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30
Apr

nice ramblings

Green

It was a hot day.  A very green day, too.

It’s the weekend – a terrific Saturday evening – and I have waited until now to sit down and write my daily post.  Now, I’m too tired to even begin to write… words just are not coming easily to me right now.

I’ve been organizing today: Under the bathroom sink, kitchen sink, drawers, gathering goodies to give away to the Vietnam Vets group, who kindly come right to the door to take donations.

I was organizing one of the drawers in my coffee table, where I keep all my cards and stationary (thank you notes, and cards for every holiday under the sun), when I came across a hand-made note a friend created for me.

It was a Christmas gift of DVD’s that she’d burned for me and on the outside was her handmade wrapping paper, which also served as a Christmas card.

She’s a poet and an artist and I really like what she’s written, so it’s going to be my post for the day.

This is by my friend Michelle:

No dress rehearsals, this is the show; with rhyme and reason; secrets; and many scenes to go.

Foreigners,

bombs,

love,

food,

wisdom,

dirt,

cells,

narration,

and so very clean; with God, science, and profound beauty all in between.

Thanks once more, Michelle.

29
Apr

no ruling, but a newsy day all the same

Still today there is no word yet on the final Frye ruling in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony.   As you probably have heard by now, the Anthony defense team has suffered major blows to their case as a result of Judge Perry ruling the below evidence will be considered by the jury:

  • The Heart Sticker evidence
  • The Cadaver Dog Alerts for decomposition
  • The Postmortem Banding on hair sample
  • The Stain in the trunk
  • The Chloroform Searches and Amounts
  • Testimony of Dr. Hall on Root Growth

Still waiting for this final ruling….

  • Air Tests to Confirm Presence of Decomposition (Dr. Vass)

The remaining ruling will help the jury realize that in the trunk of the monsters car, laid the body of her own daughter.

Having the science confirm the presence of little Caylee in that trunk will give final credence to the rest of the evidence of decomposition.  The science will bolster Cindy and George’s recollection of the smell (before they changed their thinking and claimed it was garbage), Lee Anthony smelled the smell, law enforcement officials, familiar with the scent of human decomposition, recognized the smell and knew it was Caylee; a Cadaver Dog alerted to the trunk of the car – confirming the presence of the odor, and Simon Burch, at Johnson’s Wrecker Service, knew that smell and stated that it was nothing like the smell of rotting garbage.

Hearing on Monday

There is a hearing scheduled for Monday, May 2.  Perhaps Judge Perry will advise the attorneys when to expect his final ruling on the air tests (testimony of Dr. Vass).

The State requests Transcripts of George and Cindy’s March 2, 3, and 4 Testimony

The testimony in question is related to the Miranda motions and the “Agent’s of the State” motions brought by the defense.  It leaves one to wonder why they are requesting these transcripts, so I’m going to speculate why!  Could it be to set up scenarios of perjury for impeachment purposes?  Or, perhaps it’s to answer the motion written by the Anthony’s attorney in which he requests that the Anthony’s be excused from the witness sequestration rules.  The State my have pinpointed instances in which George is influenced by Cindy’s testimony, or vice versa.

I would expect this Anthony motion will be argued at Monday’s hearing.

The State Adds the Defense’s Doctors

I almost forgot…The State has added the two psychologists that the defense originally wanted to use to ‘splain away the 31 days.

This cannot bode well for Casey Anthony.  Did the two doctors, Drs. Danzinger and Weitz,  reveal to the prosecution that Casey does not suffer from PTSD or a similar disorder?  Did they diagnose her as a Sociopath, or with a similar condition?

Emergency?  Emergency Motion? 

If this is an emergency, we’re all in trouble.

There was a motion proffered on behalf of multiple news organizations to fight the Judge’s rule that news organizations sign a confidentiality agreement with regards to where the Court is going to pick a jury.

By signing the agreement, the news organizations will learn in advance of the location of the jury selection, giving them time to set up and settle in.  The organizations who refuse to sign the agreement?  Well, they are S.O.L., and won’t learn where the jury selection will be held until the proceedings actually begin.

The motion suggests that Judge Perry is violating the First Amendment by curtailing the press in this way.

The motion may be heard on Monday.

Your Homework, Judge

Finally today, one of the news outlets (I can’t recall which one), reported that the Defense filed a memo that had a 97 page Virginia Law Review article attached to it.

The article is entitled:  Invalid Forensic Science Testimony And Wrongful Convictions, written by Brandon L. Garrett, and Peter J. Neufeld (of the OJ Simpson defense team).

I read a bit of the article and it’s purpose is to reveal the errors that over-zealous prosecutors have made in their use of forensics when defense counsel fails to adequately challenge the evidence. The paper discusses this from an innocence perspective and wrongful convictions that have resulted from some error-prone forensic testing.

I agree, this is a terrible problem.  However, I refuse to believe this is the situation in the Anthony trial; the prosecution appears to have done due diligence with regard to their forensic case.

And, to be honest, the defense submitting this document to the court without an argument or memorandum or a motion does little to help their case, in my opinion.

What is Judge Perry to say about this article?  He’s probably already read it!

I would think he’d say, thanks for the article, boys, but what’s the beef?

