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Posts tagged ‘Anthony Trial’

17
Jun

I’m still here!

I know, I know…. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve popped in to blog – I even missed the last two Weekly Photo Challenges…. Horrors!  I plan to do those momentarily.

I’m having this battle with myself about taking time to blog.  I feel guilty taking the time when I have so much work to do….  I’m working from home now – doing Instructional Design consulting.  Yeap.  I took the plunge to work for myself!

I’m working on a website and two business blogs right now – it’s a huge task.  I have them all set to go as far as how they look and feel, but still developing the content, which is the major task.

I haven’t been following the Casey Anthony goings-on, but have heard that a movie, based on Jeff Ashton’s book,  is in the works.  Good for him!  I’m glad he’s doing so well.

I heard through the grapevine that Jose Baez has a book out, or has one coming out – I’m not sure which it is.  I’d venture to say few people will want to read it.  What can Jose Baez say other than “I told ya’ so!” (Which no one in their right mind believed was possible at the time.)

It still floors me.  We all thought, no way can such an inexperienced trial lawyer win that case!   Hah!  He did it.  We all wore eggs on our face after that, big time.

I’m amazed that the Casey Anthony story continues to generate news!  It’s so crazy!  I get Google-Alerts on the topic of Casey Anthony and it never fails that EVERY day, somewhere – someone is talking about something related to that trial.  It seems to be a foregone conclusion that little Miss Beautiful Life is going to have a perpetual OJ Simpson-like reputation for life.

Well, life goes on, doesn’t it? It doesn’t change much, but it goes on!

Here’s a little gift from me:

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1
Mar

the path of happiness is measured by human kindness

So the Academy Awards are decided.  I enjoyed the show and agree with the outcomes.  I don’t care about the fashion or the best or worst dressed – everyone was beautiful as far as I’m concerned.

But, I’m so sorry that a wonderful, wonderful film was not on the award list. The wonderful movie, Happy, (thehappymovie.com), may not be Academy Award material, but it’s material that says a great deal about the meaning of life.

Happy is a documentary about the meaning and the search for happiness. When I saw the film recently, it reaffirmed for me that the path toward happiness is measured in human kindness.

To be happy, to find happiness is what we all want as human beings.  The filmmakers – psychologists and other professionals, tell us that the pursuit of happiness requires us to live a life in which performing acts of kindness is so ingrained in us it comes naturally and happens often.

When artists create, or writers write, they enter what’s best described as “the zone.”  That zone is where happiness happens and is measurable.

Depression, as we know, is an illness that is talked about, and talked about, and talked about. Depression is measured, diagnosed and medicated.  Acts of human kindness result in elevating the brain chemicals and systems that produce “happy endorphins and serotonin messages.”  When the brain is stressed-out and the happy chemicals in our brains go haywire on us, leaving us low, sad – depressed, medicine can turn it around.

Scientists and psychiatrists measure the level of depression and attempt to cure it with medicine that stimulates happy brain chemicals once again.   Granted, there’s much, much more to mental health – it’s serious and important and I don’t mean to make light of the topic… Instead, I wish to illustrate what the filmmakers of Happy tell us about how to create happiness, and that it can be measured and improved, too.

The main message of this film (for me) revealed a truth that simple human kindness, being grateful, sharing and giving to others, is a critical reality for living a life of happiness.  It’s all wrapped up in empathy, compassion for others; giving of ourselves, serving others, being passionate givers and knowing the return on that investment is our happiness.

In our daily lives we hear and read about hate and ugliness constantly.   Sadly we don’t hear about happy things such as examples of giving and compassion often enough. Rather, we hear and read news reports filled with politicians and criminals spewing hate.  They seem to embrace negativity and hate with a real passion.

Nearly every day this blog is used for people to talk about the Casey Anthony case.  Remember the Casey Anthony trial?  It was about determining who senselessly murdered a beautiful little child – Caylee Anthony.

In this Orlando, Florida case about the death of little Caylee Anthony, it was pretty clear that the toddler’s mother, Casey Anthony, single-highhandedly murdered her own daughter.

But, Casey Anthony was found not guilty by a jury of twelve people.  Granted, that was not a verdict anyone expected, least of all me, the reality of the trial’s outcome is something I’ve completely accepted.

Casey Anthony is not guilty of murder in the eyes of the law.

No one can punish or try her with this crime ever again.  No one…. That includes Federal entities, too, for those who are petitioning the government to try Casey Anthony in Federal Court.  It will not happen. And we need to thank our lucky stars that our justice system gives Casey Anthony that protection.

There are too many cases of truly innocent people punished by our system, and that is wrong, too, clearly.  The facts are these: The application of our state laws and our constitutional rights are often abused by over=zealous lawmakers.  There are prosecutors and law enforcement agencies out there who don’t always care about the innocent, they want to solve cases by any means possible.  It is up to us to VOTE for lawmakers who RESPECT the HUMAN Rights of all people, who apply the LAW evenly to ALL people.  That includes immigrants AND all ARAB human beings, by the way.

There are people in this country who believe in an eye-for-an-eye justice, like in Biblical times.  There are lawmakers who feel this way, too.  In fact, there are people with political power in this country who are so twisted, they’d like to give angry mobs the ability to hold be-headings, or hangings.  There is one GOP lawmaker in North Carolina who’d very much like that to happen. Republican Representative Larry Pittman says, “Let’s round up the (so-called), abortionists, rapists, kidnappers and murders and hang-em high.”  More specifically, Pittman said:

We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner,” Pittman wrote in the email. “If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.  via North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers.

