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December 15, 2010


a sophomoric summary

by Andrea O'Connell

In the case against Casey Anthony, the Defense team was recently admonished by the State of Florida for not being forthcoming with a summary of what its expert witnesses will testify to at trial.

Today, the defense team complied with the courts order to supply the State of Florida with a summary of its experts opinions.  But did it do this?  Not so fast, methinks.  Take a look at what is provided and ask yourself, will this quickly worded, sophomoric summary (that provides virtually no expert opinion), pass muster?  It remains to be seen, I suppose.

The defense had until December 23, 2010 to provide the information to the court.  Surprisingly, Jose Baez delivered the response to the States motion today, Tuesday oops – Wednesday!

However, after reading the document, I feel that their summary of what their experts will testify to is a rather paltry offering.  Instead of identifying a “big picture” of the testimony and expert opinion, they have written a response delivered in a fashion that sounds, at times, churlish.

Let me explain.  The defense lists a Dr. Jane Bock.  Rather than discussing an overview of the science Dr. Bock is relying on, what is provided is this:

She would rebut Dr. Hall’s where he claims that he can determine the growth rate of roots, when he doesn’t even know the type of plant and without having viewed the root and seeing them from un-scaled photographs.


This is a run on sentence and a statement bashing Dr. Hall, not discussing what Dr. Bock’s opinions are.

But dogs can talk!  Can’t they?

Another maddening discussion of a supposed “opinion” of their expert witness is provided in a likewise churlish fashion.  It is written that Dr. Scott Fairgrieve would discuss cadaver dogs.  However, the defense points out that what Dr. Fairgrieve has to say would depend on what the State’s witness offers, and whether the court will allow “testimony” from a dog.  This is a most memorable statement that, were it not so seriously written, it would be downright laughable in context and content:

a. Will this Court for the first time in the history of this state admit testimony concerning cadaver dog ‘alerts’ as substantive testimony.

b. Will this Court allow a canine to testify, via a dog handler, given Miss Anthony’s 6th amendment rights to confront her accusers and despite the fact that all ‘alerts’ in this case are unrecorded, and resulted in negative results for human remains?

The substance of Dr. Fairgieve’s testimony would depend on the above and to rebut the testimony of the cadaver dog handlers in this case.

5. Of course a dog cannot testify.  In the event that the State attempts this unusual tactic, a summary of Dr. Fairgrieve’s testimony is that cadaver dogs are a tool and nothing more, absent the finding of human remains in their searches, very little can be ascertained from such alerts.

A further confounding paragraph concerns the opinions of Dr. Henry Lee.  The following sums up the defense’s explanation of Dr. Lee’s testimony:

If Dr. Lee were called to testify, the substance of the facts that he would be expected to testify would be to rebut any false claims raised by CSI investigators in this case. Until that occurs it is difficult to give a complete summary of his opinions and the grounds from those opinions.

With regards to Dr. Werner Spitz who “could not find a cause of death” I would suggest Dr. Spitz look at the pictures of the duct tape.  Surely Dr. Spitz saw the photos with duct tape hanging from Caylee Anthony’s skull and hair?  I would advise Dr. Spitz to ask himself if one might die from duct tape affixed over the mouth and/or nose (which is presumably where the duct tape was placed)?

Furthermore, is it not safe to say that a body “dumped” in the woods is indicative of homicide?  Or, is the defense going to rely on an “it was an accident” defense?

Not able to find a cause of death!  Dr. Spitz, in the big picture, does it matter?  She’s dead!

So, what we have here is a failure to follow court orders, in my humble opinion.  Perhaps the State of Florida will be happy with this, I cannot say, I can only say that from my layman’s point of view, this looks and sounds like an exercise of avoidance.

I have itemized the names and the fields of the experts in the chart below (taken from the Baez response to the State’s Motion document):

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sherry
    Dec 16 2010

    Yeah, you got it right-churlish and I will say that it is still vague. For instance: “…would be to rebut any false claims raised by…” was the undertone of these experts’ testimony. What would be considered “false”? Its as if Baez is daring Ashton to take the cause up with the judge again-neener neener.

