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the state of the mind excuse

At the end of Thursday’s hearing, there was a discussion initiated by Jeff Ashton asking about the two new witnesses the defense plans to add.  I’m referring to Dr. Jeffery Danzinger (his website), and a Dr. Weitz or Weiss.

Ann Finnel, the attorney charged with representing Casey Anthony in the penalty phase of the trial, which begins immediately after the guilt phase, spoke Thursday of these two new witnesses.  Judge Perry asked Ms. Finnel what these witnesses will bring to the defense case.  She waffled a little, then said, “State of Mind”.  The Judge asked, “whose state of mind” (I bet he was thinking of Jose Baez!!!).  Ann Finnel said to the Judge, “Ms. Anthony’s.”

Of course the Casey Anthony defense is not a “mental health” defense, never has been.  So, why at this late date would the defense entertain this?

Judge Perry stated that when he hears “state of mind” he thinks:  “diminished capacity.”  Ann Finnel advised the Court it was not about claiming diminished capacity.

Apparently the opinions of these two psychiatrists only became available to the defense recently, which is why the late notice to the court and to the State.  Ann Finnel promises to have the reports to both the Judge and the State on Monday.

So what is this about?

As far as I am aware, when you talk about “state of mind” it would go to Casey Anthony’s behavior.  But, what behavior is the big question.

Ms. Finnel said these two doctors were being planned on the penalty phase only, but as a result of the opinion they’ve given, they have decided to add them to the guilt phase.

Could the state of mind question lead back to the “ugly coping” that was bandied about for a while?  If so, will they try to white-wash the party girl image, the tattoo loving thief?  Good luck with that.

Perhaps the state of mind question will apply to the murder (or accident – if the defense goes with the pool accidental drowning), and attempt to explain away Casey’s behavior right after the death?

Will they claim that mentally she was able to almost disconnect from herself in an effort to deny Caylee’s death?  Well, that’s all well and good, but she sure did go to great lengths to hide Caylee’s little body.  She dealt with that aspect for a few days.  She knew what she was doing.

Is the defense going to attempt to explain, via these doctor’s, that Casey is indeed innocent, but her mental capacity to accept the trauma of her daughters death did not allow her to deal with it, hence the cold and callous demeanor?

I bet that’s what they will try to do!  Like Casey, Baez will never allow Casey’s guilt to be discussed.

It’s too late now for a mental health defense, though that would have been the clearest choice to defend her, so it will be interesting to learn how in the world the defense will deal with state of mind at this late date.

I really do doubt an attempted explanation of any kind of mental defect would change a jury’s state of mind regarding this crime.

Wouldn’t change mine. Would it yours?

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