As America gets dumber it’s reflected in the people WE VOTE into office.

There are Americans who feel just as Representative Pittman does about forms of punishment.  There are people who want Casey Anthony dead. These angry and sick people would like nothing better than to see Casey Anthony face the ultimate punishment, and no doubt they’d like it to happen publicly.

God help them.

God help us all if haters, in the name of religion, seek justice their way.

28
Dec

looking back

English: Casey Anthony has been booked into th...

Image via Wikipedia

2011 is coming to an end.  The year has flown by.  Every year don’t we all say, “My, this year has really flown by?!”  And the years do go by pretty quickly, especially as we age.

Time seemed to crawl when I was young.  Was it like that for you, too?

This year flew, though it seemed to stand still, too, at times.

I wrote a blog post every single day in 2011.  To date, I have 608 posts. This one will make 609.

I never thought I’d actually write something every day for an entire year, but I did.  In fact, I wrote a post every day in December 2010 so this is month 13 of my Post-a-day challenge.

It was pretty easy, really.   The Casey Anthony saga gave me so much material!  There were the lawyers on the defense team – how bizarre they were.  The defense attorney’s gave me a lot of colorful content.  And, the Anthony family, Cindy and George and their antics, provided all kinds of fanciful copy as well.

I was very critical of the Anthony defense team, especially Jose Baez, because he deserved it. His courtroom antics were gross and demeaned the legal profession, at least in my opinion.  However, as far as George and Cindy Anthony go – I was too hard on them, at times.  Most bloggers were.

The mainstream media helped sensationalize the situation, as did the overflow of documentation made possible by Florida’s Sunshine law.  Still, bloggers had a field day with the Anthony’s.  I did too.

I am sorry I jumped on the bandwagon and made hay out of the George and Cindy stories – the discovery that was released in the case.  I feel badly, looking back at the last three years of this case, that I judged and criticized them too often, as I know I did.

I think, in hindsight, that I forgot they were real people.  They are hardly perfect and as capable of making stupid mistakes as I am.  I think that comes from being human.

I have never lived under a microscope, I have never had a daughter or a granddaughter, I have never known anyone who either committed or was a victim of murder, not to mention a murder as heinous as Caylee’s was.

During the trial, I felt sorry for both Anthony’s.  In hindsight I realize they only ever wanted to do the right thing for a daughter they doted on.  As despicable as her acts were, the Anthony’s loved her.  She is their daughter.  She destroyed them and they allowed it to happen because they thought that was love.  They thought they were loving and perfect parents.  I think all parents believe they are.

I did some research and reading about how parents – whose children were murderers, behaved and learned that the Anthony’s were not so unusual after all.

Some parents will protect their children no matter what the cost.  Even the most law-abiding people will convince themselves their son/daughter couldn’t possibly be guilty, despite solid evidence that says otherwise. Parents will usually ride a ship called denial across the Nile river for the rest of their lives, if that’s what it takes to maintain their sanity and their love for their child.

It’s easy to believe I’d be different from the Anthony’s, but until I’ve walked in their shoes, how can I know?

Having seen George brought to his knees by his own daughter during the trial makes me feel badly that I judged him.  Watching Cindy Anthony literally crumble on the stand as she relived the pain of loosing both her daughter and Caylee, makes me feel very badly to have judged her at all.

Weren’t the Anthony’s just ordinary people who were thrown into an extraordinary Orlando firestorm?    I think so.

All the crazy proselytizing Cindy did in the media to make Casey into a saint and a good mother helped to make the Anthony’s seem all the more dysfunctional.   Little did they know they were inadvertently putting themselves in front of their own daughter’s version of a firing squad.

The video tapes we saw of the Anthony’s were of them at their most vulnerable.   George and Cindy Anthony seemed to take a wrong turn and make the wrong decision constantly, and we saw it unfold, moment to moment.

I’d like to think I would have acted totally differently in every regard.  But then again, I’ve never been in the lion’s den for three years, let alone three minutes.

The Anthony’s were living their lives as best they could.

4
Dec

what’s in a name? Not “Fernandez”

I haven’t completely lost interest in the ongoing fallout from the Casey Anthony murder trial, which resulted in the surprising Not Guilty verdict earlier this year.   Every now and then I get sucked back into the newsy-ness of the remaining civil lawsuits against Casey Anthony.

I’m particularly interested in the defamation lawsuit that Zenaida Gonzalez has brought against Casey via the prominent Orlando law firm, Morgan & Morgan.  This lawsuit is becoming ugly as a result of Anthony defense attorney Charles Greene’s public statements that demean Zenaida Gonzalez quite badly.

Initially, Zenaida Gonzalez never signed up for being dragged into a national media maelstrom.  It appears now she is enjoying the lime light.

For the first few days of the case, as the supposed nanny, she’d been under the microscope of the media as a potential suspect in the disappearance of Caylee.  But, in no way was she a lasting suspect, nor was her involvement a theory in the case because the police were pretty secure about Casey’s involvement.  After all, before you could say Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, Casey was behind bars.

These images come up with the search of Zenaida Fernandez Gonalez

It all started in July 2008 when Casey Anthony blamed her “Nanny,” a Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, as the one responsible for absconding with her daughter, the adorable Caylee Marie Anthony.

Caylee  was about a month shy of her third birthday when her mother, Casey, went on the lam for 31 days without so much of a mention that anything untoward had happened to her daughter.  When Casey needed a cover-story for Caylee’s whereabouts, she made up the Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez kidnapping story. We found out soon afterwards that story was a fantasy and Casey knew where her daughter was but refused to share any information.

