show cause or else be in contempt
Today, in the case against Casey Anthony, Prosecutor Jeff Ashton filed a motion asking that Jose Baez show cause for why he should NOT be held in contempt of court for failing to submit documentation to the State and to the Court with regards to the upcoming Frye hearings.
Let’s start at the beginning of this fiasco. As you know, during a February 7th court hearing, and memorialized in this order from the Judge, the Defense was given deadlines to submit expert witness reports, AND they were told to submit to the Court and the State a motion that specifies what aspect of the science in the Frye hearings they will object to, i.e. challenge.
Jose Baez had previously submitted a rambling motion with regards to the exclusion of chloroform as well as submitting a motion requesting the exclusion of decomposition odor. The Defense motions, says Jeff Ashton, are too vague and non specific as to what scientific evidence Baez wants to challenge.
The chloroform and the subject of decomposition odor are only two of the Frye items to be heard March 23, 24, and 25.
The Court ordered that the Defense submit what they intended to object to in the Frye hearings. That deadline was February 17, 2011, and of course the Defense filed nothing.
Jeff Ashton, in his Motion for Rule to Show Cause points out that the State is hampered in its work as a result of the Defense not complying with court orders/procedures. Therefore, the State requests that Jose Baez show cause as to why he should not be held in contempt of court for failing to comply with the Court ordered deadline of February 17th.
It is difficult to fathom what is going on here. This is a very simple and straight forward Court order. As Jeff Ashton wrote, the Court’s order uses “clear and unambiguous language”.
Is Jose Baez ignoring this order and claiming to not understand it because he wants to fall back on his old trick of blind-siding his opponent in court? Or, is this a situation where Mr. Baez is so out of his league with regards to the science, or with regards to understanding Frye, that he is incapable of knowing what to object to and how to object?
Will the Judge charge Baez with contempt for being too inexperienced to understand what he’s supposed to do? Will ignorance be the cause? Will Baez or Mason literally stand up before the court and say they do not understand?
I am not sure what to think at this point, though I tend to think that it is simply ignorance at play here and it is incredibly sad. A life is on the line in this case.
When Baez is asked by Ashton when and if he filed his response, Baez seemed confused and didn’t understand what he was supposed to do – as if he’s in college and doesn’t understand or know how to do his homework.
After his discussion with Ashton, in which Ashton attempted to clarify the order, Baez went ahead and sent an email in which he throws Mr. Mason under the same bus that’s running over him. Baez suggests in the email that Mr. Mason – the supposed venerable attorney – is also confused. Perhaps Baez believes that if Mason is also confused it will lessen the impact?
Baez writes to Judge Perry’s Judicial Assistant the following email:
We are a bit confused. Mr. Ashton just asked me about my objections to Frye. When I read order from the status hearing. I understood it to mean that if we were objecting to anything not in our motion that it should be in writing, that was also my understanding as to what was discussed at the status hearing. I have also discussed the matter with Mr. Mason and he is just as confused if not more. Our objections are clearly laid out in our motions. If I had any other objections I would raise them after reading the State’s response but they have not filed one yet. If the Court is requesting that we do something additional we would like to be heard in chambers to clear up the matter. Otherwise I think the logical choice would be to wait until the State files their response, so that we can be even more specific as to the issues to be heard.
But, the State HAS filed its objections to the Defense’s motions! The are out there on the Ninth Circuit Court of Florida website as clear as day! If a non-lawyer blogger can figure this out, surely Mr. Baez and Mr. Mason can, too.
Could it be that the scientific evidence is too far over the heads of Mr. Baez and Mason? If so, how in the world do they intend to try this case? Is it possible they do not understand the scientific evidence and therefore do not know what to object to or how to object? Are they so far behind in their preparation of this case that they have no understanding of what scientific evidence or testimony will be presented? How in the world can this happen?
Do you see the pattern evolving here? Is the Defense setting its sights on a mistrial? Sometimes after a mistrial, the defendant is able to be bonded out. I wonder if this is what they’re up to?
This simply blows my mind.