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Posts tagged ‘Cheney Mason’

11
Jan

bye-bye Baez? Go galumphing!

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch! ~  Lewis Carroll

Beware the Jabberwocky!

The Jabberwocky is running wild in the Casey Anthony saga.

In the Casey Anthony trial after-life, sense is nonsense and nonsense is sense, depending upon the day and where you sit to eat your crumpets and sip your tea.

Oh the Jabberwocky we’d hear if our ears were invited….

Casey Anthony, who eats lies for lunch, is like the sloth who uses its dirty teeth to hide a lying tongue.

The bizarre just gets more bizarre and…. it’s so damn fascinating!  (I do enjoy the soap opera-ish-tragi-comedy vaper that lingers after the fact and is still there.)

As it has happened with other stories in this case, it takes a willing suspension of disbelief to swallow a single word attributed to the former defendant, Casey Anthony.

But, oh, today’s salacious gossip masquerading as news, is ripe for a virtual vomit!

First, we have the Orlando Sentinel’s victory in getting the erst-while Judge in the Casey Anthony murder trial, Judge Belvin Perry, to unseal the depositions of both Dr. William Weitz and Dr. Jeffrey Danziger, Psychiatrists who examined Casey Anthony prior to, and toward the end of the murder trial.  The depositions, say the media, are so juicy they are bound to cause saliva to drip from the collective lips of all of Orlando.

Here are links to the deliciously deviant depositions:

1. Dr. Jeffery Danzinger.  April 7, 2011

2. Dr. Jeffery Danzinger, April 13, 2011 continuation

3. William Weitz, Ph.D., April 7, 2011

4. William Weitz, Ph.D., April 13, 2011 continuation

It would take hours of reading to get through the above just-released depositions about the damsel and queen-of-sloth, Casey Anthony’s mental health.

The depositions are reportedly very interesting and reveal a great deal about the depths that Casey Anthony would sink to blame her daughter’s death on her Father, George Anthony.

By far the most shocking revelation?  Casey Anthony suffers no mental illness!  Well, so say one or both of the Psychologists.  How would they know what was lie versus what is truth?  And, that was not their task anyway.   They were to determine what, if any, issues would prevent her from understanding the seriousness of the charges against her.  And there was another reason, but it back-fired:  To have Weitz and Danzinger tell Casey Anthony’s sob-story without the defense having to call her to the stand.  Fortunately, the law does not allow that.  If anyone told her story, she’d have to do it.

With regards to issues of mental health, I think that people who are skilled liars, programmed to lie about everything, are also able to put on a persona, like putting on a hat, that hides their quilt and their mental illness.

Casey Anthony’s history of lies are well-documented.  It takes a clever person to be so devious; you’d have to be smart to keep a running history of all the lies you’ve told.  Casey Anthony had to keep all the lies in her head and she had to make up new stories to enhance the original ones while keeping them all straight. That’s work!

Even though her lies go absolutely beyond the beyond of reality, her absolute conviction to cling to a lie, though outrageously cruel, is amazing.   She’s told unconscionable tales in which she ensnared her own father as the criminal.   Only a desperate defense lawyer would believe them.

If you followed the case from 2008, you may remember how the defense came up with a slew of manufactured stories which they hoped would become the reasonable doubt a jury could cling to.  They came up with some doozies, too.  Every story the defense floated was defeated by the State evidence.  Soon the defense team, after nearly three years of posturing, had nothing to show for the carpet-bagging of their wild theories of the case.

And then there was George.

George the Patsy.

Poor, poor George.

He became a Patsy of the highest order.  He was the fall-guy of all fall-guys.  He was bashed and bruised and left for dead by the blow-hard and brutal Baez at trial. Buoyed by Casey, she cried…..

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.  ~  Lewis Carroll

Here are links to some of the Orlando stories: Orlando Sentinel, WFTV, WESH,

The other interesting bit of gossip parading as news has to do with a petulant Anthony, expressing anger about Jose Baez, her lead defense attorney.  What’s the fuss?  The talk is that Anthony is plenty miffed that Baez is getting all the airtime and press while she has to release YouTube Princess Diaries.

