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May 30, 2010


lawyering, the legal system, the death penalty….casey anthony

by Andrea O'Connell

Thoughts of Memorial Day and the men and women who today, and decades past, battle for our freedoms, gives rise to thoughts about our legal system. Where would our country be without the system we have?  Thoughts of Nazi Germany spring to mind.

Our legal system forces accountability on the lawless, forces those who would accuse someone to prove he or she should be accused (of a crime).  It also allows for a defense of all persons – whosoever they are, with whatsoever they are charged with; howsoever guilty they appear – with the opportunity to challenge any evidence against them.

Like doctors who must cure the wounds of the enemy when needed, so too are defense attorneys sworn to uphold the constitutional rights of anyone rightly or wrongly accused.  It’s an adversarial system in which all persons deserve a shot. All persons have equal rights under the law, can challenge the evidence against them in a court of law.

Casey Anthony can, too.

Casey Anthony.

The mere mention of her name will spark copious debates in the blogosphere and elsewhere in the media.

Those of us who are interested in the case have difficulty accepting the fact that Jose Baez, while working up a defense of Casey Anthony, can also parade like a show-horse on the courtroom  steps.

We wish Mr. Baez would stay silent, but we know that he knows that his case must also be tried in the media.

However, it’s not about Jose Baez, it’s about justice.  It’s about ensuring justice for both Casey and Caylee Anthony.

The sticking point with this case is we have been inundated with news coverage. Not only that, many of us have read the seriously damaging and detailed discovery documents put out by the State of Florida.  We have watched and listened to the fine detectives in Orlando interviewing witnesses, and we are convinced (even though we have heard only one side of the story) of Casey’s guilt.

Two Adversarial Sides and Then There’s Whole-Cloth

We know justice is not about lawyering.  Justice in a courtroom is about telling a story.  It is about creating scenarios, detailing evidence, creating a backdrop for the circumstances of “circumstantial” evidence, and proving guilt or raising doubt so reasonable that a defendant’s peers will be able to reasonably assert guilt or non-guilt.

There are two sides to every story under the law, but we want both sides to be honest in their dealings.  We do not want a made-up defense. We want the defense to throw away the whole-cloth and give Casey a real defense with substance – if it exists.

We know so much as a result of the Florida Sunshine Law that allows release of discovery, that we have a predisposition to believe Casey guilty.  And yet Casey Anthony must be heard and must challenge the evidence against her.

We all (myself included) sometimes forget that Casey is innocent right now in the eyes of the law.

As theatre-goers do, must we “suspend our disbelief” and accept Casey’s innocence until the time of her trial?

No.  We need not.  That is not our role in this game.  We do not sit in judgment of  Casey Anthony.  A jury of impartial people, who must suspend their disbelief, will deliver justice.

Oh, but we have a constitutional right to state our opinions, thanks in large part to the men and women who have, and continue to fight for our freedoms.

It is clear that to some people it seems unfair that Casey Anthony should be getting public funds to try her case.  Some feel she should not take up the resources of the State of Florida, especially given our poor economic times.  But, let me tell you, we must be appreciative that we are paying for Casey Anthony’s day in court.   If she did not have her day, when you or I may be forced to defend ourselves, we want the rules to be the same for us, too.  This is what makes Memorial Day special for me, if you know what I mean.

The Death Penalty

I want Casey Anthony to have a fair chance to defend herself; though I fear Jose Baez, given his inexperience, may have already doomed his client to a fate of death.

That is a terrible thing to say, but I cannot stop this nagging realization in me that says: Had Jose Baez been more aggressive with the State early on, and dealt realistically with all the facts pointing to the appearance of guilt (of his client), we would not have to discuss the death penalty today.

I accept the circumstances of this case as it stands today.  But, I do not accept the death penalty and I am angry that we have gotten to this point.

June 1, 2010 Hearing

On Tuesday, June 1, 2010, Judge Perry will hear arguments in a hearing regarding seven motions (regarding the death penalty) that the defense has reckoned are unconstitutional.

Professor Andrea Lyon and the defense are likely not to win on this front as their arguments seem better relegated to the Supreme Court, not to an Orlando courtroom where the State of Florida is simply following the law.

Professor Lyon, I hope, will take the year she has (before the penalty phase of the trial begins), and make an eloquent case to save Casey Anthony’s life.

June 1, though it will be interesting, is predictably an unattainable win for Casey Anthony.

What matters will come to pass in a year, or so, when 12 people have their say.

Please be ready Professor Lyon.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. auntdeedee
    May 30 2010

    I really believe that if Casey does get the sentence of death it won’t be Baez’ fault. It will be hers for duct-taping her daughter’s face and tossing her in the woods like trash.