As we know now, Caylee was already deceased while her mother partied, stole from friends she was living with, and basically thought she’d finally found “the Good Life” or, Bella Vita, as she had tattooed on her back.

When Casey told the police that her nanny, Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, had taken Caylee 31 days ago, the Detective assigned to the case immediately followed up.

The Detective learned that a Zenaida Gonzalez had filled out a guest card at the Sawgrass Apartments where Casey claimed Zenaida lived and where shed’ dropped Caylee off into Zenaida’s care.    The police interviewed the Zenaida who’d filled out that  Sawgrass Apartments guest card.  It was an odd coincidence that Zenaida had visited Sawgrass Apartments where Casey claimed she’d often left Caylee.

Zenaida denied knowing Casey.  And, Casey, when shown a picture of this Zenaida Gonzalez, claimed she was not her nanny.

Sooooo, what’s the fuss, you might be thinking.  Well, Zenaida was wrongly portrayed as a potential kidnapper and was in the glare of the media.  And that, she claims, harmed her reputation and defamed her in the public.

The irony is she is now in the glare of the cameras constantly.  Had she remained in the shadows, her name would have been forgotten within a week of when the police cleared her as a suspect – which they had done immediately, I might add.

But, we’re only human and Zenaida was looking at her chance appearance in the over-sensationalized Anthony case, as a cash cow.

When she hires the law firm Morgan and Morgan (who have a big reputation and bigger voices), they dove into the story and fast.

Morgan and Morgan had a grand time inserting themselves into the media driven soap-opera that had become a circus of many characters and clowns.

It never seemed to be about justice for Zenaida Gonalez.  (But, it was a good bit of media attention for her and her lawyers.)

When they (Morgan and Morgan), video-taped George, Cindy and Lee Anthony’s depositions and released them to the media, it was a gold mine for them – the videos made the national news, and so did Morgan.  The Anthony family was not at all liked by the populace and they were recalcitrant and harsh in the video depositions which made Morgan and Morgan smell like a garden of roses.

Fast forward to 2011 and the same Zenaida Gonzalez lawsuit is full steam ahead, but seemingly getting derailed by their own hubris.

Now we find out that this Zenaida Gonzalez does not have “Fernandez” in her name.  Well, her lawyers used Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez in the civil lawsuit against Casey Anthony…. and no one corrected the media that she was not Fernandez-Gonzalez either.  Everyone was led to believe that her full name was Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez.

Is that deceitful?  If not, it is curious.

Zenaida Gonzalez now says she doesn’t know why her lawyers put that name on the lawsuit.  Could it be they thought their suit might get more attention if the names matched?

Zenaida claims she got unwanted attention as a result of being interviewed by the authorities in connection with this case, though she was never charged with anything.  And now she is saying she wants an apology from Anthony.  And now she claims that she wasn’t fired from her job – she quit her job.

The Casey Anthony case has always been about band-wagons – jumping on the band-wagon for the attention, payout, notoriety and national media attention.

Back in September, 2008, Zenaida filed her law-suit and shortly after appeared on Good Morning America (GMA), to announce it to the nation.

Her lawyer, John Morgan, was on the GMA show as well.  Neither blinked when they referred to Zenaida using the middle name “Fernandez” as you can see in this ABC news story:

Though Fernandez-Gonzalez was cleared by police, she said she lost her job, cannot find an apartment and received threats from Anthony supporters. She filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against Anthony.

Fernandez-Gonzalez, a 37-year-old mother of six, said today on “Good Morning America” that she looked at an apartment and filled out a form at the complex where Anthony said she dropped off Caylee before she disappeared.

“I just went to look at an apartment and filled out an information card,” Fernandez-Gonzalez said in an exclusive interview today with “GMA.” “My suspicion is they probably gave her [Anthony] the information from the card.”   The card included the names of two of her daughters and the make and color of her car, which is the same information that Anthony gave the police, said Fernandez-Gonzalez and her attorney John Morgan.  Link to GMA Story:  click here.

In every story and every appearance I have seen in relation to the civil law suit, the name Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, is referred to.

The Anthony’s knew this and they tried to point it out during their humiliating video-deposition in the civil lawsuit.  No one really listened at the time.

I wonder if anyone is listening to the latest bits of intrigue?

Take a peek at these stories:

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/full-deposition-be-released-civil-suit-against-cas/nFnrx/

http://www.cfnews13.com/article/news/2011/december/352401/Who-is-Zenaida-Gonzalez.html

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2011/12/casey-anthony-her-attorneys-say-zenaida-gonzalez-is-sad-and-bad.html

26
Nov

busy, busy, busy!

When you drive down the main road and into the little historic town of Cassadega, you’ll notice a tiny post-office building on the left.  There are four parking spots for the post office and one of them is a Handicapped spot.  And you’ll see roads that dip and rise on little hills.  You’ll see small-ish homes that appear in various states of disrepair, but are very quaint nonetheless.

It’s a place where everyone knows everyone else and I found myself wondering what it would be like to live there, and strangely wanting to sell all my worldly possessions and live there, like a gypsy!  Of course I’d never do that, but I did think about it for about 42 seconds.

I can’t imagine a smaller post-office exists anywhere.  The Cassedega post office is an adorable little building that sits next to another little building.  The houses have all seen better days, and this one, with its pinkish cast, pales in comparison to the flouresent-purple little house that leans next to it.  The “Purple Rose” is a gift shop and serves as a place for psychic readings. I had my reading in the Purple Rose house.