So, Anthony wanted to throw Baez under el-bus-eroo in favor of Man-With-Middle-Finger, Cheney Mason.  Well, so says TMZ.  But, as it turns out, it’s Baez throwing The Princess Diary under the bus!  He’s done got up and left the damsel in distress….and he took her silver slippers, too.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.  ~  Lewis Carroll

4
Sep

Sour grapes, huh?

After the recent hearing to decide the amount of money Casey Anthony will have to pay back to the State of Florida for the pointless search for her “missing”  daughter Caylee Anthony, attorney Cheney Mason claimed it was sour grapes resulting from the State losing the case.

Sour grapes, huh?

Casey Anthony, just like any other citizen, will have to pay the State of Florida back its investigative costs. (Note:  The costs are not related to the trial/prosecution of Casey Anthony.)

Sure, the State of Florida wants to recoup the nearly $517,000 they spent to investigate a “missing” child they later learned had “drowned”.

Yes, these are absolute costs that Casey Anthony rightfully owes for the hours and hours and weeks and weeks of law enforcement investigation that, of course, was all a ruse.  The costs cover the dates of the deception, which were July 15, 2008 until December 11, 2008, when Caylee Marie Anthony’s remains were found.

Lady Justice: Don't fool with me!

You defraud the public, you pay the public back.

Period.

End of story.

We will find out the amount that Casey Anthony will have to pay in about three weeks when Judge Perry submits an order with the amount due.

Now, about that sour taste in your mouth, Mr. Mason?   Just go ahead and gargle with strong mouthwash because I do believe your client may have to put up and shut up.  Only my opinion, of course.

Perhaps Mr. Jose  Baez neglected to consider the impacts his bold opening statement during the trial would have in the long run?

When Baez said, “Caylee was never missing, but drowned” and when his client was found  guilty of lying, cha-chings started adding up.  And well they should have.

Despite the jury finding Casey Anthony not guilty, she was found guilty of lying to law enforcement and will have to pay a hefty sum for those lies.

That will satisfy Lady Justice just fine.

To Mr. Cheney Mason

So your client was found not-guilty of Murder.  It is  no matter here.  Of significance now?  Her lying bilked thousands of dollars out of the Florida coffers.  Had she told investigators that Caylee “drowned” at the outset, the investigation costs would have totaled about six hours, according to witness Lt. Paul Zamboris.

Mr. Mason, as you well know, when people defraud the public and get caught, pay-back is a bitch.  Well, this is nothing new.  And, no one is singling our your “indigent” client! 

Are you living in the past?   You must still believe that your Southern Gentleman-like charm, and that  Old-Florida drawl you put on as thick as Aunt Jemima syrup on hot pancakes, will work in this case.   Ain’t gonna work.   But, heck, you can resort to name-calling and obscene hand gestures all you want, it ain’t gonna amount to a hill of full of beans.  Throwing sophomoric hissy-fits will not persuade the Honorable Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., either.

But, I do have advice, Mr. Mason.  Don’t continue with that mean and cantankerous Ole Florida Coot act.   It only makes you look like you’re eating the sour grapes.  And it’s unbecoming.   You won the war, and jolly good for you.   You may not win the battle, so prepare yourself.

Remember the Runaway Bride story and how that ended?

The Runaway Bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, was running away from her fiancée, John Mason, (whose name, coincidentally is Mason, though I know of no connection), and also had to pay a sum of money as restitution.

Runaway Bride, Jennifer Wilbanks / BBC photo

As a result of her fraud, the Runaway Bride plead guilty to, a felony.  She got two years of probation, and a bill for nearly $43,000.

That story was a media circus, too.  Jennifer Wilbanks, like Casey Anthony, defrauded the public and had to pay.

