There was a ruling made today by Judge Perry in the case against Casey Anthony regarding the Defense request to seal the witness names in the penalty phase of the trial.
Judge Perry denied the motion to seal the names of the witnesses.
At first, when I saw the decision, I was a bit surprised. I thought Judge Perry would grant it due to the media attention the witnesses are apt to get. However, my reasoning is not legally sound and neither was the defense’s reasoning, according to Judge Perry. In his ruling, he states:
…the Defense bears the burden of proof in sealing this penalty phase discovery. It is well-settled that the party seeking closure has the burden of proving by the greater weight of the evidence that closure is necessary to prevent a serious and imminent threat to the administration of justice.
Basically, Judge Perry is asserting that the Defense needed to bring forward specific case law to substantiate their contention that Casey Anthony’s right to a fair trial would be harmed by the release of this witness list.
The court goes on to say:
Although the Defense claims that disclosure of the witness list has a potentially chilling effect….this bald assertion is insufficient. A finding of cause to restrict or defer disclosure of such records cannot rest in air. McCary, 520 So. at 35. In order to seal the entire penalty phase witness list, the Defendant must make a much more particularized showing.
It’s as if the court is saying, “It doesn’t pass the smell test!”
I do believe there is going to be a penalty phase in this trial, and it’s going to result in the death penalty. I have been thinking about this for quite a while now, afraid to believe that Casey would join the ranks of women sitting right now on death row. But, having seen the discovery, there is no other conclusion to come to other than Casey Anthony was responsible for the death of Caylee Anthony.
Now, perhaps the defense will surprise us and bring forward a good challenge to the State. Maybe they’ve been fooling us all this time? Maybe they really have a good, solid defense that we are just not aware of at this point.
And, did I tell you I saw the sky falling yesterday?
The more I see the defense perform in this case, particularly Jose Baez, the more I worry about the death penalty being imposed. Plus, I fear jurors won’t like Baez. If the jury doubts him, Casey is done for.
It is painfully evident that the Assistant State Attorneys for Florida are top-notch at their game, at least they look damn good next to the fumbling Defense who do not appear to have the skill of the State Attorneys.
The job of the defense attorney is to be a zealous advocate for the defendant, ensuring that the State’s evidence was not ill-begotten. Only, so far from the Defense we have seen only attitude and chicanery in that courtroom. Not only do they not appear to have a solid defense at this point in time, they seem not to know how to go about the business of defending Casey Anthony.
If the jurors follow the law and find that the aggravators that support the death penalty are met, I fear the jury will ask for death.
I used to think the death penalty would not be imposed, in part because I am passionately against capital punishment for anyone. But now I believe it will be imposed, unless Jose Baez keeps his mouth shut during the trial.
If he does not speak, Casey may have a fleeting chance.