The "Purple Rose" where I had my reading does not appear purple here - it's really a flourescent purple

I wasn’t going to visit a psychic yesterday, I decided.  At the Cassadega community center – another very old building – they list the names and phone numbers of available psychics – who they refer to as Mediums.  There’s a phone there, too because you have to call the Medium to find out when they can see you.  The Medium will provide their rate and any other pertinent info – like how to find the house where the Medium lives.   Most of the little neighborhood is populated with small house that are dedicated to readings. If there is a working Medium in residence, a sign or a shingle describes the name and specialty of the reader.

They tell you, in the Cassedega Community Center, to look on the board and if a name of a Medium appeals to you, that’s who you should choose for a reading.  Well, none of the names appealed to me – I was expecting one of the names to pop out at me, and I’d know who to choose.  None of the names meant anything and I’d decided not to see a Medium after all.  So, I poked in the gift shop, and sat in the meditation garden while my mom, aunt, and brother had their readings.

They really enjoyed their readings.  After hearing how much they’d enjoyed their experiences, I’d decided that I’d go ahead and do it.  We were in the Purple Rose house, and I noticed they had little rooms – about four of them- the size of a medium sized walk-in closet where readings were given.      The young woman at the counter told me a reader was available if I wanted a reading.

I said okay and asked, “How much?”   Thirty-five dollars for fifteen minutes, fifty-five for half an hour.  “Okay, half an hour,” I told her.

I sat down in front of the reader/medium whose name I’ve forgotten, and I was suddenly so nervous and felt like I couldn’t swallow.  But, she was very nice and put me at ease immediately.    After a second, she looked at me, took a long deep breath and said, “Wow, busy, busy, busy!”  I laughed, and said, “True.”

She was a very good reader I thought, though she told me things about myself that I already knew.  She told me I have to learn to say “No,” and mean it.  She told me I am leader, a teacher, a writer, and creative or artistic.  She told me my father was there and had a message of thanks for me.  My grandmother, she told me, is often around my mother and I.

She told me I’d be working on   project in addition to my job, and it would bring me a lot of happiness and fulfillment.   She laughed and told me that I will be juggling a few things soon.

Originally I’d thought my visit to Cassadega would provide an opportunity to ask people in that small community if the Anthony case impacted them, and if they got involved in the searches or the case itself.  But I’d completely forgotten all about it.  It wasn’t until I was driving home that I remembered.

Orlando visit

The highlight of my trip, however, was the opportunity to chat with Dave Knechnel.  Dave is the owner of the very successful blog “Marinade Dave,” and covered the Anthony case extensively from the very beginning of the case.  Dave had a seat at the trial each day and wrote wonderful articles for the Orlando Magazine.

Dave and I weren’t able to meet, but we had a long talk over the phone and will meet in December, when I return to Orlando.

Mom and I are already thinking we’d return in December, during the holidays.  We did have fun.

22
Nov

SRO for Jeff Ashton

awwww!  The Orlando Sentinel has a story about Jeff Ashton’s book signing appearance at the Orlando Public Library last evening.  It was Standing Room Only – SRO for the former Orlando Assistant State Attorney!

I like the fact that Ashton is receiving accolades.  It is well-deserved feedback for an interesting book and a great fight for justice for the little victim, Caylee Marie Anthony.

But, darn!  I just missed seeing him!  I’m heading to Orlando today.  Taking my mom and dog to spend Thanksgiving with my brother.

Mom and I plan to shop until we drop, visit a little town called Cassadega, which is a spiritual colony, I guess you could call it.  It’s a small community of people who offer metaphysical arts – a whole community of Physics!  It’s near Orlando.

Mom and I also plan to rest and relax and read – a lot!

And speaking of Cassedega….  I wonder if this community of people, since they were so close to Orlando, used their physic ability in the Anthony case?  I wonder if they get involved in any missing persons cases – there are a lot of them in Orlando!

We know there were psychics involved in the Anthony case.  I can’t remember the name of the woman who Dominic Casey supposedly spoke to on the phone while poking around in the swamp near the area where little Caylee was eventually found.   Perhaps they were from this little place called Cassadega that my mom and I want to visit?    I’ll look into that while I’m there.

I am not a 100 percent true believer in psychic power – but I enjoy speaking to Physics, when they are good.  The reason I am skeptical?  There are pretenders out there.   There are people with a true gifts who are able to reach a universe outside of the one we live on.  Maybe they have access to a higher intelligence and are able to see a community of people who have left our lives.  I have talked to total strangers (physics) who described to me what my dead relatives looked like, and even described words they’d commonly use in conversation.  I have to admit, it is a bit unnerving.

Getting back to my Orlando trip, I do hope to visit the Orlando Courthouse tomorrow, if there is time.

I don’t plan to visit the area off Suburban Drive where Caylee was found, or go anywhere near the Anthony home – I couldn’t bring myself to do that.

I’m sure I’ll travel on roads I’ll recognize from the Anthony case.   I trust my GPS will steer me well away from HopeSpring Drive.

Here’s the story by the Orlando Sentinel of Jeff Ashton visit to the Public Library: click here.

16
Nov

dig deeper, whack # 5

 

I have so many things I want to talk about, but I don’t have much time because I’ve had my nose in the Nook reading Jeff Ashton’s book, which I am enjoying so much.  

I love his attitude toward the sickening defense and their inane theories, especially the George Anthony lie, which the State called the Nuclear Lie.

