the little starlet, in her own twisted mind, and I am sure she can’t fathom how killing her baby would result in the DP, she wouldn’t accept that – it would not compute for her.

  2. Mar 20 2011

    Hiya Andrea! Thanks for this!

    I don’t even think I would want to try to delve into the thought process of Casey Anthony. I do think she was planning on fleeing at one point but sex with Tony got in the way

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      Hey Kim! :) Hope you’re doing well and feeling better every day! I know, trying to delve in Casey’s thought process is a pretty nightmarish thing!

      Reply
  3. Diana
    Mar 20 2011

    I think the more days that passed, she thought Caylees body would never be found and she was sticking with the kidnapping story. I’m not sure how she was going to explain the smell in her car, except hoping the police would buy the dead squirrels story. In her mind she must have thought LE would find her so beautiful and believable they would just shrug off Caylees disappearance. Who will ever know what went on inside that sick head of hers.

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      Hi Diana! Yup, I agree – she thought she was invincible. She totally believed/believes her story so everyone else should…not! I’ll always remember when Jesse Grund said how Casey is so disturbed that she could tell her self a different story and totally believe it, and live it. The only thing is, her mind is like a house of cards – fragile – and when the State begins their story telling in the courtroom, I really wonder if she’ll be able to handle it. That’s partly why I think it would be good for her to just give it up and avoid the trial, though that may not be possible at this point – the state may feel they already have so much invested, they wouldn’t be willing to walk away….

      Reply
  4. Mar 20 2011

    Hi Andrea , Kim & Venice, great article Andrea. I think Casey had planned on taking off to California where Mark Hawkins lives in hopes he would want her and move her in with him, that is why she contacted him while Caylee was supposedly missing saying she had something important to tell him. I believe Casey thought if she got to California then no one would ever have known Caylee was dead but Cindy ruined that plan by finding her through Amy at boyfriend Tony’s house.

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      Hey Knight Owl…. Thanks a bunch. I agree with you about plans to head out to California and then if things got hot for her, she could head to Mexico. It was really interesting that she told Mark Hawkins that something happened. what was really bizarre was that she told him Lee knows all about it. Could she have told Lee? But, how would she explain the duct tape to Lee? it’s difficult to know what to believe with regards to who she may have confided in, though I do believe that it was Lee on the phone with Dominic Casey when he was poking around in the woods on Suburban Drive…. so, perhaps she did tell him….

      Reply
      • Linda
        Mar 21 2011

        Hey Andrea, i think you may be on to something because the only way she could tell Lee would have been a letter, i do belive it was Lee on the phone with DC also. I think LE found out, and Lee had to tell them the truth or face jail. Because when Lee was in court this last time and they ask him did you lie to your sister about the letter’s not being checked out so she could tell him what she wanted and no one would be the wiser. I think Lee told LE everything to keep from going to jail,he told casey caylee#1 casey#2 mom#3 and dad#4 and he ask her did she think it should be any other way and she said NO that’s the way it should be!So i think there more in the HAT that’s going to be pulled out before this is all over with and i don’t blame Lee , i would not go to jail for her!Thank goodness Lee wised up!I think LE had him!

      • Mar 21 2011

        Hey Linda! Yes, I think Lee was on to more facts then we realized, especially as a result of beings Dominic Casey’s “student”. I bet there will be testimony regarding his involvement because remember, he hired a criminal attorney? He was worried…. And, I don’t blame him for saving his skin, either. I’m glad he wizened up, too, but I still think he’s odd and sad, too.

      • Linda
        Mar 22 2011

        The look on casey’s face when he Lee said maybe i lied, oh it was great! just you wait you got more coming CMA!

  5. Mar 20 2011

    Hi Diana.

    Reply
  6. Mar 20 2011

    thumbs up on the article, Andrea~

    I’m with CptKD, Casey should do an Alfors Plea. Too bad she is so narcissistic. She is just begging for the needle. Baez/Mason know they have a real dumb client on their hands who they can use to their utmost benefit. After Casey goes to the bighouse, they won’t think anything of her anymore except as it pertains to a book/movie deal. Poetic justice-Casey is being used just as she was/is a user.

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      Hey Sherry! I agree with you; they’ll leave her in the dust while they do the talk show circuit. It sure it poetic justice!

      Reply
    • CptKD
      Mar 21 2011

      “Under the Alford plea the defendant admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
      This from the Wiki-link.

      I include the link for full definition :
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alford_plea

      I found this LEGAL link, defining precisely what an “Alford Plea” as well:
      http://definitions.uslegal.com/a/alford-plea/

      I tend to agree with many people, that between Inmate Anthony and Baez, the money and the lying, the INFAMY… There is no way that they won’t want to take this all the way to trial.