According to the BBC, Jennifer Wilbanks sold the media rights to her story to a New York City company for $500,000.  Wilbanks did not offer to repay the whole cost of the search for her, which totaled almost $43,000.  BBC, June 5, 200

I think the penniless Casey Anthony should start counting those pennies.

I don’t believe a plea of “sour grapes” will convince the court to let Casey Anthony off scot-free.

Um, I’m sure you know that, Mr. Mason.

 

References:

Read Hal Boedeker story here.

BBC article:  Read here.

17
Aug

Shark!!!

I hear the “Jaws” movie theme in my head as I write this.  Do you remember that threatening music?  Just before the shark is about to take a bite, that music plays and BAM! a poor swimmer gets gobbled up by the toothy monster-shark. oooooh!   The ocean scared me after I saw that movie!

The Great White Florida Bar, aka “JAWS” is hunting again!

Today, the Florida Bar reports it is investigating Jose Baez again!  This time the investigation is a result of Jose Baez, et al, not informing the Court of Casey Anthony serving probation while she was in jail.   (It is not known who filed this most recent Bar complaint.)

When the issue of probation was recently heard by Judge Belvin Perry, the defense claimed it was not its burden to inform the court of any error imposed by the Department of Corrections, or of the Court.  However, the defense KNEW there was an error, and ignored it.

This is akin to purposeful deception, I think.  Why are all lawyers associated with this defense team ethically challenged?

Judge Belvin Perry wrote a scathing response to Baez when he upheld Judge Stan Strickland’s order of probation.

In regards to the defense not informing the Court of the error, Perry wrote:

To additionally seek to use a scrivener’s error to achieve an end that was against the court’s intent, especially where both parties had argued the issue of when probation should commence, strikes at the very foundation of our justice system.

No attorney should conduct himself or herself in a way that impedes an order of the court. …Our system of justice should never be in the position of rewarding someone who willfully hides the ball.

I believe Judge Belvin Perry has had just about enough of this kind of bold disregard of the duties incumbent upon an officer of the court.

Jose Baez AND Perry Foghorn Leghorn Cheney Mason, too, crossed the edge of propriety on so many occasions before, during, and now after the trial.  Too many occasions to list.

Perry said:

The defense should not be able to claim that they are now harmed by having the Defendant serve probation at this time.

This would allow a defendant to take advantage of a scrivener’s error and be rewarded. This is not the message the courts want to send to the public or defendants.

In an interesting coincidence, the defense today entered an emergency motion to have the probation, scheduled to begin August 26th, vacated by a higher court.

I predict, while the motion is considered by the higher court, Casey Anthony will have to begin her probation. When the higher court considers the motion, it will deny it, I believe.

Unfortunately, I think Jose Baez will not even be slapped on the wrist by this most recent Bar complaint.  I hope I am wrong.

More news tomorrow….

13
Aug

FloriDUH | Report: Naked sword fight lands lawyer in jail

FloriDUH | Sun Sentinel Blogs | Report: Naked sword fight lands lawyer in jail.

DUH! is right.

If you’re hunting for a Florida defense attorney who uses “out of the box” strategies, look no further, you’ve found your guy.

5
Aug

a hot mess of a legal morass – just another day in an Orlando courtroom

So, it was déjà vu all over again, or so it seemed to me as the lawyers and Judge Belvin Perry held a hearing with regards to whether Casey Anthony will be required to serve probation in her check fraud case.

The defense lawyers stated the issue of probation is moot now.  They claim that Anthony already served probation while in jail awaiting trial for the murder of her own daughter, Caylee Anthony.

But did she?  Can probation be served while in jail?  The answer is No, but sometimes, Yes –  but in the right circumstances.

The “probation” that Casey Anthony served while awaiting trial, was hardly probation.

As we know, Anthony was found (cough) not guilty of the murder charges.  However, in 2010, she plead guilty to felony counts regarding the check fraud case against her.  Judge Stan Strickland, the original Judge in the Murder One case, heard the check fraud case back in 2010.  At the time, the Judge sentenced Anthony to “time served” and one year of probation – upon release, as he said in open court.

