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May 12, 2011

26

day 4 provides a WOW factor!

by Andrea O'Connell

Today is day 4 of the voir dire process in the State v. Casey Anthony, and it has been fascinating!!

The Defense, the State, and the Judge had an opportunity to engage potential jurors in a dialogue and pepper them with questionss pertaining to pre-trial publicity, the death penalty, as well as general questions regarding their individuality, their views and thoughts on various subjects relating to the case.

There were quite a few interesting revelations today.  The most interesting information, in my view, had to do with the questions asked by Defense Attorney, Ann Finnel, who is fighting to save Casey’s life.

Ms. Finnel advised each potential juror questioned today that, if there is a penalty phase, they will be considering mitigating circumstances about an appropriate sentence for Ms. Anthony. The jurors, Ms. Finnel advised, may choose to sentence Casey either to death, or to life, without the possibility of parole.

And mitigating circumstances, Ms. Finnell advised, are to be weighed against aggravating factors, if they are proved, in consideration of the appropriate sentence to apply in this case.

Ann Finnel, Casey Anthony - Photo credit: Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel

Some of the mitigating circumstances Attorney Finnel mentioned are:

  • Lack of maturity
  • History of sexual abuse
  • Being a pawn of her parents
  • a scapegoat used for parental misconduct
  • a good student, employee, and jail detainee
  • age
  • insufficient brain development
  • dysfunctional family
  • verbal and emotional abuse

One of the defense attorney’s asked a juror if they ever had something so bad happen to them they never shared it with anyone?  Of course, one could assume, this is what will be alleged as it relates to Casey’s experience either with her father, brother, or both.

Another defense attorney asked a potential juror if they knew of anyone who was a victim of sexual assault and were afraid to report it.   This is allegedly going to fit Casey’s experience.

What is unclear at this time has to do with how in the world will the defense get any of this information before the jury without putting Casey on the stand?

Will Casey take the stand and present any of this information?  It would be foolish, of course, but they may have to do it.  Regardless, the factors that Ms. Finnel revealed today appear to be the mitigating information that will be proffered in the penalty phase.

Questions about pre-trial publicity were revealing.  It appears that, of those questioned today, most seemed to know only cursory information about the case. Some knew more than others, but all asserted they would be able to put aside any preconceived notions about guilt or innocence and listen to the law as Judge Perry provides it during the trial.

All of the potential jurors promised they could be fair and impartial, setting aside what they have heard previously.

What I found absurd and disingenuous were the questions raised by Cheney Mason and Jose Baez regarding pre-trial publicity.  Even though these potential jurors did not know either lawyer, the fact that these two contributed to the pretrial publicity and are part of the problem, does seem like a scene right out of the Theatre of the Absurd.

It appeared dishonest to me and I was momentarily disgusted, as I believe Mr. Baez and Mr. Mason have harmed their own client with their pronouncements to the media.

Casey Anthony, Rosalie Bolin. Photo Credit: Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel

Jose Baez was personable today when speaking to the potential jurors but he has a problem with allowing his personal opinions to infect what he says and does in the courtroom.  For instance, when referring to Nancy Grace’s show, he called it, “The Nancy Grace Entertainment Show.”

There was some annoying gamesmanship displayed by Mr. Baez, though the potential jurors wouldn’t have noticed, I sure did!

Phoning Death Row

In addition, there is a new addition to the Defense cast list.  I’m referring to Rosalie Bolin, a mitigation specialist working on the case.

Ms. Bolin is married to Oscar Ray Bolin, Jr., who is currently on Florida’s death row.

Apparently, Ms. Bolin left both her marriage with a well-established Tampa attorney, and her children, to marry Oscar Ray Bolin, Jr.  She and her death-row husband were married in an over the phone ceremony.  I wouldn’t think a marriage over the phone would be legal.  Maybe they used a video hook-up?

Oscar Bolin is on death row in the Starke Prison; Ms. Bolin lives in Gainsville, Florida. They were married in 1996.

News like this just makes me say, “huh?”

Although, I will say in defense of Ms. Bolin, who may have a very strange personal life, she is reportedly an effective advocate against the death penalty.  Therefore, it’s fair to reserve judgement given her advocacy against the death penalty.

Smell this?

Another interesting tidbit of information came from Asst. State Attorney Linda Drane Burdick.  Ms. Burdick explained to a potential juror that the State will ask jurors to smell what decomposition smells like.  Judge Perry later asked Ms. Burdick to explain what she had up her sleeve with regards to asking jurors to use their “sniffers.”

Ms. Burdick and Asst. State Attorney Jeff Ashton then explained.  It seems the State Attorneys would like jurors to be able to make their own distinction between the smell of garbage, and the smell of decomposition.

