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January 7, 2011


another motion doesn’t pass the smell test

by Andrea O'Connell

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.

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 7 2011

    Thanks for the update, Andrea! I was offline most of the day and missed hearing this!!

    Great work!

  2. Jan 7 2011

    Thanks, Kim! That’s so funny – I was just leaving you a comment on your blog as you were typing here! I am holding out my heart to you but know that you will be in fine fettle come February,.

    • Jan 7 2011

      lol – we are on a wave length I guess!

  3. Jan 7 2011

    Andrea, I must admit that I got quite a chuckle as I read the very last of your post. I often wonder if Baez secretely wishes that Casey will fire him. He is not allowed to withdraw from the case unless he has some dire medical issue wherein he couldn’t practice law anywhere. No attorney wants to lose a case, especially a high profile one. I often wonder if this was the real reason Lyon and Kenny Baden high tailed it out of there.
    I think Judge Perry turned down the motion for the simple reason, Baez did not put enough effort into writing that motion to seal the penalty phase discovery. He should have cited some case laws in that motion. This seems to be how he has been handling alot of the motions lately. He writes them up in hurry and they do not carry any weight.

    I honestly do not think that Casey will receive the death penalty. I think Ann Finnell will bring up enough mitigating circumstances to show that Casey was driven over the edge. JMO

    • Jan 7 2011

      Hi Mainstreetfair! Thanks for posting here! 🙂

      Oh, I hope you’re right that the death penalty won’t be imposed! And, yes, I think that Ann Finnell will do a decent job, I really do. However, I fear that in the penalty phase, since Casey will never acknowledge that she had anything to do with the death of Caylee, the jurors may be inclined to not care about any mitigating circumstances, If the jurors believe the prosecutors that the manner of death was especially heinous, they may find in favor of the aggravators….

      I read an opinion of a lawyer who was talking about Andrea Lyon. He said that there is no doubt that she KNEW Casey was responsible for the crime, and she was afraid she would not prevail in the decision in this case. Apparently, she has never lost a death penalty fight, and she sure as heck didn’t want to fail so big and so publicly as she would if she lost in this case. So she essentially wanted to quit while she was still ahead….
      Can’t blame her.

  4. Rob
    Jan 8 2011

    Hi Andrea, Bumbling Baez doesn’t need to substantiate his reasons with case law. Does’t the judge realizes his client is “special”, and so is he! When will he learn that he needs to turn this case over to Mason, or another attorney with the common sense to realize a persons life is at stake? Casey doesn’t have one member of her family or a friend who cares about her, to discuss the reality of where her case is headed. Baez has cut her off from all family, and friends. She needs to realize she needs someone to give her a perspective on what is really going on. I believe Casey did murder Caylee. However, she is entitled to a proper defense.

    • Jan 8 2011

      Hi Rob,
      Boy, I couldn’t agree with you more! The crux of this issue is the mockery that this defense counsel is making of criminal defense as a whole. There is a spot light on this case, it’s too bad that the country is seeing criminal defense at its worst.
      It’s really unfortunate that Casey Anthony doesn’t realize that her very life is at stake here… I try to reconcile that in my mind – the fact that she’s in la la land with regards to her very fate, and I think….perhaps this is all a manipulation of the system? Maybe the purpose of this nonsense (and her defense is nonsense!) is to hold this case up in the courts for years? There’s no question that someone, somehow, after she’s convicted, will convince her to appeal this case based on incompetent defense – I do think that’s a given….So, is this whole case, this crazy exercise, just a forced dress rehearsal for the retrial? I don’t know why else Jose Baez continues in this case. It’s just crazy otherwise. He’s one of the worst lawyers I have seen, and yet he’s trying one of the most publicized cases in the country right now, with the death penalty no less!
      You know what, although Casey is not being tried via an insanity defense, this case is proving she indeed is insane to stick with Jose and put her very life in his hands….

  5. weezie
    Jan 8 2011

    OMG Andrea. Looks like you took your mad pills today. I know that if Baez stepped aside as the lead Defence Lawyer, that would no doubt come out in the trial or atleast the jurors would know about that. In and of itself, that would spell guilt. We are stuck with him no matter what, unless he gets run over by THE boat! We should keep in mind that there are legal people in Baez’s office who are likely doing these writeups. However, he is not demanding enough research when it comes to these motions. It’s pretty evident his staff is floundering. It’s not like he sits at his desk doing that kind of work. Don’t you know he has to keep up with his golf? Anyway, I think we are just all getting fed up with the horseplay, and would like to see better lawyering on the Defence side of the room. Maybe they are saving it for the trial? You never know. I’m still flumexed about Casey never looking at her Mom and why George isn’t around. Anyone got any gossip?

    • Jan 8 2011

      Yup, I do let myself get mad because it’s just a joke that they are spending so much money to NOT defend Casey Anthony because she has no defense! Instead of trying the case on its merit, the defense throws people like Roy Kronk into the ring to be bullied and battered. And, I listened to a radio show today in which they were discussing how Dominic Casey, when he was working for the Anthony’s and/or Baez, wanted to incriminate Jesse Grund. I think this type of defense work is immoral and unethical and I hope, if Baez is involved in anything devious or immoral, he gets disbarred.

  6. weezie
    Jan 8 2011

    P.S. Andrea, my gravatar is back, thanks!!!!

    • Jan 8 2011

      Yay your gravatar is back home to you safe and sound!

  7. weezie
    Jan 9 2011

    Andrea; was that on Blog Talk Radio?

    • Jan 9 2011

      Hi Weezie,
      yup, it was on blog-talk radio. I should post the link….will have to find it!


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