I am enjoying reading about the back story regarding the defense’s obnoxious Discovery violations, and all the excuses Baez made.  I love how Mr. Ashton describes the situation in which Baez stipulated about the Dr. Vass testimony, and then like a petulant child, said he was coerced into signing it  except it was Dorothy Sims who wrote it for Baez to sign!

And there are many other interesting stories and thoughts that are fascinating in retrospect.

Anyway, I have another Creative Whack to share!  This one is titled, Dig Deeper, and it’s one of my favorites, and absolutely true in every sense:

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.  ~ Emile’ Chartier

I would like to make a button with those words and wear it on my lapel every day at work…. but that would be rude.

Better to tape it to my forehead!

15
Nov

look somewhere else, whack #4

Here’s another Creative Whack from Roger von Oech, creator of the Creative Whack Pack – a deck of 64 amazing cards to “whack” us out of old and habitual ways of thinking, allowing us to see with fresh eyes and an open mind. 

I like the message of this card in particular.  I don’t know about you, but I get into ruts from time to time.  I am in a pesky rut these past couple of weeks as a result of allowing negative people in the workplace get to me.  People who are so old-fashioned and stiff, I feel like I have to salute them.

Needless to say, my workplace operates with a very old-fashioned mindset.  The work I am doing now is the same kind of work people were doing in the early 1980’s.  Not only are the tools I have to work with antiquated, so is the vision of some people in my workplace.  That’s what happens, I guess, when the leaders in an organization stay in positions for years and years.  It’s always good when outside perspectives are allowed in.  Allowed is the operative word, however.  Therein lies the rub.

It’s like how Jeff Ashton describes the personalities of Cindy and Casey Anthony in his new book, Imperfect Justice.  (Which I am really enjoying but only half way through.) When you refuse to accept new ideas; if you refuse to see the reality of your current state of affairs, any new idea or new vision is exorcised in favor of the habitual comfort of old ways of thinking.  Cindy Anthony grew so used to Casey’s lies, she began to accept them as reality so as not to shake the boat.

Jeff Ashton writes:

From all that we’d seen of their interactions and heard from those around Cindy, it was unlikely that she would ever admit the unvarnished truth about Casey.  It was a lethally toxic co-dependent relationship.  One person was skilled at lying to others, while the other was skilled at lying to herself.

Cindy Anthony would not allow herself to see the truth about Casey: “Cindy was in denial about her daughter on a colossal scale,” wrote Jeff Ashton.

That is why this message is so important.  We have to look beyond what we know and discover new ways of seeing.  If we continue to do the things that are comfortable, we grow complacent, dull, and miss the really important stuff, like pretending the smell of human decomposition is really pizza.

 

13
Nov

Jeff Ashton’s book release is around the corner

Retired Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton, who famously prosecuted the Casey Anthony murder trial, has a book coming out on November 15, 2011.

Mr. Asthon’s book, Imperfect Justice:  Prosecuting Casey Anthony, promises to discuss never-revealed details about the case, including information related to the psychological examinations  performed on then defendant Casey Anthony.

Cover image of Jeff Ashton's soon to be released book

He will also be discussing the book on the Dr. Phil Show, Wednesday, November 16, 2001.   No doubt the book will generate a lot of interest.

I’ve per-ordered a copy on my Nook.

If the Barnes & Noble Nook website is any indication, the book should do well.   On the Barnes & Noble Nook page for the book, already nearly 60 “customer reviews” have been written!  This is despite the fact it’s not even released yet!  People are adding their thoughts about what they “think” the book will disclose…and of course they are arguing.

Cheney Mason reportedly is writing a book also.   I have absolutely no interest in reading it because, frankly, I wouldn’t know what to believe.   By the way, Mr. Mason is in a Daytona hospital after feeling ill during a conference in which he to speak.  I certainly hope it’s not a serious issue keeping him in the hospital.  I bet he’s cranky as hell in that hospital!  I bet he’s shooting the bird at just about everyone, too!  I hope so, that would mean he’s on the mend.

Anyway, back to Jeff Ashton’s book.  I really am looking forward to reading some inside stories about the case and sure hope the book is long on character details!  There were some colorful characters involved in the Anthony case, and it would be interesting to read about them.

Coincidentally, I was perusing Facebook this evening and stumbled upon “The Official Jeff Ashton Page.”  Oh, it’s wonderful – lot’s of very nice photos, too!

Seeing some of the great photos of Mr. Ashton and his wife, Rita, his colleagues at the State Attorney’s Office, including Linda Drane-Burdick, and pictures of his Koi pond that he and his wife built – affirmed for me that he is not only a phenomenal attorney, he is also a down-to-earth, very nice guy. Someone you can’t help but like because he oozes charm.

There were many folks on the State side of the case who I really admired: ASA Linda Drane-Burdick, of course, was incredible.   I admired the folks at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, too.  Yuri Melich – loved him!  Eric Edwards –  loved him!   John Allen – loved him!   Who else?   Just too many good people to name.   Oh! I almost forgot ASA Frank George!  Loved him!

Anyway, my Nook is ready for the Imperfect Justice download!

Thanks in advance, Jeff Ashton!

25
Oct

poverty, uganda, outed jurors, and other tales

I read too many depressing  news reports tonight.   I’m feeling mad and frustrated.

In the New York Times I read that Uganda is going to reopen a bill that will allow the government to impose the death penalty against gay men and women (Lesbians).

I discussed this topic last year with horror, but then I was under the impression that Uganda had softened on this issue.  Not true – not in the least.