Kind of silly, huh?

28
Apr

6 down, 1 double down, 1 to go

Justice is in sight.

In the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, six defense rulings have been denied, one has been denied a second time, and one more ruling is waiting in the wings.  And odds are pretty good that this final ruling-showdown will favor the State of Florida, too!

Let’s break it down:

  • The Heart Sticker evidence?  Admissible!
  • The Cadaver Dog Alerts for decomposition?  Admissible!
  • The Postmortem Banding on hair sample?   Admissible!
  • The Stain in the trunk?  Admissible!
  • The Reconsideration of Stain in Trunk?  Denied!
  • The Chloroform Searches and Amounts?  Admissible!

Decided today….

  • Testimony of Dr. Hall on Root Growth?  Admissible!  This was a no-brainer as Judge Perry had previously denied this defense motion and pointed out that this is pure opinion testimony – not relevant for the Frye hearing, though, in an abundance of patience, he allowed it to be argued during the Frye hearings.

And, the one remaining Frye ruling….

  • Air Tests to Confirm Presence of Decomposition.

This last ruling is important because it will be the first time the science has been used in any court in the United States.  This ruling will set precedent and pave the way for other courts to utilize the science to prove the presence of decomposition in air tests.

Just as DNA was in its infancy not long ago, new science emerges and proves beneficial in proving guilt or innocence.

In February 1988, Reporter Kirk Johnson, of the New York Times, writes the following about a case in Orlando, prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton:

Landmark discoveries of the 1970’s in DNA and genetic engineering have begun creeping into the world of the courts and criminal evidence.

In just the last six months, in a handful of courtrooms from New York to Arkansas to Florida, judges have allowed scientific testimony for the first time about blood and serum tests using DNA typing.

In Orlando, Fla., on Friday, for example, a burglary suspect was convicted of rape and assault on the basis of the DNA ”fingerprint” of his blood and semen.

The defense will be able to attack the use of Dr. Vass’ testimony in the trial on the basis of it being an emerging science that is not ready for prime time.  However, Dr. Vass, of the Oakridge National Laboratory, is extremely credible and, as we saw in the Frye hearings, is likely to do well in front of a jury and make the science easy to understand and completely probable.

Also, because a number of people will testify to the smell of decomposition present in the car driven by Casey Anthony, having science also confirm it factually is icing on the cake.

Will this be the Endgame for the Cries of Innocence?

We had Cheney Mason strutting out of the courthouse proclaiming this case would “be fun!”  We heard “innocent” over and over from Jose Baez.  And we even heard criminal Todd Macoluso say, in open court, Casey Antony was innocent, and the defense can prove it.

The Macoluso statement started a firestorm that would not be quieted and the State of Florida demanded the defense produce discovery to substantiate this claim.  So, the defense began to tout how they’d found Texas EquuSearch volunteers who will SWEAR that little Caylee’s remains HAD to be placed in the woods AFTER Casey was in jail, therefore she was innocent!

Well, we know the end of that story.

Judge “Sighting” in Palm Beach!

The media was abuzz today with the “sighting” of Judge Belvin Perry at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.  As a result, the speculation is plentiful that jury selection will occur there, just three hours from Orlando (and one hour from me)!

Many people, myself included, think that Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale), would make the most ideal spot to pick a jury as so many factors fit with Orlando when the demographics are placed side by side.  Broward County, however, would be a problematic place for this case to swoop down upon.  The Courthouse is old and small and the roadways are congested around the courthouse.  If the media descended, it could shut the system down.

Even though I sure hope that Broward County is chosen, my money is on Palm Beach – where the money is, incidentally!

27
Apr

chloroform is in!

Earlier this evening, Judge Belvin Perry, in the State v. Casey Anthony case, issued his ruling that DENIES the defense’s request to block testimony and evidence related to chloroform!

The massive amounts of chloroform detected from the air samples of Casey Anthony’s car, AND the computer searches related to making/using chloroform are ADMISSIBLE!  Read the ruling: Judges Order on Chloroform.

It is important to point out that it was Yuri Melich who contacted Dr. Arpad Vass of the Oakridge National Laboratory, to have this evidence tested!  Judge Perry, in his ruling mentions this fact.

This is one of the reasons why Yuri Melich is so deserved of the America’s Most Wanted All Star Award.  (So, don’t forget to vote for Yuri, and vote every day!)

To say this ruling by Judge Perry is a major blow to the defense’s case is an understatement.  It is gargantuan.

You may recall, the brilliant and personable Dr. Arpad Vass testified for the State of Florida on the issue of using a gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS), instrument in the testing for the chloroform.

The GC/MS instrument has been in use since the 1900’s, and is, you may remember, the very piece of equipment that Jeff Ashton, Assistant State Attorney, had Jose Baez stipulate to when the contempt charges against Mr. Baez were dropped.   The purpose of the stipulation was to avoid argument about the GC/MS being a reliable instrument.

During the Frye hearings, Mr. Baez tried his best to renege on that agreement.  Why?  Because Mr. Baez wanted to malign the procedures used with respect to the MC/MS.