The problem, as you probably know, the Department of Corrections inadvertently put Anthony under probation while in jail, which was not the intent of the Court.  When Judge Strickland realized this, he amended his order and ordered probation for Anthony.

Judge Perry held a hearing on the matter today as Judge Strickland recused himself from the case.

Judge Perry heard the arguments today and told the lawyers he will take time to rule because, he said, “It’s a mess.”

My sense, based on listening to Judge Perry, is that he is leaning slightly to the side of issuing probation.   He discussed case law in which he told the lawyers that issuing probation does not necessarily measure up to Double Jeopardy.  He also needs time to research this question to determine if there  is any authority already decided as it relates to the facts in this case.

The expressive Judge Perry

Defense Attorney Lisabeth Fryer, argued the law today.  She is a very capable attorney and I imagine she will have a very bright future ahead of her.  However, it was unnecessary, in my opinion, for her to attempt to malign Judge Strickland’s reason for amending the court order so it would be clear. She said, and I paraphrase:  ‘Judge Strickland’s made this vindictive decision based on not agreeing with the verdict.’

Judge Stan Strickland would NOT act in such a manner, neither would Judge Perry!  The Honorable Judge Stan Strickland is beyond reproach, and the defense, as we know, have no problem shooting off at the mouth with contemptuous nonsense.

Perhaps Attorney Fryer has spent too much time with certain defense lawyers and now thinks that all persons are as vindictive and rude as her boss – the one with the fat middle finger that he enjoys extending upwards?

I do believe that Judge Perry’s arguments, which did support Judge Strickland’s decision, tended to support applying probation in this case.  Judge Perry appeared to base the situation on a scribner’s error.

Assistant State Attorney Frank George, appearing on behalf of the State Attorney, pointed out that the very purpose of probation is to facilitate the individuals re-entry back into the community.   And that is exactly what is at issue.  Probation is a critical part of the rehabilitation process and should not receive short shrift.

I do believe Judge Perry will attach some means of probation for Anthony as she is deserving of it, clearly.  However, nothing is a sure thing, and Perry did also mention the issue regarding Anthony’s safety in the community, and he indicated he will consider this in his decision making.  Also, Judge Perry discussed that the Defense would agree to Administrative Probation.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Administrative probation is defined as follows:

Administrative Probation is a form of non-contact supervision in which an offender who represents a low risk of harm to the community may, upon satisfactory completion of half the term of regular probation, be placed on non-reporting status until expiration of the term of supervision. The department is authorized to collect an initial processing fee of up to $50 for the offender reduced to administrative probation. Periodic record checks are completed to ensure the offender has not violated the law.

Frankly, I would like to see her serve probation, but serve it far, far away, out of sight and out of mind – finally.

Writing about this case

I keep expecting that my concentration on this case will begin to decrease, but when interesting things happen in this case, I can’t help but write about it!  The comings and goings of the players in this saga continue to fascinate me.

So, when something happens with regards to this case, I will continue to write about it….

After all, this case has provided me a wealth of content to write about.  And it’s certainly helped me to stick with my commitment to write every day in the Post-a-day-2011 challenge!  (I’ve posted everyday since the first of January!)

It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A! 

And, I have some great news…

I am taking the advice of Jeff Ashton, and others, to look outside of my four walls and my blog and do something to help children in my community.  (I wanted to be a Big Sister, in the Big Brother, Big Sisters program, but they have more “Bigs” than kids, at this point.)  So, I’m getting involved in the YMCA, specifically in the children’s activity areas.

A few days ago, I was approached about serving on the Board of the YMCA. And today, I went to a YMCA luncheon.

After a presentation about the good work of the YMCA, I attended a show put on by the children in the summer camp.   Let me tell you, it was incredible!  There were children everywhere, clapping in unison to a varied beat – so focused! They danced and sang their little hearts out!  It was such fun to see them!