The excruciating part of this story?  American influence fanned the flames.  Rick Warren – the evangelical pastor of the huge Saddle Back Church, reportedly helped draft the original bill (see Washington Post reference article.) Warren was assisted by Reverend Lou Engle, another popular evangelist who has no business proselytizing hate in the name of religion in this country, let alone to the poor people of Uganda.

If that wasn’t depressing enough, I read about the extreme poverty in our suburbs.  The suburbs, I thought?  People are going hungry there, too?  Yes, it’s true.

The chart below, from the NY Times, explains the extreme rise of poverty in American suburbs.  Places once thought of as the best place to raise children, are looking toward to local “soup lines” or “Food Pantries” to help feed their families.  The great challenge with the newly poor in the suburbs is the availability of the kinds of services that cities have to aid the poor and the hungry.

One issue is due to suburb dwellers having a longer commute to reach help – (problematic when your car is repossessed and bus service is not available).

To access the NY Times article, click:   Outside Cleveland, Snapshots of Poverty’s Surge in the Suburbs

Published Oct. 24, 2011 New York Times

And, then I read how the media is making such a big hullabaloo over outing the jurors in the Casey Anthony trial.

I ask you, what good will that do other than allow the haters to practice their hate anew?

Yes, the jurors were not real jurors in the sense they failed to consider all the evidence before them,  but it’s over now.  I’ve let it go.

Disturbing and showering the jurors on the Casey Anthony trial with hate does no one any good – it’s not going to change anything.

Sometimes I think it’s best to not read the news and stick with pleasurable reading.  But then I tell my self, that’s not good either – it’s important to be aware of what’s happening in the world.  The trick is to take it in stride….easier said than done.

Aaannnnd, now we have a hurricane (which may turn into a tropical storm, we hope) looming.  It’s got South Florida in its “cone of uncertainty.”   The hurricane is a she and she’s a category 3 now.  Her name is Rina.

Lastly, if you want to nominate someone for the title of “Central Floridian of the Year”, the Orlando Sentinel is taking nominations on its website. The link to nominate someone is: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-sg-central-floridian-of-the-year,0,206265.storygallery

I can think of a few folks worthy of this honor!

That’s all the news for tonight!

I’m in the middle of reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” …  It is excellent, provides much food for thought…..

So, pleasant dreams and have a great tomorrow!

23
Oct

Boedeker, Books and Blogging

In today’s Orlando Sentinel, there are two pieces by Hal Boedeker that are quite good.

I always enjoy reading Hal Boedeker’s take on the Casey Anthony saga – he’s so down to earth and asks questions that people want to talk about.  His columns on the Anthony story are always popular, always generating hundreds of comments.  There was a time when I’d read the comments with interest, I even commented once, too.  But as time wore on, the comments became so ugly and over the top, filled with such hateful vitriol that was (and still is) too bizarre for my taste.

But, Hal Boedeker’s work is always excellent; here are links to today’s two stories that contain interesting analysis from the lawyer analysts covering the trial.

  1. Analysis and Q and A with Bill Shaeffer, Richard Hornsby, Mark NeJame and Diana Tennis.
  2. Interview with Bill Shaeffer, who says trial was Soap Opera

It’s interesting how we just can’t stop talking about his case! It’s still an open book to be dissected.  When Boedeker discusses Anthony in a column, he’ll get hundreds and hundreds of comments.   Even when I write about the case, the number of visitors to my blog literally triples.   And when the trial began, starting with jury selection, and right up until the end, I’d receive well over two thousand visitors a day, often more.

It was really a weird feeling to know so many people read my thoughts….  I never expected that – ever.

A lot of blogs and media outlets experienced huge increases in Internet traffic as a result of this case. This was a good thing because most of the bigger blogs or media outlets are able to turn the Internet traffic into a bigger revenue stream for them. WordPress puts advertising on blogs like mine for the revenue stream, too.   I have no control over the ads you may see unless I want to pay WordPress to prevent them from posting their ads.   I’m more than happy to let them advertise!  I hope they make some money from their blog sites since they offer virtually everything on WordPress dot com completely free to the blogger.

Anyway, now I forget what the point of all this was going to be!

Oh yes, public interest in this story.  I’m still interested in the Anthony case, but not as before.  There are many days that I forget about it, and that’s good.

I stopped reading for pleasure when this case began.  Now I’ve started reading a lot again.  I read three books this week.   I finished the Jacyee Dugard book about her years of captivity; titled, “A Stolen Life: A Memoir.”   I’m glad I read it, but it was difficult to get through because of the extreme  suffering she lived with for so many years (she was abducted at age 11.)   I have a great respect for her and her will to survive.  It’s a very quick read, told in her own words, (without a Ghostwriter’s help), and for that I was impressed.

But the book I recommend so highly is “ROOM” by Emma Donoghue, written in 2010.  It is absolutely breathtaking.  The story is narrated by a five year old who was born as a result of his mother being abducted at age 19 and held prisoner in a shed in her captors backyard.  Her son, Jack, has never been outside the shed to experience the real world.  The relationship between mother and son is captivating; and the situation they’re in is made horrifying by their captor.

I don’t want to say too much about ROOM because I don’t want to spoil the story for you.

I  can’t decide what to read next!  I have so many lined up in my Nook just waiting to be devoured and even more on my book shelves, too.

Well, I think I’m going to read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skoot next.

So, the weekend’s officially over now.   It was a great one, too:  Live Theatre, shopping, babysitting my niece, and reading…. perfect in every way!

