a sophomoric summary
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):