So, the YMCA is going to have me, if they want me.  I want them, that’s for sure!  I should know in a couple of weeks what their decision is.  They’re looking for professionals who can bring a variety of skills and abilities to the board….

It will be a terrific and rare opportunity to make a difference to so many kids lives!!!

Singing…. “Y  M C  A  …. it’s fun to stay at the ….”

4
Aug

hearing tomorrow – Anthony probation issue

It was a Project Runway night which meant I have been glued to the T.V.!

I do love that show!  However, I often don’t pick the winning look; worse than that, I often like best what the judges like least!  But I always learn something and end up appreciating the opportunity to see the design from the eyes of the judges.

Tonight’s design challenge was to construct something unconventional from items purchased at a pet supply store.  Josh, the designer sent home during tonight’s episode, made an outfit out of quasi-fabric material – he used umbrella fabric, and a black piece of material used in a fish tank.  The sad thing about his design, it was very dated: A halter top and short skirt.  Not exactly unconventional. The other designers used bird seed, feathers, dog toys, hamster bedding material, dog food, and other non-fabric material.

I thought the worse design was the skirt constructed from dogie pee-pee pads.  The outcome was off center, in a bad way and prompted a stream (pun intended) of cynical retorts!

Tomorrow’s hearing about probation in the Casey Anthony probation issue

Judge Belvin Perry will hear defense arguments concerning the probation issue.  It is difficult to know how Judge Perry will rule on this – many experts have differing opinions.  Whatever the decision of Judge Perry turns out to be, I’m sure it will be the correct one.

I found it interesting that Lawson Lamar, the Orlando State Attorney, made a statement regarding the opinion of his office.  Lamar believes that should Anthony be forced to serve probation (again) it would amount to double jeopardy, which is unconstitutional.

Far be it from me to know the truth of the probation matter from a legal perspective.  Lawson Lamar would know far better than I, but I question that statement never the less.  My opinion is that Anthony did not serve probation in jail – on paper she did, but it was not real probation.

The question for me is: Do we value probation as an important tool to lessen the behavior of the criminal who we want to rehabilitate? Are we treating Anthony differently?  Clearly, she is given far more consideration than another person charged with the same kind of crime.  What other defendant would be able to serve probation while in jail?

Whatever the outcome is, it will be for the best.

2
Aug

flippin’ probation

Why must Cheney Mason’s motions always contain personal and snippy vitriol?  More importantly, why must he consistently act like a high-school boy who’s only able to communicate via a middle finger, with a bark and a scowl?

Oh yes, Mason displayed his middle finger again today – flipping it in the direction of a driver, reported Kathi Belich of WFTV.

There’s something wrong with a grown man, nearing retirement, acting like this.  It’s uncouth (also uncool), for a lawyer to behave that way!  It’s bizarre – beyond the beyond of bizarre.

And, what’s worse, Mason told a reporter that Anthony will NOT comply with the probation order.  Hm.  Perhaps he wants to loose his law license?  By suggesting that Anthony will not appear, he – an officer of the court – is asking his client to break the law.

Cheney Mason, who once had a very good reputation in the Orlando area, is risking his law degree, and his reputation, for Casey Anthony?  Really??  It makes absolutely no sense to me.

The motion that Mason “walked” to the courthouse today (all he needed to do was file it electronically), was done to assure he had an audience.

In the motion, titled “Emergency motion for hearing to quash, vacate, and set aside court’s order,”  Mason writes that Judge Strickland’s “order was fraudulently entered.”

Mason also states that Judge Strickland, having amended the probation order, “Showed a reckless disregard for Ms. Anthony’s Due Process and Civil Rights.

I cannot fathom that any lawyer would make such offensive allegations against a sitting Judge, especially a Judge as thoughtful and fair as I believe Judge Strickland is.  It’s offensive.

Perhaps Mason believes that his career is over anyway, and so he doesn’t care who or what he insults.  If so, that’s hardly an excuse.   As an officer of the court and having taken an oath to follow the law, how can a lawyer act with such disregard for the law, and all behalf of Casey Anthony?  It makes no sense.