    Interesting, but I’m pretty sure cadaver dogs have been used in court cases…maybe not in Florida though? Not only that but its not just the cadaver dogs that will give testimony-so will every piece of evidence that cannot verbally utter a peep.

    • Dec 16 2010

      Hey Sherry, I would imagine that Police dogs “alerts” have been used in trials before. I think for sure they’ve been used in drug cases, when the dogs sniff out drugs and the DEA or the Police confiscate the drugs. I know they use dogs to search for people, alive and deceased, after disasters have struck and they are successful with that. So,in my opinion it kind of goes without saying that cadaver dogs (I hate that phrase, by the way) shouldn’t be used here. There were two separate dogs that hit on the same areas in the Anthony’s back yard. To me, that lends credence to usability of the dogs as evidence….

      But, I bet you’re right…. it could be they’ve been used in other cases, just not in sunny FLA. Though we’ve seen our share of wacko cases….

  2. Molly
    Dec 16 2010

    Nice chart! thank you.
    he’s being snarky again & in writing too. and vague (again) i can not believe the comments about the dogs ! oi i think JP wants the experts opinions & how they arrived at them. that was in the order wasn’t it? can’t wait to see what he says about this.
    baez – grow up. you want to be looked at like a big time lawyer, yet how you handle yourself shows your immaturity. i don’t think you’ll be getting any more dp clients by your presentation of the defense of your current client.

    • Dec 16 2010

      Hey Molly! oh yeah, snarky as they come! (I think that’s a great word!)

      OMG, the dog comments are just classic – they are too good to be true! And the whole response to the motion leaves a whole lot to be desired – terribly written, imo.

      There is a blog on WordPress (darn I can’t remember the name of it) but it’s something like “Eggtree news” or something. Anyway, all the posts are parody stories about the characters and the goings on in the case…. Well, there’s one post that had me doubled over with laughter about “McGruff the Crime Dog” … I can’t do it justice… I’ll find the link and post it here… so funny! ❤

  3. Hilde
    Dec 16 2010

    Andrea, OT solid Background works better 🙂

    • Dec 16 2010

      Hey Hilde… Yeah, I think so too. Thank you again for your feedback! I’m thinking about trying another “look” as I am a bit concerned that this template may be hard on the eyes. Do you think it is?

      • Hilde
        Dec 16 2010

        Andrea, I do like the Colors however since You like to have my Opinion I agree with You as to the template being maybe hard on some ones Eyes, however big Improvement already 😆 I trust You will find how You like to have Your Page look just fine on Your own.

      • Dec 16 2010

        yes, I really appreciate your opinion! And, the most important thing is that it’s easy on the ole eyes! I will have to experiment some more! I think its due to the text being really light on this template. It’s too bad because I really like it. 🙂 So, I may have to change it… boo hoo!

  4. Hilde
    Dec 16 2010

    the Way the Defense is going about it in this Case reminds me so much of the OJ Simpson Case!
    The Defense is trying their best to discredit all the Evidence the State has, especially the Evidence which can point the finger directly to their Client Casey Anthony as the One responsible for Caylee’s Death. It’s really nothing new.
    Defense Lawyers have used that Method for Ages, especially if they have a weak Case defending their Client and are desperate.
    All it takes is for the Defense to establish reasonable Doubt.
    Will they be successful in doing that,maybe but I really doubt it!
    The State has enough Evidence to present a solid Case when the time finally comes to let Caylee’s Voice be heard loud and clear through the Prosecution. JMO

    BTW all we have to look at how OJ Simpson ended up, he is sitting in Jail now, Justice has finally caught up with him, maybe not the way we thought, never less he is sitting in Prison where he belongs!

    Casey Anthony will be held responsible for what happened to Caylee no ifs or buts about it! No Way out for Casey this time.


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