 

 

19
Oct

civil lawsuit news in the anthony case

The Florida vs. Casey Anthony murder trial is long over, but I am still very interested in the legal ramifications, and the civil case fallout, which continues to fall out.

Now, that Anthony has civil lawsuits to contend with, this interesting but bizarre story will continue to draw a media audience.

It was reported in the media just today that a Orlando Judge refused to throw out the lawsuit filed by Tim Miller of Texas EquuSearch.  As you know, Tim Miller is trying to recoup thousands of dollars worth of time and resources that were poured into finding Caylee.

Tim Miller should have his day in court, especially since Baez admitted in his opening statement that  Caylee was never missing but drowned on July 16th.  And since Anthony was found not guilty, she has to answer for her  fraudulent claims.

She’s got Baez to thank for that.  Since, as a result of Baez’ telling the jury that Caylee was “never missing,” and because Anthony was found not guilty, Baez has essentially confirmed that Casey Anthony fraudulently duped the public and the public servants into believing that Caylee was alive.

Not for a moment do I believe that Baez thought Anthony would be cleared of the murder charges.   If he actually thought he had a chance to win the case, I doubt he’d ever admit that Anthony knew all along that Caylee drowned.

I wonder if this story and the George and Lee Anthony abuse allegations were just a last-ditch Hail Mary?  I can’t imagine that Baez would go out on a limb with such stories had he known there would be financial consequences, or perhaps those impacts never entered his mind.

If Anthony had been found guilty, she’d not be responsible these tremendous costs that will continue to pile up.  That’s one reason I honestly don’t believe Baez thought he’d prevail in this case.

The State Attorney had more than enough evidence to convict – everyone believed it, too.  No one in their right mind thought Baez could or would win this case!  But then, no one counted on his ability to connect so well with the jurors, who to the defense’s benefit, turned out to be spineless followers only interested in getting out of Dodge.

Everyone was sure Casey was going to spend many years behind bars.

Until the perfect storm blew in from Clearwater, Florida.

On another note, Charles Greene, Anthony’s Civil Attorney, has a motion on the table to stop the release of the Morgan and Morgan recent video deposition of Anthony.   Greene filed an emergency motion to seal the video.  A Judge will hear arguments tomorrow.

Let’s face it, if the video is released, and I’m sure it will be, it will only serve to rekindle the public’s  anger toward Anthony.

It’s time to end the hate – that does not mean forget, it means public vitriol against Anthony is uncivilized.  Just my opinion.

18
Oct

anthony case news

Andrea - only dreamin'

Before discussing the news of the day, I want to tell you about my new blog look!  It’s the newest WordPress blog theme – just released today.

The theme is called iTheme2; created in appreciation for Steve Jobs, and Apple.

What do you think?  Do you like it?

I’d love to hear your constructive feedback.  Is it easy to read and navigate in?  My favorite thing about this blog is the sliding post feature at the top of the Home page!

Now for the news of the day

The Orlando Sentinel’s Anthony Colarossi, is reporting that the Florida Bar has disclosed the nature of the two (2) complaints against attorney Jose Baez.

Complaint One:  As expected, one of the Florida Bar complaints against Jose Baez is regarding his failure to produce expert witness discovery.   This took place in January of 2011, when Judge Belvin Perry ordered the defense to produce expert witness discovery by a certain deadline date.  When the defense failed to comply, Judge Perry concluded that the defense willfully violated its court order and ordered sanctions.

Prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, frustrated by the refusal of  Jose Baez to follow the rules of discovery and the court, advised the court that the defense had a history of deliberately skirting deadlines, and contempt or sanctions should be imposed.

Jose Baez was sanctioned by the court – ordered to pay $583 as penalty.

This is the very issue now up for review by the Florida Bar.

I wonder if the Bar is also looking at a similar violation that occurred in June 2011, during the trial, over defense witness Dr. William Rodriquez.

This was another typical scenario in which Baez attempted to hide certain aspects of Dr. Rodriquez’ testimony, clearly to ambush Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton.  Baez must think that “Perry Mason Moments” are a make it or break it strategy in the courtroom.  The truth is, defense lawyers want to win, and some of them will do whatever it takes to get a leg up –  rules be damned.

If the Florida Bar fails to act, it will set a bad precedent, perhaps encouraging other lawyers to bend the laws, too.  We can’t have that!

Complaint Two:  This complaint surrounds the felony check fraud charges that Casey Anthony was found guilty of prior to the murder trial.

The Honorable Judge Stan Strickland found Anthony guilty on 6 of the 13 charges of check fraud.

Judge Strickland sentenced Anthony to time-served, and one year probation to be served after the murder case is concluded.  Judge Strickland, who, by the way, is retiring at the end of this year, was very clear in his ruling, but a court clerks written report erred in its description of how the probation was to be served.  The error only came to light at the conclusion of the murder trial.  Judge Strickland realized his court order was not followed and resubmitted the probation order.

The defense fought hard to throw out the probation. They were desperate to prove that applying probation would be akin to double jeopardy, since Anthony served probation while in jail.

That argument, so weak, went no where and Judge Perry ordered Anthony to serve her probation as Judge Strickland originally ordered.

During the hearing concerning this issue, it came to light that Baez knew she was serving probation in jail, but didn’t correct the situation.

It’s against the law for you and I to violate a court order.  When a lawyer willfully disobeys a court order, there should be consequences.  If a lawyer cannot follow the basic rules of procedure required for an officer of the court, the system is in trouble.  Let’s hope the Florida Bar agrees.