Here is the emergency motion, filed by Cheney Mason, filed on the CFS News13 website.

Richard Hornsby, a smart (and sometimes sassy!) criminal defense attorney that I admire, wrote a post on his blog that is excellent and that I encourage you to read – the link to his blog is on my blogroll and a link is available in the quote below.

Richard concludes the following with regards to the sentencing orders for probation:

While Judge Strickland’s intentions were clear, there seems to have been some confusion because the sentencing minutes that were generated after the hearing, and which Judge Strickland signed, simply stated credit for 412 days jail followed by one year of supervised probation. Notably, the sentencing minutes never contained the magical words “upon release” at the end of the sentence – not that they needed to.  ~ Richard Hornsby, Criminal Lawyer

The real question is whether Judge Perry will hear this emergency motion tomorrow on behalf of Judge Strickland.

If the order stands, and I think it will, Anthony will have to report to an Orlando probation officer Wednesday, August 3, 2011, by 5 pm, or she will have violated the terms of her probation.  When that happens, a bench warrant for her arrest will be put in place, and back to jail she’ll go.

Anything could happen at this point – and it probably will!

It’s difficult to read the tea leaves on this one.   Oh boy!  Stay tuned….

1
Aug

will casey anthony serve probation in Orlando?

Is she coming baaaaaaacccckkkk to Orlando to serve out probation in just 72 hours?  That was the buzz today in the Casey Anthony trial saga that just won’t end!

Judge Stan Strickland, the original judge in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony first degree murder case, also presided over the case in which Anthony stood accused of writing a number of fraudulent checks, charges were pressed against her by Amy Huizenga, a former friend that Anthony stole from.  Anthony plead guilty in this case.

Bang! And the decision is...???

Judge Strickland sentenced Anthony to one year of probation.  At the time of sentencing, he considered allowing her probation to be carried out while she was in jail awaiting trial for the murder of her daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony, but then decided she spend one year of probation upon her eventual release.

There was either a miscommunication or a lack of understanding on the part of the clerk who wrote the order that detailed what was decided by Judge Strickland.

The order, as understood by the Department of Corrections, was carried out by the Dept. of Corrections according to the order for probation, as they understood it.

A probation officer was assigned and Anthony was visited regularly by the probation officer handling her probation.  The probation period lasted one year, as the Judge ordered.

Why did no one question this?

It seems odd that a person would serve probation while in jail.  The purpose of probation, as I understand it, is to monitor the behavior of the individual to ensure his or her rehabilitation into society will be successful. How can that occur when one is locked up in jail and isolated each day for a period of 23 hours? What kind of trouble could a person get into with those constraints?

Of course the prisoner is going to behave!  They are isolated and have no choice! This is hardly the intent of probation.

There are quite a few prognosticators weighing in on what the defense team in the Anthony case will do to stop this probation order.  As I see it, the defense has a few options:

  1. Argue that Judge Strickland recused himself from the Anthony case (after the defense filed a motion to remove him), as such, he should not be deciding this case.  However, it seems that Judge Strickland is still the Judge on record and responsible for the application of the sentence – as he originally intended.
  2. The defense could, and likely will, file an emergency motion to appeal the amended order.
  3. They could request another Judge, potentially causing a delay in the application of the probation order.
  4. The defense could claim “double jeopardy.”  (I cannot see how double jeopardy would apply – the probation is solely related to the fraudulent check sentence.)  No doubt they will claim that Anthony is being persecuted.
  5. The defense may attempt to argue the hostility and danger of Anthony returning to Orange County to serve her probation. I am not sure if the court will care…. that’s a county issue, I believe.

Apparently the good Judge Strickland realized last week that Anthony was not serving probation, looked into it, and set about to correct the situation, much to the chagrin of the Anthony defense team.