This created a heated battle between Mr. Ashton and Mr. Baez that used up a lot of court time, much to the chagrin of Judge Perry.   (I’m referring to the argument in which Mr. Baez claimed he was tricked by Mr. Ashton into the stipulation, when in fact it was to avoid argument about an instrument and a procedure that was well known and well tested by courts across the country.)

During the Frye hearing, Mr. Baez had what amounted to a “hissy-fit” over this issue, claiming that Mr. Ashton tricked him into signing the agreement to stipulate.  It was an embarrassing display of very bad courtroom behavior by both attorneys, but primarily by Mr. Baez.

Anyway, back to today’s brilliant ruling.

With today’s ruling, a couple of things happened, 1)  The searches for chloroform on the Anthony home computer will come into evidence, 2) Dr. Vass will testify that the level of chloroform evident in the trunk was 10,000 times greater than what is normally found in decompositional events, and 3) The amount of chloroform detected, coupled with evidence of the computer searches for making/using chloroform, speaks to premeditation.

Premeditation.

This story is looking dismal for the defendant, Casey Anthony. Those of us following this case, as a result of studying the discovery, have known all along that this case is insurmountable for the defense.  Anyone associated with the defense team and the Anthony’s are in a severe state of denial and, since day one, have been doing their client no favors.

What can the defense argue now?  Did George Anthony perform the computer searches on chloroform?  I could be mistaken, but I believe that it has been proved that both George and Cindy were working and away from the home during the day and time of the searches, which leaves Casey Anthony as the probable computer user.

With the massive levels of chloroform found and the computer searches, how does the defense argue that little Caylee Anthony died as a result of an accident?  Not possible.

Premeditation.  We knew all along it was premeditation.  Did the defense team read the same material we read?  It’s almost as though they were reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales, or Mary Had a Little Lamb, the way they glossed over and seemingly ignored the evidence.

If only Jose Baez had walked away from this case and let it go to a Public Defender, Casey Anthony may not be looking at the death penalty.

First Degree Murder with Premeditation and aggravating factors causing the death of a beloved child, cries out for the death penalty, based on the law.

Casey Anthony might as well be walking herself straight to death row.

Judge Perry still must submit his ruling on the air tests by Dr. Vass, and the plant growth, argued by botanists.

There is no reason why this evidence will not come in either.

Justice is coming now!

26
Apr

Vote for Yuri Everyday until May 8

Click here to vote for Yuri

Click here to vote!

As you may know, Yuri Melich is one of the eight finalists to win the America’s Most Wanted All-Star award.

Yuri has been consistently in the top 3, and we must ensure he makes it to number one!

We have until May 8th, at midnight, to ensure he wins! 

Although there are eight deserving American Most Wanted finalists, none are as deserving as our candidate!

To vote for Yuri Melich, click his photo above left, or click this URL:  http://www.amw.com/allstar/2011/nominee-detail.cfm?id=9324

Wouldn’t it be a nice tribute if Yuri won?!

Please encourage all your friends to vote!  You may vote once per day, and you’re encouraged to do that!

It was Laurli’s great idea to keep a running tab of the candidates who routinely make it into the top three – so we’ll have an idea of how well the voting is going.

We will keep a record in the comments section……… Thank you!

26
Apr

how sweet it is!

Will the defense team, in the State v. Casey Anthony case, wave the white flag of surrender now?

I cannot resist a little giddiness at the rulings today by Judge Belvin Perry!  After suffering through the horrible propaganda of the 48 Hours Mystery Show, the upcoming In Session hyperbole, and the pompous swagger of Mr. Jose Baez and Mr. Cheney Mason as they boast and posture about nothing these past few weeks, it is poetic justice to see how truth and justice will prevail and drive the defense back into their own conniving corners.

As you have likely heard by now, Judge Perry has ruled on three of the Frye issues before the court; and all were decided in favor of the State of Florida.

As Jackie Gleason would say, “HOW SWEET IT IS!

Let’s look at the rulings each by each!

The Cadaver Dogs – Evidence is Coming In! 

Read the ruling: Cadaver Dogs.   In his ruling on the use of the two cadaver dogs, Judge Perry informs us that these animals are reliable in many situations and the defense did not meet its burden to argue against the admissibility of the canines.  The defense argued that since the dogs could “alert” on any element of a human body – tissue or hair or blood, etc. – it cannot assume that a “body” was present.  The Judge felt that the case law supported his decision. And not only that, because there were two dogs (at the Anthony home) alerting to the same spots in the yard, it supports the reliability of the dogs.

The “Phantom” Heart Sticker – It’s coming In, too!

Read the ruling: Phantom Heart Sticker.   The defense argued that since the outline of the heart sticker can no longer be seen, it cannot be used against a defendant.  Judge Perry says, not so fast as the jury is the trier of fact, and they should be allowed to hear the testimony of Elizabeth Fontaine, the fingerprint examiner, who will testify to the residue in the shape of a heart, that she observed.  The Judge explains it this way:

The defense has presented nothing to establish that the state either intentionally or negligently lost or disposed of evidence or that evidence was unavoidably consumed.  Ms. Fontaine’s testimony would consist of a description of something she observed while she was examining the duct tape for latent fingerprints.  It can be analogized to the testimony of any other eyewitness who is asked to describe an item that is not in evidence.  For example, a witness in a robbery trial would be allowed to describe a weapon he believed the perpetrator was carrying, even if that weapon was not in evidence, or to testify that the perpetrator’s car was red, even if no photograph of the car was in evidence.