    Baez may not be experienced but even if he was, i don’t think the jury would be convinced of anything less than death for her according to the rules of Florida.

    Personally, I don’t think the death penalty should be used for any murder cases where there are no witnesses, like this one with Casey. LWOP should suffice.

  2. sophie
    May 30 2010


  3. Andrea
    May 30 2010

    oh boy, that’s sure the truth, auntdeedee. Oh, the thought of it… The fact is, there’s no getting past the 31 days, the partying, the duct-tape, and on and on.

  4. lynda
    May 31 2010

    Happy Memorial Day to all. good morning, getting ready for work. Neicy, I always love your point of view and you are an amazing writer. I too hope casey gets a fair trail. It is our right as Americans. God bless America. I do think though that given the evidence, Baez should have tried to have her take a plea instead of gambling with the dp on the table, and if she were my daughter, and I loved her, regardless of her deed, which I find so unimaginable, I would have pleaded with her to take a plea. I think the d team and the family are not thinking of casey’s best interest. The evidence is too damning against her. LWOP would be a great punishment if she is found guilty. At her age it would be worse than the dp. Well everyone, have a great day i our great country.. Justice for Caylee the innocent.

    • Andrea
      May 31 2010

      Hi Lynda! Happy Memorial Day to you, too. LOL! You must also have had Neicy’s page open, too…

      It would be interesting to know what transpired between Baez and Casey early on. I have to constantly remind myself that as a defense attny he is trying to protect her from herself (from incriminating herself), but I do fear for her life and it’s because she or Baez made some stupid decisions (or so it appears to me) in the early days of this case.

      Or, it could be that since, early on, Caylee’s remains had not been found, they were banking on the fact that the State has a weaker case as a result. I think that’s why the defense and Dominic Casey and the others were looking for the remains too, they wanted to save Casey’s life…. Perhaps they thought if they found the remains first, it would make the LE look bad and then they could make a deal with the state. I think Baez wanted his team to find the body so they could leverage that in Casey’s favor.

      So much for that…deception never wins and truth will always take the day.

      Thanks for your comments here, Lynda! 🙂

  5. lynda
    May 31 2010

    Opps, meant to say Andrea, sooooooooooo sorry

    • Andrea
      May 31 2010

      Oh that’s funny! It’s okay, Lynda! Thanks for stopping by again! Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

  6. lynda
    May 31 2010

    Hi Andrea, I still find it odd that DCasey was looking near Suburban Dr., unless they had some inside info. Why would they look there? Florida is a big state, Caylee’s remains could have been anywhere. Strange. The defence has been very deceptive. You’re right, truth is always the best road to walk upon, but as Judge Strickland said Casey Anthony and the truth are strangers. Everything she told LE was an outright lie. The trail should be very interesting. How can all the lies that have been told by the family be kept straight. Well, nice chatting, again, Justice for Caylee the innocent victim.

  7. Andrea
    May 31 2010

    Hey Lynda! I am with you… I do find it really odd that they were so intent on looking in that area, but then again, they (the Anthony’s and the Defense team) KNEW that was the area in which Casey was very comfortable traversing.

    And the info had been public about Kio Marie’s interview with Appie Wells (which was not properly followed up on), in which she told of the hiding place they used as teenagers. I also think Casey probably told Baez and perhaps Lee, too, about the place…..

    I really do think that the family wanted to find Caylee’s little body before LE did to possibly help Casey’s outcome – the body would have been leverage for them, perhaps, though it’s difficult to know how in the heck they’d be able to leverage that, but, like you say, the Anthony’s are not the model of truth by any means.

    That was an excellent line by Judge Strickland! It’s just said it all… and as we know, it also applies to the whole fan-damily, too.

    Tomorrow should be interesting…LOL! I hope you watch… I’ll have to catch it after work….

  8. Patriciao
    Jun 1 2010

    Casey herself will seal her fate with her lies. There is no explaining these in any way that makes sense. Unless they go with a mentally defense. I do feel attorneys can help improve their clients image to help the public feel more kindly towards them. I think Baez has done nothing but continue to feed into the weirdness of this case so much of the public doesn’t like him either. He could be a great guy. Why doesn’t he show it when given the opportunity?

  9. Andrea
    Jun 1 2010

    Hi there, Patriciao!
    I agree…Casey has done herself the worst harm by her actions, non-actions, and lies upon lies. You’re right, I do believe it’s too late to change to an insanity defense now. It seems as if Baez has toned it down some, don’t you think? I do think he’s come a long way and is certainly improving…. has a long way to go perhaps, but that’s okay… as long as he stays honest, that’s all that matters 🙂


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