Having to bring Anthony back to Orange County to serve her probation would mess up the planned publicity junkets, interviews, magazine centerfold posing, books, and whatever else is planned so corporation Anthony can eek out a living from the murder of her child.

The Conundrum….

Ever since the news broke about the probation issue, my first thought was, “Here we go, again!”  If Anthony returns from hiding, it would be another nutty media circus, providing more attention than is deserved.

Then, I thought, if she is required to serve probation in Orlando it will be deserved hell on earth for her.   But there’s also the question of her security, as we know there are terrible people out in the public who will harass and possibly harm her.  That would not be a desired outcome, of course.

We have the privilege of the First Amendment, and people in the community have a right to protest, but there is also human decency and the safety of Anthony and the public.   Also, it would be yet another cost to the taxpayers to have her in Orlando – she’d have to have protection.

I certainly would NOT want any harm to come to Anthony.  Frankly, I’d like to forget her.

If probation prevents her from profiting, all the better.

It is repulsive that she may be in a position to profit.  If her returning to Orlando will in some way squash the networks cashing in and paying her, that would be a great outcome….. I’m probably only dreamin’ though.

In the meantime, while we wait for the outcome of the probation issue to unfold, I would like to nominate Judge Strickland for President.

Anyone second that motion?

21
Jul

I say, looney tunes, I say…I say!

And the fallout over the acquittal of Casey Anthony for the murder of her daughter, Caylee Anthony, continues.

The looney tune opportunists are hunting for a quick buck.  There’s a $1,000,000.00 offer on the table by a producer by the name of Al Taylor.

Taylor originally said he’d spoken with Jose Baez about the deal, Baez flatly denies it.  Now, Taylor is saying he met with Casey Anthony.  He claims that the first thing Casey said said to him was, “Where’s my check?”

He also claims to have met with Casey on Tuesday, at a Palm Springs hotel.   It sounds like Wimpy when he says to Popeye, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”  Tuesday never comes and Wimpy gets a free hamburger every day.  Let’s hope Casey Anthony’s pay day goes something like that.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

In other news, we heard a lot from the lawyer-with-the-nimble-middle-finger-in-your-face, Foghorn Leghorn, who tells us some bizarre and downright looney news:

Foghorn:  By George! Lookit here, that Casey girl, yeah, she be wantin’ to become a lawyer, I say, I say, that girl is, I say, I say, that girl is wanting to become a lawyer and she wants to work in my office! Lookit here, I say, like hell I telled her, I say, like, like, like, I say, like hell that’ll happen – but she can dream, can’t she now?  Hah!

And then, Foghorn, pulling a rooster out of his pocket, in response to the media incessantly asking where Casey is hiding out, says to the media:

Foghorn:  Lookit here now, I say, I say, the only way you’ll find out where Casey is hiding out, I say, I say, the only way you’ll find out is if this here rooster tells ya.  Cause, I say, you won’t be gettin it outta me, I say.

The media is hounding ole Foghorn now.  “How is Casey doing,” yells a bright journalist.  Foghorn says:

Foghorn: Well now, son, looky here and listen good, I say, listen good to me now.  The little lady is, I say she is, she is, a-learnin’ now howta grieve about her little girl now, I say.  Lookit here, we have some good grief coaches.  Good grief!  I tell ya, I say, we got us some good grievin teachers I say!   And she sure is a fast learner yes she is.  I say, there’s something kind of eeEEEEeeehh about a gurl, I say, a gurl who aint grieved.   I telled her, I say, you best be cryin’ now sister, I say, I say, the smilin’ will come later, when you’re rich, I say, when we’re rich.

My Confession (excuse for this post!)

Even though I sat down at the computer to write about some of the recent crimes and horrible murders that have plagued Florida lately, I deleted it all.

Children are being attacked and killed by adults.  Children are killing their parents. Husbands killing wives leaving orphaned children.  Strangers killing strangers…..

“Stop the world, I wanna get off!”

Some day’s these stories hit me harder than other days and Foghorn Leghorn takes the sting out – momentarily anyway.