The above paragraph is why I am so fond of Judge Belvin Perry!  It makes perfect sense as he described it.  He so simply tells us that just because something no longer exists before our eyes does not mean it was never there.

The Postmortem Banding  – You Got it!  It’s coming in!

Read the ruling:  Postmortem Banding.  Like the evidence of the stain in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car, the smell of death in the car, and the “31 days” of partying, this evidence is a show-stopper.  This is a piece of hair with decompositional banding around and through the hair root, that the jury is likely to conclude came off of the head of a deceased little Caylee Anthony.  Who else could have died in that trunk?

The expert witness, Karen Lowe of the FBI, was very credible, in my opinion and is likely to convince jurors that because of the existence of this hair, the existence of a deceased Caylee Anthony in that trunk can then be concluded.  Judge Perry, in his ruling, explains it this way:

Ms. Lowe’s testimony will assist the jury in understanding the testimony about hair found in the trunk of the Defendant’s car, it is based on scientific principle that has gained acceptance in the particular field to which it belongs, and Ms. Lowe is a qualified expert.  The evidence will be admissible at trieal, so long as the state establishes a proper predicate, and the jury will be entitled to determine the credibility of her opinion, which it may accept or reject. Based on the foregoing, this Court finds that post-mortem root banding is admissible under Frye.

We have not yet heard from Judge Perry on the air test with the detection of chloroform that was discovered by Dr. Vass in the air sample he tested. We have not heard about the root growth issue as yet, either.  Perhaps tomorrow we will learn of these two remaining decisions.

What is a Defense Team to do?

How will the defense team overcome this damning and utterly damaging evidence?  They can try to match the State of Florida’s experts one by one, but if the Frye hearings are any indication of expert excellence, I believe the State of Florida has the upper hand, with an upper echelon class of experts.

Where is that white flag?  Where is the defense “evidence” of innocence that was so often bandied about?  Where is Zanny now?

Every trick, every deceit, every ill-advised movement to displace a judge or disqualify a whole prosecution team has come down to nothing for this defense to hold on to.

What’s in their bag of tricks now?  A little jury tainting, perhaps?  Perhaps, like a Henry Houdini,  they will try to impress via smoke and mirrors – jumping from one dramatic claim to another in an effort to surprise and deceive?

"Handcuff" Harry Houdini, circa 1905. Credit: Wikipedia

Of course, the defense is not obligated to even put on a case, as the State has the burden of proof.  Oh, this defense will put on a case, of course.  However, even Henry Houdini, the great magician and escape artist – known for getting himself out of a lot of hot-water situations, could not escape this sinking ship.

25
Apr

random news today

We waited and we waited and we waited and still no ruling about the Frye motions in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony.

It seems the good Judge Perry is weighing the issues carefully.  After all, if the science from Dr. Vass and the Oakridge National Laboratory is allowed, it will be precedent setting.  Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton was the first to introduce DNA evidence, and may be the first with the odor analysis from the air, too.

Also today, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that George and Cindy Anthony’s attorney filed a motion regarding excluding them from the normal rule of sequestration that most witnesses in a trial have to abide by.  The Anthony’s, since they are next of kin, want to attend the entire trial despite their testimony.    The purpose of sequestration for witnesses is so their testimony will not be colored by the testimony of other witnesses.  It stands to reason this motion will have to be argued, especially because Judge Perry already indicated the Anthony’s may attend after they testify.

Defense Motion in Limine

Today the defense filed another Hail-Mary motion In Limine to exclude evidence or testimony about the “31 days” and “social behavior,” including photo’s that suggest Casey Anthony was partying and having a grand old time.  Click here to read the motion.

Since evidence or testimony about a defendant’s character is inadmissible, the defense makes the argument that Casey Anthony’s “social behavior” during those 31 days is inadmissible as it tends to address character, not consciousness of guilt.

The defense believes that if the jurors hear about the defendant’s actions during those 31 days, they will mistake what is “character” testimony/evidence for consciousness of guilt evidence/testimony.  In short, the defense is arguing that the 31 days proves nothing and the partying photos prove nothing as it relates to consciousness of guilt.

There is no way Casey Anthony’s actions during those 31 days would be inadmissible – her actions speak loudly of consciousness of guilt.  Here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • Not a soul was told of Caylee’s “disappearance”, on the contrary, friends and family were told elaborate stories of Caylee’s whereabouts using Zanny the Nanny – who does not exist – as a cloak.  This is clearly consciousness of guilt as stories were concocted as a cover to avoid detection.
  • Because a deliberate effort was made to flee from her family’s detection, it clearly speaks to consciousness of guilt.
  • The partying during the 31 days could be construed as an effort to act “normal” as if nothing were wrong.
  • Getting a tattoo to convince herself and others that hers was a “beautiful life” despite a missing daughter, was meant to deceive.
  • The stories of the “calls from Caylee” – told to Amy Huizenga, and the detectives – were to convince Amy that Caylee was happy, and to convince the detectives that Caylee was alive but being held by Zenaida.