Judge Perry told the State Attorney’s that jurors are not witnesses, and must not be treated as such.  The State must find case law that would support such a thing using jurors instead of witnesses.  Judge Perry will not be easily persuaded to allow this to occur, unless they can lay a strong foundation supported by case law.

Friday and Saturday…. More of the Same

The voir dire will continue tomorrow and Saturday – until the process is complete – as Judge Perry is firm in his commitment to begin opening statements next Tuesday.

I don’t know about you, but I am so appreciative to have the opportunity to watch this process unfold.  It is absolutely fascinating to see the system work like this!   From what I have heard from the potential jurors, Casey Anthony is going to have an excellent panel.

Clearly, this phase of the trial is the most critical and important piece.  And, if you were not able to see any of the voir dire today, check it out because you’ll understand what makes the jurors tick as the clock ticks down to opening statements!

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26 Comments Post a comment
  1. May 12 2011

    Hi Andrea
    Just wanted to drop this off. This is Finnell in the sneaky mod thinking she could pull a bunch of questions off over the heads of the prosecutors. Claiming she asked these to the first juror, which she did not!

    She kept asking, the State kept objecting, and the Judge kept sustaining, until he put a halt to the sneaky ole award winner:

    Do you have any thoughts on what purpose the death penalty serves?
    Do you believe the death penalty is imposed to often, not enough?
    Do you think it takes too long to execute?
    Does it cost more to kill somebody or imprison them?
    Do you think the death penalty is a successful deterrent to crime?

    Reply
    • May 13 2011

      Good Morning, Humble! Thank you for this clip…. LOL! Yes, she was being sneaky – I see what you mean. But, you know, I can excuse her for doing that because I know exactly what she’s attempting to do – she want’s an emotional reaction from the prospective juror on the death penalty. She is a huge advocate for life without parole, sparing the accused from the ultimate penalty. I can forgive her any kind of sneaky attempts to save Casey from the needle. I am one of those people who cannot accept the death penalty ever. I think it’s wrong in every respect – I have always thought so, and I’m really unequivocal about it! I’d be one of the bleeding hearts with regards to this question!

      With that said, however, I don’t think it’s right for Baez, Cheney, or Sims – who are working on the guilt phase – to be sneaky as I find them to be dishonest many times….

      Anyway, thanks again so much! That was so nice of you. 🙂

      Reply
  2. May 12 2011

    The questioning was way too long per juror. i don’t believe that half of these questions are necessary. I strongly believe that we won’t see the trial start next Tuesday.

    Ms. Bolin? She ranks right in there with Todd Macaluso and Todd Black in my book. I can’t respect her no matter how anti-DP she is. What she did to her daughters! And to marry a repeat murderer and rapist? Ugh! The Anthony case is perfect for her.

    Reply
    • May 13 2011

      Hey Sherry, Yessirree, Ms. Bolin, Todd Macaluso and Todd Black are likely cut from the same cloth. Isn’t it strange that this case attracts these folks – or, maybe it’s Mr. Baez who attracts these types?!! He’s like the Pied Piper of Rehabilitation for the wayfaring, or those on the lamb! LOL!

      Well, they say she’s good at what she does…. she’s just compromised personally,I guess is the nicest way to put it! 🙂 It’s mighty bizarre, to say the least…. She’s gotta be nuts…

      Reply
    • kas
      May 13 2011

      Sherry: I read that she worked for Todd at one point; I kid you not!!!

      Birds of a feather…….

      Reply
      • May 13 2011

        I guess so! 😕

      • May 13 2011

        I read earlier that the marriage she has to the serial murderer works for her because she couldn’t stand to have a man around all of the time. 🙄

  3. LongbranchLady
    May 12 2011

    It would seem to me that if Baez brings up that the car trunk smell was garbage then he would be opening the door for the defense to counter the argument by saying “this is what the trunk smelled like. Does that smell like old pizza and Velveeta cheese to you?” I know I’ve watched court room dramas on TV where the prosecution can’t use information or evidence unless someone “opens the door” to that evidence.

    Reply
    • May 13 2011

      Hey Longbranch Lady, That is an excellent point! However, I don’t think the Judge is going to be swayed in this argument of having the jury smell the difference (I could be wrong, however, as the State may argue that smell should be treated the same as any of the other 5 senses: Sight, hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting. And, in his ruling, the judge did say that people can recognize certain smells… they may use his argument for their benefit, but I doubt they will prevail, as the judge is adamant about NOT using the jurors as witnesses!