      I honestly believe, that Mason might try to convince them, of perhaps taking this “Alford Plea”, because in all honesty, there is NO WAY that they are going to WIN this.

      It’s just NOT going to happen!

      CptKD

      Reply
      • Mar 21 2011

        Interesting info, CptKD. Just curious-would you know if a person were to do an Alford plea if that means they cannot appeal in Florida?

      • CptKD
        Mar 21 2011

        I’m not sure, Sherry -
        But I will definately check into it, to see what the deal is.

        I know the first “Alford Plea” WAS appealed, but I’d have to look further into that case to verify the outcomes.
        I believe that he tried to fight it several times, in different manners, and it eventually made its way to the Supreme Court…

        Again, I’ll look into it a bit more, and see what information comes out of it – Especially where it relates to Florida!

      • Mar 21 2011

        Thanks. I do appreciate it! I tried to look it up but I’m not sure of what I’m reading. It was for Idaho, IIRC. That’s why I got more specific with Florida.
        The reason I asked is because that may be the reason for not doing it, because its not appealable.

      • Mar 21 2011

        I hope CptKD finds the answer! The only thing I’m aware of is the automatic appeal process of the DP. If she did do the Alford plea, there’s no telling how Judge Perry, who is not shy of the DP, would sentence her. I bet they are afraid of putting Casey’s life into this Judge’s hands…. But, then again, maybe not! LOL – it’s tough to know what the heck they’re thinking!

      • CptKD
        Mar 22 2011

        Ok -
        I got a fair bit of info from this Wiki-Link:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_Alford_plea_usage

        As quick reference, I’ve ‘c&p” these particular areas of interest:

        SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA:
        Has held that “a judgment of guilt entered upon an Alford plea is conclusive proof of guilt of the criminal offense charged”. The Florida Bar v. Cohen (1991)

        (a) The state courts of Indiana, Michigan, and New Jersey do not allow usage of the plea

        (b) It has been used in other states, and in application of the plea process the courts require the plea to be of a voluntary nature and based on factual evidence

        (c) The courts make an effort to determine defendants are entering the plea by their own choice, and that there is a factual basis for the plea; they accomplish this by questioning the defendant about their choice and the prosecution about the potential case against the defendant

        (d) Once entered, the plea is treated as a standard guilty plea

        (e) The Alford plea is not mandatory for states, but most states have adopted it. State judges, however, are generally not obligated to accept an Alford plea. Most judges do accept it because the sentence given is the same as the sentence for a regular guilty plea under the state sentencing guidelines

        (f) Most state courts hold that an Alford plea is the ‘functional equivalent’ of a regular plea of guilty. Therefore, a defendant who enters a guilty plea, whether an Alford plea or a regular guilty plea, has LOST ALMOST ALL RIGHTS TO APPEAL

        (g) Judges have some discretion in determining the voluntary nature of the plea given by the defendant, “Rules concerning voluntariness and factual basis” generally do not specify any precise method to be followed by the court. Judges employ various methods to determine voluntariness. Often these methods include interrogation of the defendant by the judge and sometimes by the prosecutor and defense counsel

        (h) The objective is to establish that no improper inducements have been made to secure a plea, that the defendant understands the basic constitutional rights incident to a trial, that these rights are being waived, and that he or she comprehends the consequences of the plea.

        (i) A more extensive inquiry is usually necessary for specific-intent crimes. The thoroughness of the court’s determination of voluntariness and factual basis becomes important if a defendant later moves to withdraw a plea and enter a plea of not guilty. Hence the importance of why it is necessary to establish a factual basis for the plea, before it is entered by the defendant.

        I hope this helps some –
        Again, I’ve just included some of the facts that jumped out at me, but included the link for further info…

        CptKD

      • Mar 22 2011

        WOW!!! Thank you so much! This is fabulous information. I bet Casey would rather take her chance with a jury than risk the potential for the judge sentencing her exactly as the state has charged. The best time for pleas is early in a case, I’m told, before the DP is announced. It is not likely a plea will happen now, given what is known about Judge Perry’s track record with sticking to the law and sentencing the DP. I bet they wish they had not asked for the recusal of Judge Strickland, though I am not familiar with his track record of upholding a DP sentence. Anyway thanks again for this!!!

        Sent from my iPhone

      • CptKD
        Mar 22 2011

        Andrea, I’d bet my last dollar, that they wish they hadn’t “arranged” to have Judge Strickland recuse himself.