Needless to say, there are many more examples that the state will use, the most damaging evidence of guilt are those 31 days.   What mother waits 31 minutes when harm comes to their child?  There is no way around it – those 31 days tell the story.

This is easily the most damning evidence, bar none.

Not a chance this Hail Mary is caught at the one yard line.


24
Apr

yuri in top 3 and other easter tidings

I just noticed that yesterday Yuri made the TOP 3 for the America’s Most Wanted All Star Award!!  We have until May 8th (the last day of voting) to ensure Yuri wins and takes the top prize!  Don’t forget to vote everyday!

If Yuri wins, and I think he will, what a wonderful message we will send about our collective appreciation of the work he did, and continues to do, on behalf of Caylee Anthony.

If you haven’t yet voted today, here’s the link:  http://www.amw.com/allstar/2011/nominee-detail.cfm?id=9324

Will Monday bring Judge Perry’s expected rulings?

The Honorable Judge Perry is undoubtedly putting a lot of careful thought into the remaining Frye rulings in the State v. Casey Anthony case.  We recently heard the stain in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car is admissible, and we’re waiting for a ruling on the chloroform levels, the plant growth, the hair banding, the cadaver dog results, and the odor test to verify the presence of decomposition.  We are likely to hear these rulings tomorrow.

In the meantime, Jose Baez is ramping up his TV appearances.  He will appear on the In Session program multiple times in the coming days – what the airing-schedule of the In Session program is, is unknown to me at this time.

Easter Tidings…..

Easter’s Eve was festive at my house!  We celebrated my youngest brother’s birthday, my other brother drove in from Orlando, and we ate and ate and ate!  My spaghetti sauce was a hit!

We colored eggs for Easter; of course I had to get my camera out for THAT occasion!  Here are a couple of our Easter egg coloring pics…

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23
Apr

busy day!

William Shakespeare

It’s a really busy Saturday for me…. in fact, I’m late in getting my act together!  I have to make a pot of my famous spaghetti sauce – yes, this Irish gal can do Italian! It’s my brother’ Tom’s birthday and I am throwing a party for him!

So, this is a short post as I have to begin my sauce, then run to get a haircut, then run home again as guests are coming at 4:00!

Speaking of birthday’s, today is also William Shakespeare’s birthday!

Happy Birthday, Tom and Will!

22
Apr

when all else fails, change the story

It would have been a very Good Friday if Judge Belvin Perry had filed the remaining Frye rulings today.  For a while this morning, WFTV was reporting that, despite it being Good Friday, the Good Judge – the Good Trooper that he is – would actually file his rulings today!   It didn’t happen, of course, but surely we will hear learn Monday about these Frye rulings.

One thing we did learn today: the 48 Hours No Mystery Defense Propaganda Show was not enough press for Mr. Baez.  Now he is scheduled to appear in a soon to be aired In Session segment.

The Defense Team really needs this coverage now – they need to pepper the jurists minds with salacious spin.  Why?  The story must change.

Most people have heard something about this case – generally they’ve heard negative press that goes something like this:  A young woman’s child goes missing for over a month and she parties the whole time and probably killed her own baby.

Jose Baez needs a new story out in the public, and fast.  Will the new story be: A young mother, abused by family members, looses her senses for over a month after learning her family may be responsible for the death of her child? 

Do you think that part of the defense strategy is to get a new story out in the public?

It’s entirely possible.   When truth or evidence fails, inundate the press, taint the jury pool, and twist, twist, twist the truth!    They are already succeeding – many people are aware of the “talk” with regards to George Anthony as reasonable doubt, right?

No matter how reprehensible or hypocritical – desperate times call for desperate measures.

It will be interesting to monitor the press in these last couple of weeks to see what story they are floating.

I’ll keep my eyes and ears open!

Don’t forget to vote for Yuri!  Once a day, every day until May 8th! 

21
Apr

the stain and the stories

We waited with bated breath for news of the promised rulings in the State v. Casey Anthony case.  Then, toward the close of day it was reported that Judge Belvin Perry ruled on only one of the many Frye issues argued in the case.

The Judge is allowing the State of Florida to introduce the stain that was found in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s Pontiac Sunfire.  Why is this so important?  Simply, it shows – proof-positive – that human decomposition happened in the trunk, and it is, presumably, Caylee’s little body in that trunk.

When decomposition occurs, one of its by-products are volatile  fatty acids, which are present in the stain.  In addition, the stain, as we have previously heard, looks as if it’s in the shape of a small child, in a fetal position.  The defense would like to spin this evidence as “nothing” due to the absence of DNA.  The jury will learn that DNA is not present because it also decomposes and cannot be detected.

Judge Perry’s order is short and to the point on this issue.  Click here to read order.

Also today, defense depositions of Tony Lazarro and Amy Huizenga were published.   Click here for Tony’s deposition.  Click here for Amy’s deposition.

These two depositions are interesting to read and are not lengthy.

Tony Lazarro has trouble remembering much of what occurred prior to July 15, 2008.  I believe there is a somewhat important discrepancy in this most recent deposition, however.  I recall that when he was interviewed in 2008 regarding the first time Casey ran out of gas, he said she poured the gas into her car.  He also stated that he did not get very close to her car.  However, in this recent deposition, he thinks, because it would have been a guy thing to do, that he must have poured the gas into the car.  He further stated that he smelled no foul odor emanating from the car.