      Reply
      • CptKD
        May 13 2011

        Question:

        If the Jury in the State v. Phil Spector Trial was taken on a tour of the Phil Spector home, in order to see the ‘Estate’ grounds, the front fountain, along with WHERE in the home, the SCENE of the CRIME took place….

        Why couldn’t these Jurors, that will be seated on the State v. Inmate Anthony trial, be taken to SEE the CAR, (Or the Car brought to them) where it is believed that the body of Caylee Marie rested at some time during the makings of this CRIME?

        And due to it being somewhat of a task to take the Jury out of the Court to visit a SCENE of sorts, then perhaps the CAN with the Carpet Samples could be used in lieu of, should the DEFENCE continue to cry GARrr-BAGggge!

        If Arpad Vass jumped back two feet upon opening it, then I believe it stands, that this should be a form of evidence, and then should further be ALLOWED to be experienced or VIEWED by the Jury.

        And if HHJP won’t allow them to ‘handle’ the stench from that can, then I firmly believe that the State should argue that they take the Jury to the CAR!

      • May 13 2011

        Hey CptKD…. I wondered the very same thing! I don’t doubt the car still stinks today. When a rat crawled up into my car and died it smelled so badly that when I brought it to the dealership, they told me the smell would never go away. State Farm inspected the car and demanded it be completely totaled. I loved that car, too!

        I wonder how this will play out!

      • May 13 2011

        O.H. Eaton explains about the jury smelling the decomp in the can:

        http://www.youtube.com/weshtv#p/u/2/WiVCOCAJNiI

        I was one who wanted to see the jury get to smell the air in that can if they could opt out of sniffing it but, after listening to the reason why it can’t be done, I understand why its a bad idea. I heard that Ashton did find case law to present to HHJP about the allowing of the jury to smell it.

  4. Linda
    May 13 2011

    Hi Andrea, First I want to say that Ms Bolin fits right in with the defense team, She herself made all the rounds on the talk shows, I think she was even married to her convict husband on one of them. They all make me sick. I don’t think they are going to put Casey on the stand, but are going to grind Jesse Grund on what Casey told him about being molested..She also told tony and her jailhouse friend, trust me thats where they are going… Thats what sociopaths do, they look for pity and attention, and it also alienates them from her parents..Did you notice Cindy never had a phone number for any of her friends? If Cindy didn’t find Amys phone number in Caseys car, she would of never found Casey.. Cindy didn’t even know Tony. As far as Baez asking jurors if they watched Nancy Grace Entertainment show, he must of forgotten that he was on her show at least 3 or 4 times.. He is such an A$$hat….. One more thing, If Baez is going to claim it was an accident and Casey was too afraid of her parents to tell them or anyone else, how is he going to explain to the judge and the state about all the money the state paid out to him to investigate all the TES people, not to mention a lot of other people? Thats what I like about you Andrea, your such a good listener..LOL

    Reply
    • May 13 2011

      Hi Linda… That’s right!!!! They will get some of this info from Jesse Grund, and a number of other witnesses who were interviewed regarding their experience with Casey’s episodes of coming unhinged. Her seizure when Jesse was with her may be used, too…..

      LOL, I was thinking the same thing… how dare Baez try to make fun of Nancy Grace – he was happily on that show many times! That’s the kind of hypocrisy that just gets under my skin.

      Reply
    • kas
      May 13 2011

      And then there’s ALL that computer research she did in preparation for the accident. Oh, that’s right. It could of been anyone…..sure Jose.

      Reply
  5. May 13 2011

    As for KC getting sick yesterday, I don’t buy it. She could have been faking a panic attack, I say faking because Sociopaths don’t have that kind of anxiety, or any anxiety for that matter as far as what I have read, and she does fit EVERY symptom of a Sociopath.

    As for that Bolin woman, notice how they brought her in at the Jury selection and not before? Jurors will never know about her sordid life, which would lead to instant disrespect in my book. Wasn’t her Mitigation specialist Ms. Barrett? What happened to her? Did she jump ship too, like that Gabriel Jury consultant dude, and many other lawyers before him too?

    As for the Defense getting ready to throw her family under the bus…I hope they do sue.

    I don’t think a defendant should be present during jury selection, I would freak out if she was staring me down like she’s been doing to those jurors, SO CREEPY. And what about the courtroom rules (decorum)? KC’s been doing all kinds of facial expressions and head nodding, I thought you can’t do that in court, why is she getting away with it?

    I see Baez and KC haven’t made up from their lovers quarrel, still not talking today, shame on them.

    Thanks Andrea for your wonderful blogs!!!

