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Oct

jail video release – the First Amendment wins

The jail video within a jail video released yesterday?   It is much ado about nothing, as far as I’m concerned.

The video of a jail video is much ado about nothing

It’s hardly even distinguishable anyway.

The jail was unable to extricate the original file from their video player, so a video of that video was shot, hence the grainy appearance.

This is the video that had originally been ordered under seal by Judge Stan Strickland, he believed it may have been prejudicial to potential jurors in the case.  The prejudice would lie in how it would be interpreted and debriefed in the public and in the media prior to trial.   That was certainly a valid concern for Judge Strickland.

The fact is, on its face, the video could be translated as a picture of a grieving mom just learning that her daughter’s remains have been found. Or, it could be positioned as a consciousness of guilt.  If a jury had information about how the reaction to the Blanchard Park discovery of bones elicited no reaction, this juxtaposed non-reaction may have been harmful  to the defense, maybe.

The State of Florida chose not to use this video tape.   I tend to think there was too much baggage with it since they’d have to put Robyn Adams (convicted felon and Casey jail friend), on the stand to discuss Casey’s reaction to Blanchard Park.  Putting Robyn on the stand may have been a risk the State didn’t want to take.   I believe the State was confident in the case they laid out.   Were they a bit too confident?  I don’t know.  I do know I admired the work they did.

The video had to be released.  Judge Belvin Perry had no choice, really.  Jose Baez’ argument about the HIPPA violation was a long-shot, and I’m sorry it didn’t work for him.  But, Judge Perry did what he needed to do – uphold the Bill of Rights – the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The video is just sad, in my opinion.  Its release does nothing more than pick at an old scab – opening it up and pouring salt on it.

Why do that to ourselves?

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