In his OCSO interview in 2008, he recalled that Casey rushed to pour the gas in her car, presumably to keep him away from her car.  When he was interviewed in 2008, he also did not smell an odor from the car.

In addition, Tony recalls Casey telling him that George Anthony was physically abusive toward Casey, who made George seem like a rough and troubled man.  This plays well with the defense’s plan to show George Anthony in a very bad light.  Tony also discussed Casey’s problems with Cindy Anthony.

When Cindy first arrived at Tony Lazarro’s apartment to pick up Casey, she said to Tony, “I hope you have a lot of money because she will take you for all you have.” This is hardly the Casey that Cindy would like the world to see.

As for Amy Huizenga, her memory is sharp.  She recounts the drive with Cindy to pick up Casey, on July 15th.  Cindy discussed the smell in the car, the fact that she wanted to take custody of Caylee, and that Casey may end up in jail.

Cindy Anthony’s previous stories to the FBI, to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, in her deposition with Morgan and Morgan, and to the media, she portrayed Casey as her best friend; and the perfect daughter.  I wonder if Cindy will admit on the stand, when she’s faced with the truth, the truth about she and Casey’s relationship?

The jury will undoubtedly learn of the volatile relationship between the mother and daughter – Casey’s jealousy, and the physical fight on, or around, June 15th, when, allegedly, a fight erupted between the two and Cindy had to be pulled from choking Casey.

Cindy’s own mother said to an OCSO detective (I’m paraphrasing), that she hoped Casey didn’t hate her mother more than she loved Caylee.

In conclusion, although Cindy has tried from day one, to construct the perfectly loving family facade, it’s all a lie.

Although the family is not responsible for Casey’s actions, Cindy does provide some of the context and the dysfunction for us to better understand Casey’s psychology.

Remember to go to the America’s Most Wanted website to vote for Yuri once a day, every day!

20
Apr

Vote for Yuri for America’s Most Wanted All Star!

Click here to vote for Yuri
Click here to vote!

It’s time to vote for Yuri for the All Star Award (the grand prize) in the America’s Most Wanted competition!

Beginning tomorrow, April 21st, the eight finalists will compete for the big prize. Although there are eight deserving American Most Wanted finalists, none are as deserving as our candidate!

To vote for Yuri Melich, click his photo on the left, or click this URL:  http://www.amw.com/allstar/2011/nominee-detail.cfm?id=9324

Wouldn’t it be a nice tribute if Yuri won?!

Please tell all your friends to vote – starting tomorrow!

You may vote once per day, and you’re encouraged to do that – but, only one time per-person per day, please.

Spread the word….and put it on your “to do” list to vote, vote, vote!

19
Apr

for the sake of reasonable doubt…vroom-vroom!

An interesting Defense motion (click to read), was released today in which the Defense, in the State v. Casey Anthony case, maintains that, in the name of reasonable doubt, the Court should allow the Defense to proffer, at trial, Anthony’s statements to Drs. Danziger and Weitz, mental health experts who recently examined her.

The Defense argues that the contents of these mental health reports include statements from Casey Anthony, that support their theory of reasonable doubt, and therefore should be admissible at trial.

When a defense can offer evidence to support its theory of the case – and it tends to support its claims of reasonable doubt – the Court usually finds it admissible, as courts never want to inhibit evidence that tends to support reasonable doubt.  When the court rules against such proffers of testimony or evidence from the defense, it can be construed as error by an Appeals Court.

HOWEVER…. This situation is completely different.  This is testimony from expert witnesses that the defense wants to use IN PLACE of Anthony’s testimony.  Furthermore, the State had the opportunity to depose these experts, but the defense pulled these witnesses from their case, and the State deposition was halted (presumably something unfavorable to the defense was revealed – we do not know what).  The State may have learned of information that would benefit them, and/or the defense heard testimony that would harm their case, though it’s not clear what transpired.

And now? Well, the defense would like to use the statements that Anthony made to these experts in the trial.  Presumably to explain away the 31 days.   Judge Perry will hardly allow the defense to do this – how can they even dream of using a substitute, unchallenged by the state, to testify for the Defendant??  It won’t happen, despite it being germane to the defense’s theory of reasonable doubt.  The Defense can’t use only what’s “beneficial” to them!

This request is another Hail Mary pass.  It’s the fourth quarter, 15 seconds on the clock, and the ball is in the air.  Oops.  The ball is blocked and caught by the opposing team and….. Touchdown!   (Hail Mary’s are desperate measures by a desperate team.)

The only way the defense will get testimony about those 31 days – when Casey was on the lamb – is to put her sorry self on the stand.  Additionally, the only way the theory of “a pool accident” will come into the trial is to put Casey on the stand.  The only way to support Casey’s claims of doing her own investigation of Caylee’s “disappearance” would be to put her on the stand. The only way to suggest Casey was molested by a family member is to put her on the stand (or the Defense may ask Lee or George if they engaged in this behavior with Casey).