        In fact, I’m sensing they are probably kicking themselves in the ‘you-know-where’, right about now.

        These next three days, are going to be a long three days, I’m sensing!

        It will be interesting to see if Inmate Anthony’s “attitude” has been impacted in any way, since last wks rulings, which were favouring towards the State in a big way!

        I’ll definately be watching as much as I can, and so I hope it’s filled with lots of info, and great argument!

        I’ll be sure to let you know, and post here, if anything of great importance occurs, ok -

        CptKD

      • Mar 22 2011

        Helped bunches! A big ol’ thank you, CptKD! :mrgreen:

      • Mar 21 2011

        Thank you for this! You know what, I was thinking that, too (Mason trying to convince Baez of this) BUT, I also got to thinking that it would be solely up to Judge Perry to sentence her, and I bet they would not want to take that chance, given he’s not afraid of the DP. What do you think?

      • CptKD
        Mar 22 2011

        I don’t know, Andrea!
        It’s one of those “icey-dicey” kind of things.

        You are right, in saying that HHJP is not afraid of ruling for the DP.

        Especially when you look at pictures, and stare into the eyes of that precious child, whose life was just “snuffed out” at the hands of her very own mother.

        Then again, if he takes the family’s grief and automatic “life sentence” to grieving the loss of this child, perhaps he’d spare the life of their daughter.

        On the flip-side of that however; he may know things that we don’t, and maybe the State is looking at levying some Charges on certain member of the family unit itself – ??

        I wish I could creep into JP’s head, if only for a moment, to see what and where, he thinks this whole thing is headed to…

        Man, what a trip that’d be ~
        CptKD

  7. Mar 20 2011

    Diana, i think Casey hoped her car would be stolen and that would fix everything but that got spoiled because it got towed. Just think if it had gotten stolen and LE found the car and the person who stole it, then Bozo would have his escape goat for the person who killed Caylee. Thank goodness that didn’t happen.

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      Absolutely, Knight Owl…. And also, she was trying to set up Jesse Grund, too – or so it appears.

      Reply
  8. Mar 20 2011

    Hi Sherry.

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      {waving at knight owl and her pretty kitty!} :mrgreen:

      Reply
  9. Mar 20 2011

    Sherry, Louie kitty and i are waving back at you and Louie says thanks for calling him pretty. lol. Louie is a stinker, he sent our Casey a skunk for her 25th birthday . He thought her cell needed to be perfumed up. lol.

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      Aw, Louie’s always thinking of others…
      I want to scratch his chin! That pic you have of him shows him smiling big time! I can hear his motor running! LOL

      Reply
  10. Mar 20 2011

    Andrea, yea for sure Casey wanted to set up Jesse Grund as the killer. Had she any sense she would have married Jesse as he is a good person. Instead she was jealous of his attention to Caylee and acted like a big baby saying he cared more about Caylee than her.

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      And I thank God in the real that they never married! Whew! That was a close one!

      Reply
      • Mar 21 2011

        Me too, Sherry! I hate what they tried to do to Jesse. I think he’s a gem, and I bet he’s sure thankful he never got in too deep… phew!

        And, yeah, what a sick and self-centered thing to think – that Jesse would love Caylee more than her?! It’s similar to the other issue she carried around with her – the fact that her mother held Caylee before Casey did. I mean, really??? That’s pretty telling, I think….

  11. Mar 20 2011

    Had Casey not gotten Baez ding bat for her attorney justice would not have been served as any other attorney would have had Casey ask for a plea before the body was found. She definitely deserves in my opinion nothing less than life without parole. I think she might escape the death sentence because her parents may sway them with sympathy as they lost their grandbaby and the killer is their daughter.

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      Excellent point, Knight Owl…. But, will the Judge be swayed? I hope she gets LWOP, but fear the DP may be a strong factor, especially since Judge Perry is not shy about sentencing the DP… This case has really gotten way our of control for the defense… I think they are probably drowning…. I read somewhere that the Attorney (the one Jose questioned on the stand) is no longer with the Baez firm. I can’t imagine how they are keeping up with all the work it takes to manufacture reasonable doubt…. :)

      Reply
  12. Mar 20 2011

    I haven’t read all the comments so if this was added forgive me. But I remember George taking the battery out of the car so no one (CASEY) would take it. Good Lord!!!

    Reply
    • Mar 20 2011

      Yup. He did that the night they got the pontiac back from the tow yard….. I’d forgotten about that and nope, nobody mentioned it!