Early retirement for my favorite Judge 

I just read this evening that the Honorable Stan Strickland is retiring from the Bench beginning December 31, 2011.

Judge Strickland has served Central Florida in the 9th Circuit Court for 21 years.   He spoke briefly to Anthony Colarossi, reporter for the Orlando Sentinel today, and said:

Once it becomes tedium, it’s hard to continue on.  It’s hard to explain: You just know when it’s time, and it’s time.  ~Judge Stan Strickland

Reporter Colarossi asked Judge Strickland if the Casey Anthony case had anything to do with his decision to resign, the Judge said:

Did that have a part in the wearing process? Sure.  But not a part in the ultimate decision.

I am happy for the Judge, but sorry for the people of Central Florida who are losing one of its finest.

So many of us – everyone visiting this blog – have shared their thoughts regarding Judge Strickland’s nonpareil service to the Casey Anthony case; he is held in hight regard here.

I have the highest regard for Judge Strickland. Not only is he an excellent Jurist, he’s a very nice man.

Socrates, writing in approximately 470 B.C., wrote the following, which I think sums up perfectly who Judge Strickland is:

Four things belong to a judge:

to hear courteously,
to answer wisely,
to consider soberly, and
to decide impartially.  ~ Socrates

It’s as if  Socrates had Judge Strickland in mind here, don’t you think?!

13
Oct

a true hollywood story??

I always enjoy reading Hal Boedeker, the Orlando Sentinel “TV Guy.”   I enjoy how he gets so many thoughts and ideas into his stories while keeping them relatively short.

His most recent story on the Casey Anthony saga  is very interesting.  Like Hal, I wonder how the Casey Anthony story could be categorized by the E! network as a “True Hollywood Story.”

Photo credit: Wikepedia

Hollywood?  Does it even make sense?

There is something very tasteless about positioning this tragedy as a Hollywood scandal – assuming “scandal” is the angle they use.   If this the Casey Anthony story is “Hollywood” then King Kong is Swan Lake.

Hal provided quotes from some of Anthony’s former friends, Dorothy Sims, Michelle Bart, Zenaida Gonzalez, and others.

I want to include the quote Hal used from Zenaida because last night I wrote a post that was somewhat critical of the civil lawsuit, mostly because Morgan and Morgan have pushed the publicity envelope in such a dramatic way and it feels like it’s a theatrical event geared more toward advertising than a legitimate case.

But then I read this quote from Zenaida:

 It started going down like, ‘You’re a baby killer, you killed that baby.’ They were going to kidnap my daughters and see how I like [it] and then they started saying that they [were] going to kill them and they [were] going to send them to me in pieces in a box to my house and yeah. … I hate that part.

I didn’t realize the extent of the misery she suffered at the hands of horrible attacks.  I never realized that she was attacked to that extent.  It’s not easy to wrap my brain around people who would get their kicks out of attacking her in that way.   So, I am now of the mind that yes, Zenaida must be compensated.  However, if she did loose her job, I hope she pursues a lawsuit there, too.

Continued thanks to Hal the TV Guy, for his excellent reporting about the madness in this sad saga.

 

READ Hal Boedeker:  http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2011/10/casey-anthony-gets-e-true-hollywood-story.html

12
Oct

morgan’s golden egg

Casey Anthony has been booked into the Orange ...

Image via Wikipedia

Last evening I learned about the two new bar complaints against Jose Baez; tonight I’ve learned that the video deposition that the Orlando Morgan and Morgan law firm conducted of the disguised Casey Anthony is going to be released to the public very soon.

The media is clamorous over this video, despite the fact that Casey Anthony’s only response during the deposition was to repeat her Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination.   That doesn’t sound very interesting, but since this will be the first we’ve seen of her since being released from jail,  there is interest from the public.

Of course, Morgan and Morgan, who are sucking the Zenaida Gonzales case for every last ounce of media attention they can get, will surely use this video to their advantage.  Will their press conference on this issue be “first at five?”

In regards to that civil case, I do have a problem with it.  The problem I have with Zenaida Gonzales possibly profiting from a situation in which she claims her good name was sullied, is really a stretch.   Granted,  she lost her job as a result, hence her income – through no fault of her own.  But, now that her name and face is commonly seen in the media, infers that Zenaida is not really concerned about being over-exposed in the media.  She is now completely recognizable.

She will no longer be able to enjoy the favor of anonymity in the Orlando area.  And, isn’t her anonymity part of her complaint?

As a result of her law suit, and the dogged determination of Morgan and Morgan, her face and her name now ensures her notoriety.

Her claim that she was fired because her employer though she could be “the” kidnapper of Caylee Anthony, always seemed weak to me.   If she was fired from her job as a result of being falsely accused, the agency to heal that issue is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  They would have ensured she regained her job.

You’d think if she was really harmed by her good name being associated with the Anthony case, you’d never know it now.  The visibility that the Morgan and Morgan law firm has provided her ensures she will be always be exclusively aligned with the case.  No more anonymity.

I can’t really put my finger on it, but there is something disingenuous about the big and powerful Morgan and Morgan firm (Former Governor Charlie Crist is employed there), going to bat for this small civil case.  No doubt the work they’ve done  up to this point has been very expensive – I’d imagine their rates are not cheap!  The transparency of  what Morgan and Morgan is really after couldn’t be more clear – I guess that’s what bothers me.

The media attention and name recognition for Morgan and Morgan is golden.

Well, they act as if they’ve laid the golden egg, anyway.

 

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