Could Casey Anthony’s testimony create the reasonable doubt the defense needs?  Hardly.

Regardless, the only way the defense can “spin” any of Casey’s stories would be to put her on the stand. But it would be a disaster.  If we see Casey Anthony take the stand, it would mean the defense is throwing its last Hail Mary pass of the game…. and it would be a disaster.

George Anthony = Reasonable Doubt

On the recent 48 Hours No-Mystery Scam Show, Mr. Baez, Cheney, and even Ms. Kenney Baden, would neither deny or confirm that George Anthony was going to be part of their defense reasonable doubt strategy.

After seeing the WKMG Click Orlando video clip (click here for video), that the defense wants to enter into evidence, the signs are pointing to this: 

VROOM-VROOM, smell that diesel fuel?  That’s George being thrown under the bus.

The clip I’m referring is an August 2008 video that shows the Henkel duct tape on a table at the Anthony’s Command Center.

George had access to that duct tape.  George had access to the gas can.  George had access to Caylee, and on and on and on they’ll go to blame George.

These are desperate measures for a desperate defense to destroy an already destroyed George Anthony.

Vroom – Vroom………

Poor George. 

18
Apr

defining reasonable doubt

Reasonable Doubt.  Sounds simple enough, right?  In truth, it can be a tough burden.

I was browsing through the court filings in this case – www.ninthcircuit.org – and came across a Defense motion that objects to the use of the standard Florida jury instruction with regards to reasonable doubt.  It was very interesting.  Here’s the link to the defense document:  WRITTEN OBJECTION TO THE STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTION ON REASONABLE DOUBT

This motion, written by Andrea Lyon and Jose Baez, opposes the standard definition of reasonable doubt.  The defense supplies its proposed verbiage to instruct the jury on reasonable doubt for both the Guilt Phase and the Penalty Phase of the trial and its aftermath.

Before discussing Florida’s definition of Reasonable Doubt, I want to include the definition of reasonable and doubt from my American Version of the Oxford Dictionary to see how we fare in our understanding of the words.

Reasonable: 

adj.1 having sound judgment. 2 not absurd. 3a not excessive; inexpensive. b tolerable; fair.

Doubt:

n.1 uncertainty; undecided state of mind. 2 inclination to disbelieve. 3 uncertain state of things. 4 lack of full proof.  v.1 tr. feel uncertain or undecided about. 2tr. hesitate to believe or trust. 3intr. feel uncertain or undecided.  4 tr.  call in question.

Because the definition both of “reasonable” and “doubt” are subjective, it stands to reason why the court attempts to define it in such as way as “reasonable” people can apply their own ethical thermometer to the amount (or level) of reasonable doubt they apply to the question of guilt or non-guilt.

No doubt every juror comes to the table with their own meaning of reasonable doubt no matter what instruction is provided to them.

Is it reasonable to conclude that what you believe is reasonable and what I believe is reasonable will be as different as day is from night?

In “Taming of the Shrew,” characters Petruccio and Kate argue over this very question!  He says it’s day, she says night.  Are they both wrong?  Are day and night really different?  The sun and moon are different, but it’s still Monday.

What is reasonable?  Every person on the jury will apply their own background, culture, and perhaps educational background to its meaning as they listen to a case.  I did as a juror.  But, when deliberation begins, individual remembrances of the evidence and testimony becomes like a patchwork that’s collectively sewn together into agreement.

Anyway, below is the standard jury instruction that defines reasonable doubt and aggravating circumstances, for the jury:

 Florida’s Standard Jury Instruction in Criminal Cases defines reasonable doubt as follows:

A reasonable doubt is not a mere possible doubt, a speculative, imaginary or forced doubt.  Such a doubt must not influence you to return a verdict of not guilty if you have an abiding conviction of guilt.  On the other hand, if, after carefully considering, comparing and weighing all the evidence, there is not an abiding conviction of guilt, or, if, having a conviction, it is one which is not stable but one which wavers and vacillates, then the charge is not proved beyond every reasonable doubt and you must find the defendant not guilty because the doubt is reasonable.

It is to the evidence introduced in this trial and to it alone, that you are to look for that proof.

A reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant may arise from the evidence, conflict in the evidence, or the lack of evidence.

Proposed Instruction on Reasonable Doubt for Guilt Phase

As I have said many times, the government has the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Some of you may have served as jurors in civil cases, where you were told that it is only necessary to prove that a fact is more likely true than not true.  In criminal cases, the government’s proof must be more powerful than that.  It must be beyond a reasonable doubt.

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced of the defendant’s guilt.  There are very few things in this world that we know with absolute certainty, and in criminal cases, the law does not require proof that overcomes every possible doubt.  If, based on your consideration of the evidence, you are firmly convinced that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged, you must find him guilty.  If on the other hand, you think there is real possibility that he is not guilty, you must give him the benefit of the doubt and find him not guilty.

Proposed Instruction on Reasonable Doubt for Penalty Phase

As I have said many times, the government has the burden of proving each aggravating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt.  Some of you may have served as jurors in civil cases, where you were told that it is only necessary to prove that a fact is more likely true than not true.  In criminal cases, the government’s proof must be more powerful than that.  It must be beyond a reasonable doubt.