      Reply
  13. Mar 20 2011

    Sherry, agree, i thank God poor Jesse didn’t marry Casey too. He deserves a nice decent girl. I would have liked it though if Jesse could have adopted Caylee as he would have made her a wonderful Dad, but no Casey in the picture at all. It is such a shame that beautiful Caylee had such an evil rotten mother . She was such a gorgeous sweet baby with so much personality.

    Reply
  14. Mar 20 2011

    Hi Shyloh, yea George knew Casey was responsible for the smell in the trunk so he took no chances of her coming back and taking the car. He put the car in the garage but he still knew Casey could sneak back home and get it and he was taking no chances.

    Reply
  15. Linda
    Mar 21 2011

    Hello Andrea, You know what scares me? I think all Caseys friends will testify that she was a good and loving mom.. and never thought she would ever hurt Caylee, including Jesse Grund. I don’t want the jury to think that maybe this was a terrible accident.. I was just reading a book “the sociopath next door”, and theres no doubt that Casey is a sociopath.. Casey never loved Jesse she only used him and he family..Casey only loves herself.. The way others portray you is important to a sociopath, and that is why she played the loving mother in front of her friends……..when she was alone with Caylee thats a different story…..Life for a sociopath is like playing a game of chess and that makes me think of all the comments I’ve read about Cindy and Casey…..Casey using Caylee as a pawn.. And the Sociopaths goal is to win……….I guess what I am trying to say is that I hope the prosecution can hammer it into the heads of the jury the relationship between Casey and her mother…and that Casey didn’t kill Caylee because she loved her, but killed her because she hated her mother…….Altho I do think Caylee was one of the children that were born with an exp. date, and hopefully the prosecution can prove it…..

    Reply
    • Mar 21 2011

      Hi Linda! I agree with you…the friends have all said in the past that they thought she was a good mom to Caylee… but, it’s okay because it won’t sway anyone, I don’t think. What good mom kills their child?!!! I think you are right they may try it… I say, good luck with that! LOL!

      I also have always believed that little Caylee was a pawn, and when that pawn wasn’t quite working for Caset, she needed a more drastic approach to getting back at her mom, and she did. Thank God, she won’t win at this game in the end….

      Reply
  16. cali patti
    Mar 21 2011

    I’ve always felt the Grund family were treated terribly by the Anthonys. When the evidence comes into court where Cindy talks about Jesse Grund possibly being the responsible one, that is going to play so badly with the jury with regards to Casey. Here is the Grandmom/mother trying to find an totally likeable man guilty. Going to sound and look very bad.

    Reply
    • Mar 21 2011

      Oh, me too, Cali Patti. I really think Jesse Grund is a great young man, too. He’s so well spoken, also very sensitive. It’s sickening that the Anthony’s were trying to use Jesse as the fall guy. it’s just plain evil, in my opinion, and should be a crime – probably is a crime, come to think of it. The jury sure won’t like it one bit once they hear from Jesse.

      Reply
  17. cali patti
    Mar 21 2011

    when I wrote “responsible one”, I was saying responsible for Caylees death or being missing.

    Reply
  18. Diana
    Mar 21 2011

    Yes *Knight owl,
    I agree. She wanted that car stolen, but that still doesn’t explain what she was going to say happened to Caylee, unless she had several scenerios going on in her head, and if Cindy hadn’t found her, maybe she was going to say, a carjacker took her car and Caylee was in it, but then, again ,why would you wait? Jeeze……..I can’t figure this nut out at all.

    Reply
    • Mar 21 2011

      And, you know what, Diana? We won’t ever be able to fathom the depths of Casey’s depravity. The thought processes of an evil sociopath are just too beyond us…. I remember one of the detectives (maybe Eric Edwards) saying that they (murderers / criminals) don’t think like you or I, and we can’t even begin to understand the depth of what they are capable of…

      Reply
  19. Eileen
    Mar 24 2011

    No, I cannot understand her either other than she is a very evil and self-obsessed person. I saw it in the beginning of these hearings, how she sat and fiddled with her hair, her makeup, her clothes.. as if the only thing on her mind was how she looked. Now, even though I’ve heard the tv pundits say that she has “evolved”, it really turns my stomach. What happened was her attorneys TOLD her how narcissistic she presents herself. I am a paralegal and I know that. Absolutely NO signs of remorse or feelings for her daughter. She is unmoved by any of the discussions of death the smell of her child decomposing . She just sits there and PRETENDS she is a paralegal or attorney.

    Reply
  20. C. R.M.
    Aug 14 2012

    No comments since Casey and her fine miriad of lawyers won the case! WOW!

    Reply

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