There were few fireworks in Judge Belvin Perry’s Orlando courtroom, on this day after Memorial Day.
However, Casey Anthony, tangled up in the chains that bind her, fell either in the courtroom or on her way into the courtroom. It is unclear what type of injuries Casey may have received.
Regardless, she was unable to attend today’s hearing. (Judge Perry made it clear at an earlier hearing that she was to appear at all hearings in which arguments were to be made, though the Judge allowed lawyer Cheney Mason to waive her appearance in the courtroom so that the hearing could proceed.)
As to the hearing today, it was as if every motion had a banana peel attached to the defense podium, as they had a tenuous, slippery slope day of denials handed down to them.
Only one motion (the question of whether Casey Anthony will be able to have jail visitation records sealed) was left undecided today, though it is being taken under advisement by Judge Perry.
As for the rest of the motions?
Denied and done in under two hours.
Below is a brief recap.
The Motions – A Tally
1). The argument regarding the defense request to seal jail visitation records. The judge will take this under advisement and will rule in due time. The defense argument? That Casey Anthony’s rights to a fair trial will be compromised should the lists of expert witness visits to her at the jail be made public.
Judge Perry must weigh the rights of Casey Anthony with the rights of public right to know. There is a constitutional right of the Public to know and yet there is a Sixth Amendment right that, if denied, could harm Casey Anthony’s right to counsel and due process under the law.
This is a complicated motion. If granted, Casey Anthony will be the one and only defendant with this permission granted. The Orlando Corrections Attorney argued that if the Judge grants this motion, the court is ultimately dealing with a “Separation of Powers issue.” Meaning the court would have to interfere with another branch of government – the legislative branch – that it should not nor cannot violate – unless the court so orders.
Judge Perry advised that he has done a great deal of research already on this issue before him. A ruling, he said, will be made sometime next week.
Not denied (yet). Under advisement
2). The defense argument regarding the specific reasons why the state has chosen to seek the Death Penalty in this case. The state earlier listed the five aggravating factors as the court asked. However, the defense thought it was entitled to a bigger slice of the pie, with more meat, not just law, thankyouverymuch, they wanted the whole enchilada handed to them.
Judge Perry made an apology if the defense erroneously thought they were entitled to more than just a list of the aggravating factors. Judge Perry generously and nicely advised that no, the defense got exactly what it needed. Thankyouverymuch, again.
3). Defense arguments about the admissibility of TES volunteer searcher, Joe Jordan’s surreptitious recording of another person without their knowledge or consent. Judge Perry, predictably, ruled against the defense using this content as evidence.
4) The defense argued that since the State had access to the Grand Jury testimony of George Anthony, then the defense should also have the material. Judge Stan Strickland had previously denied this request (the Grand Jury is secret!), and Judge Perry, again predictably, followed suit.
In addition, the defense requested it requires more (fishing) records from LE concerning the early tips in the search for Caylee.
The state made it abundantly clear that it had followed the original request by Judge Strickland to produce all of these records for the defense, though the cost is close to $1,600. Prosecutor Linda Drane-Burdick advised the court that these records have been ready and waiting for the defense for nearly two years. Judge Perry seemed to admonish the defense to “get it done” if they need those records. He advised they could use $2,000 to get these records, should they really want them.
I happen to believe the defense really doesn’t want these records, what they do want is to come up with a scenario regarding the state concealing records from them. Won’t happen. The state is well aware of its responsibility regarding discovery.
Again, for the second time, George Anthony was not in attendance at the hearing. Cindy Anthony was in attendance, however.
Very interesting hearing.