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced that an aggravating circumstance exists. There are very few things in this world that we know with absolute certainty, and in criminal cases, the law does not require proof that overcomes every possible doubt.  If, based on your consideration of the evidence, you are firmly convinced that the aggravating circumstance exists, you must find that it exists and give it whatever weight you determine it should receive.  If on the other hand, you think there is real possibility that aggravating circumstance does not exist, you must give the defendant the benefit of the doubt and find that it does not exist.

What’s Next in the Case

This is going to be another interesting week in the State v. Casey Anthony case.  Judge Perry is scheduled to rule on the Frye motions on or before the 21st of April (Thursday). The next status hearing is scheduled on the 21st, too, though I am not aware of the start time.

I predict the State will prevail and everything comes in!

17
Apr

just hype

The CBS 48 Hours Mystery “Only Casey Knows,” was much ado about a lot of nothing.  The defense lawyers did try to make the State’s case seem like a walk in the park for them to overcome, however it was all posturing and fabricated information.  Nothing we haven’t heard before in other press conferences from Baez and Company.

The defense objective was completely transparent:  Make it seem like we have a slam-dunk defense because the state has no evidence, and certainly not enough for a death penalty decision.

No evidence?  That’s right Mr. and Mrs. Average American TV Viewer, this case is a walk in the park for the defense.  The State has NO DNA, no physical evidence, NO evidence of homicide, blah blah blah – same ole’ song – Casey is being railroaded.

Yeah right.

The show, naturally, was slanted only one way, BUT not necessarily toward Casey Anthony’s innocence.  The focus group concluded, the death of Caylee Marie sure may have been an accident.

There we have our defense strategy.  Okay… That’s all well and good, but if Anthony does not take the stand, how does the evidence of “accident” come in?  It doesn’t.

The focus group idea fell flat as far as I am concerned.  How can a focus group decide anything in 4 hours?  Determining guilt is no walk in the park, and with the defense’s jury consultant,  Richard Gabriel, running the focus group, it was clearly a scam.

The show was as transparent as it gets.  The message: The state does not have the goods to convict Anthony of anything other than, if the State is lucky, involuntary manslaughter.

Yeah right, again.

Cheney Mason – made out to be the venerable lawyer in the group – did his very best to pull the wool over the collective eyes of TV land.

Mr. Mason said, “…this is the biggest case with the least amount of evidence I’ve ever seen – anywhere.”

Okay, I will forgive Mr. Mason this, as he is unable to hear what’s going on in the court proceedings.  He is unable to follow what’s going on in the courtroom, therefore he thinks he’s being honest.

There were a number of shots of an office space in which Mr. Cheney and Mr. Baez were working diligently on something or other.  There were shots of Mr. Baez “at work” going in and out of offices. Looking like he’s a busy lawyer.  The “staging” in the show was maddening and ultra fake.

I’ve done quite a few television shows and commercials; I know that it is painstaking to set up a single television shot.  Mr. Baez and Mr. Mason were in a number of shots and each camera sequence would take a minimum of an hour.  I would guesstimate that the time Mr. Cheney and Mr. Baez’ gave to making this episode took probably three days.

Wouldn’t you think if you have a client faced with the Death Penalty, you’d want to spend that time working on your case?

Oh, that’s right, there is no case!  That’s the purpose of the show!  All potential jurors must be told about the slam dunk this case will be for the defense.  Kind of like subliminal messages: Perhaps the defense believes that the more they talk of the State’s case being weak, the more people will accept it as truth, subliminally, or otherwise.

I don’t think this episode did it for the defense.  I always enjoy this program and have found they do a good job with telling most stories.  Not this time. Instead of a coherent story, it was fluff, dramatic music, and hyperbole.

I did notice there seemed to be new pictures of Caylee.  I wonder if there was a new licensing agreement attached to the photos?  Who was paid for the use of the pictures?  Is this funding the defense, or lining the pockets of the Anthony’s?  Is it paying Richard Gabriel’s fees as a jury consultant?  Judge Perry denied the defense funds from the JAC for a jury consultant.  Is Gabriel working pro bono, too?  Hah!  Fat chance.

The show did a nice job on Linda Kenney Baden’s hair and make-up.  She looked very nice, but spoke bizarrely.  Why would she discuss Anthony’s lying about the Nanny?  Why would she say (I’m paraphrasing), “It’s going to be difficult for the jury not to find her guilty of something.” WHAT?!  Now, didn’t that statement completely turn on its head the reason for doing this valentine-love-story in the first place?

Oh, and take note of this:  Mr. Baez told us again that once the case begins, we will learn of the “very compelling reason” for the 31 day time-frame when Anthony was on the lamb and enjoying her beautiful life.

This was communicated only a few days ago when Mr. Baez advised the show “In Session” that during the defense opening statement, the reason for the 31 days will be solved.

Yeah.  Right.

To address the State’s case, Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi spoke, and did provide some balance.  Bondi appeared to have intimate knowledge of the case, and discussed Anthony’s “habitual lies” to which Linda Kenney Baden said:  “She’s a liar.  That doesn’t make her a murderer.”  Not true in this case.

All in all, it was much ado about nothing new.

Hype.  Plain hype in every sense of the word.

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