    Reply
    • May 13 2011

      Hey MMB! yes, I thought they had another mitigation specialist, too though I wasn’t aware of his/her name. I guess the defense is getting her at a good price – probably free – and couldn’t pass her up 🙂
      And, like I read, she’s pretty good at what she does, so maybe they weighed the bad versus the good in using her and felt she’d bring more good to Casey… heck, who knows. The fact is, she’s nuts but hopefully is effective to help get Casey away from the needle….

      Now MMB…. A defendant MUST be present when a jury is picked…. the judge will continue without the defendant, if she’s ill, but it is her right to see those folks who will judge her. The defense attorney’s speak for her, so if she were not present for some of it, it would be allowed, but I don’t think for one minute the law allows her to be absent for the majority of voir dire.

      🙂

      Reply
      • May 13 2011

        Thanks Andrea for that info that a defendant must be present during Jury Selection, can someone keep her from doing the evil stare down to each juror?

      • May 13 2011

        LOL! Good question! She’s surely not putting her best face forward, is she?!

    • May 13 2011

      Great comment, MMB!

      I will say that sociopaths do have panic attacks as I have a sibling who is sociopathic who suffers from it.

      Linda, you are right about the sociopath wanting sympathy-they seem to thrive on it. They will make a victim of you with their lies and slander just so they can get someone’s pity. Life has to be one big soap opera for them with them as the star of the show.

      Reply
      • May 13 2011

        Thanks Sherry for that info – I always thought socio’s don’t have fear, I watched a program with a psychiatrist defining sociopaths and he said if the sociopath takes a different path toward good, and not evil, and do things with there life like become fighter pilots, SWAT, police officers, soldiers, firefighters, etc. they contribute greatly in society, because they have no fear and do wonderfully in these positions. That’s what the Psychiatrist said anyway.

      • May 13 2011

        I’d believe it! They may be the ones with the saviour complex. But I do know that aside from their arrogant/”confident” attitudes, many socios are full of fears and insecurities. The one I’m related to will bring others down to lift himself up and if you don’t do what he wants you to then you are a no good human being. The way he treats others is that they are expendable unless he needs your support. How many times he has laid on me the guilt trip, “But I’m your brother!” Casey isn’t much different than my sibling, even to a volatile temper. He has trained to be a firefighter, a sports injury therapist, a nurse, and has run many a marathon for good causes. He does none of those vocations due to severe panic attacks. They hit him for absolutely no reason at all-no stressors, that is. If it weren’t for his aggressive behaviour he’d be a great bro! I do love him but I just can’t stand to be around him.

  6. May 13 2011

    A far as her being ill or whatever her problem was. She could of been hyperventilating. I did that once while in the Hosp. And my hands went numb and so did my legs. I couldn’t move them. I felt like I was tied down and everything went numb. She seems to panic when Judge Perry is reading the crimes against her. She can’t face the truth. She will not fair well during this trial I am afraid. But it’s all an act haha.

    Casey is a GREAT ACTRESS! He$$ she walked LE all the way down a hallway at Universal and spun around like a ballerina and said. “OOPS I don’t really work here” paraphrasing of course.

    Reply
  7. jon
    May 13 2011

    Hi Andrea: I thought last night that the A’s are still spoiling Casey.. She won’t see them, her team is evidently considering throwing them under the bus, but yet Cindy goes to to the jailhouse and leaves money for Casey’ commissary account and from what we know is providing her with her outfits for her court appearances. When arethey going to smarten up and just stop this? Let her come into the courtoom in a prison jumpsuit. Once of those stylish orange things. She’s still a spoiled brat.

    Reply
  8. Whistlersmother
    May 13 2011

    Andrea, I am right there with you to be able to see this justice system tick. Even Jose Baez is picking up some tips. This trial is going to be something else, I am shaking my head thinking about how George is laying on the ground waiting for them to run over him. I do not think this will work AT ALL, but hey what do they have to use. Dysfunctional family, disgusting….we all have that in our lives and it does not make one bit of difference that she premeditated this murder and applied duct tape to her child’s mouth and left her to rot in the trunk while she played house with her boyfriend. She is not mentally ill , she is a sociopath and a narcissist. Which explains why she only cares about herself and cries when something bad is going to happen to HER!

    Reply
  9. Addie
    May 14 2011

    OMGosh ! I “googled” Rosalie Bolin after reading this and what I read was UNREAL, to say the least ! From what I read her reputation goes waaaaaaaay back, but not until she met and married Oscar Bolin did it appear to get “twisted” . I hate to prejudge, but this woman sounds like a duplicate of KC. Strange, very strange that it would be this particular woman that DT chose to work with them. Plus, apparently she doesn’t work cheap.

    Reply

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