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Jan

drowning in an ocean of motions?

It sure is interesting that the Casey Anthony defense doesn’t answer the state’s motion for sanctions, but does file a flurry of new motions (nearly 22 at last count), requesting they be heard on January 3, 2011.  One could conclude that the defense may be attempting to shift attention off of the very serious sanction motion via it’s ocean of motions just filed.

Now it seems very unlikely that the court will be able to hear this ocean of motions in a half day court session. One could easily drown in the paper it took to file these ponderous documents.

Let’s look at what the defense is requesting be heard on Monday. They submitted a “Notice of Hearing” motion in which twenty-two items are listed.  One would think that the motion for sanctions by the State will take up a lot of time on its own and there will not be time for this litany of items.

Defense “Notice of Hearing” motions:

  1. Motion to Restrict Telephoto Courtroom Photography and Audio Eavesdropping of Defense
  2. Motion to Compel Judicial Administrative Commission to Pay for Transcripts of Oak Ridge National Laboratory Depositions
  3. Request Court Determine Bad Prior Acts of Mr. Kronk based on Motion Papers filed
  4. Motion in Limine – Sexual Interrogation of Lazzaro
  5. Motion in Limine – Sexual Interrogation of Rusciano
  6. Motion in Limine – Speculation of Defendant Knowledge by Texas EquuSearch
  7. Motion in Limine – Neighbor and Shovel
  8. Motion in Limine – Table Knife
  9. Motion in Limine – Character of Stealing and Lying
  10. Motion in Limine – Tattoo
  11. Motion to Suppress – Jail Interview of Defendant by “Agents”
  12. Motion in Limine – Jail Video of Announcement
  13. Motion in Limine – Jib Jab Cartoon
  14. Motion in Limine – Defendant Myspace “Diary of Days”
  15. Motion in Limine – Cindy Anthony Myspace
  16. Motion in Limine – Decomposition Chemical (Frye)
  17. Motion in Limine – Chloroform (Frye)
  18. Motion to Exclude – Root Growth (Frye)
  19. Motion for Subpoena Duces Tecum RE: Joe Jordan
  20. Motion to Exclude – Post Mortem Banding
  21. Motion to Exclude – Stain in Trunk of Car
  22. Motion in Limine to Exclude – K-9 Alerts

Now, I don’t believe that all the requests listed here have motions attached to them.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I cannot remember reading motions for topics number 17, 18 and 20, unless they were filed a while ago and I have forgotten them?  And what about item number 3, Kronk’s prior bad acts? Was there a motion?  Judge Perry distinctly told the defense that they would have to argue the Kronk motion by the end of the year.  Will Judge Perry allow them to argue this on Jan. 3?

The items that have “Frye” attached to them require arguments by both sides as to admissibility. The Frye standard is used to determine if new or novel scientific evidence is reliable enough to be permitted in a court of law.  Therefore, the defense wants to present expert opinion that challenges the State’s findings regarding decomposition, chloroform, and root growth.

All of these items, you may recall, are being challenged by the defense as unreliable science.  I think “junk science” may be how the defense characterizes it.   In a hearing, however, some of these items may be so contentious to require a separate hearing.  Generally experts testify at these hearings and the judge will decide what scientific witness testimony can enter into evidence.

It seems doubtful that Judge Perry will be able to hear arguments on each of these items. What they will have to do, most likely, is determine dates in the future to hear each of these items.

In addition, the State of Florida recently filed its own, well crafted and revealing motion. Read it here: State of Florida Motions in Limine.

In their motion, the State is asserting that the defense is maligning the Orange county Sheriff’s Office, the Prosecution, witnesses and the case itself in the media.

This motion lists six items they want the defense and the defendant to STOP referring to.  In short, the State is particularly perturbed and is requesting the defense ceases to discuss:

  1. Their own personal opinion regarding whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.  However, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty, that’s a given, what the State is referring to here is to stop the emotional proclamations during hearings about guilt or innocence when guilty or not guilty is NOT the topic at hand. The burden is on the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Casey Anthony is guilty as charged.  The burden on the defense attorney is to ensure that the state’s case is factual, honest, and can be proven.  The defense can only offer alternative scenarios to rebut the state’s evidence if it is plausible to a Judge, and stands the test of admissibility.  The jury decides guilt.  No one else.
  2. Testimony about character traits of Casey Anthony.  In other words, keep discussions factual, not personal, i.e. she’s a good mom, pretty, etc.
  3. Any name calling by the defense – please do not call or refer to witnesses as “liars” or use words to that effect.
  4. Any discussion about the State Attorney’s office or the OCSO “leaking” information to the media, or others.
  5. Discussions related to the OSCO or anyone arranging for Casey Anthony to be video taped in the jail while learning that remains were found on Suburban Drive.  With regards to this item, there is a good chance this video will not be allowed in the trial due to Casey’s 6th Amendment right to having counsel present, as her reaction to the television coverage could be inferred as testimony.
  6. Any discussion or testimony that the State or the OCSO engaged in improper acts with regards to the case.

This statement in the State’s motion is particularly telling:

During the course of the pretrial process, counsel for the defendant has made public statements, filed accusatory pleadings, and asked questions in deposition relating to the issues listed above.  it has become clear that it is the intention of the Defendant to place the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the prosecution itself ‘on trial’ in order to shift the attention of the jury away from the evidence indicating her guilt.

The trouble with this motion by the state?  It is asking the defense attorney’s, Jose Baez in particular, to act like real lawyers and behave.  This is not going to happen.  The behavior exhibited by Jose Baez cannot be curtailed as it appears to be intrinsically weaved into his personality as a lawyer.

No amount of state motions or requests can change the stripes on a zebra.

Regardless, Monday is going to be full of fireworks!

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