19
Jul

84 searches for chloroform – NOT! Give OCSO its CacheBack, please

It was much ado about nothing.

The brouhaha today regarding the initial dramatic testimony given by State witness John Dennis Bradley, the designer of the software “CacheBack,” that there were 84 searches for Chloroform, was a big story today.

But, this is a non-story.   It is neither an admission or a State error; nor was it an attempt to hang on to exculpatory evidence, as many reporters and bloggers have recently said.

Granted, this WAS dramatic testimony originally – it would have been damning evidence – had it been true.

The State of Florida corrected this in its rebuttal case.  Additionally, you may remember, it was never referred to in their closing arguments.  Why?  Because in its rebuttal case, the correct number of searches for the word Chloroform, using the UPDATED CacheBack software, was only ONCE.

One time. One search. Not 84 searches.  And this was made, although not abundantly clear by Linda Drane-Burdick, it was clarified when another expert computer witness testified during the State’s rebuttal case.

Casey Anthony, searched for chloroform ONE time – perhaps once is not enough to establish premeditation.  And that is the sticking point, too.  If the jury had considered 84 searches in their deliberations, it would have been a serious problem.  (The jury never considered any evidence, so we know this is a moot point, anyway.)

Oh, and although the chloroform search was singular, she also searched for:

  • Internal bleeding,
  • Ruptured spleen,
  • Death,
  • Self-defense,
  • Chest trauma,
  • Household weapons,
  • Hand to hand combat,
  • Neck Breaking, and
  • Internal Bleeding.

Might she have had murder on her mind?

Regardless, the State of Florida protected the record, I believe, by the testimony of the witness who said that when CacheBack had upgraded its software and analyzed the same data with the new and improved software, there were NOT 84 search instances.  There was only one.

It is in Mr. Bradley’s best interest to make hay out of this story to market his company and software. Perhaps he was getting unfavorable press as a result of the error that was exposed?

In deference to Mr. Bradley, he makes a good point when he stated that  although it was the Orange County Sherrif’s Office (OCSO) that had used his software to find the 84 Google searches, he points out that the OCSO should have validated those findings another way, but they did not do so.

Aha!  Now, he owns up.  Blame it on the OCSO.  How conveeeenient!

Uh, well, the OCSO was convinced this software was reliable!  They did not realize it would give back FALSE data.

When the software was updated, the test was rerun, and it was then discovered that his software, the earlier version, was not correct.

Isn’t it convenient for Mr. Bradley to blame the OCSO now?

I am not a lawyer, but it appears that had Casey Anthony been found guilty (of something) and convicted, this would NOT be reversible error because the truth of the matter is on the record in the rebuttal case.

And, if this was really an issue, Jose Baez would have made some comment about it, but I believe he has been largely quiet on this non issue.

Granted, Cheney Mason was quoted in the NY Times article as being appalled at this.   “Outrageous!” said the nimble-fingered Mr. Mason.  (I don’t think Mr. Mason caught all the testimony in this case, frankly.)

Mr. Bradley, the computer expert, believed that the State and the police were negligent in its work by not correcting the record.

The record was corrected.  It truly was much ado about nothing.  Kind of like Mr. Todd Macoluso having fun with the media by dressing a woman up in the same clothes that Casey Anthony wore in her release from jail, and running this “decoy” with a coat over her face, until she was out of sight on Orlando’s Executive airport.

It drove the news outlets into a tizzy!  All of a sudden the headlines began to sing:  “Casey Sighting in Orlando!”

Todd will have a good laugh over this for days to come!

16
Jul

good-bye casey

Casey Anthony will be a free woman in a few hours, in less than a day.

After being reviled, attacked, practically ripped apart physically while out on bond; having spent over three years in confinement – solitary confinement, she has survived.

I would go so far as to say, she has to be a pretty strong individual to have withstood all of what she’s gone through.

I don’t know if I could have stayed as resolute as Casey has in the face of such public scrutiny.  She has not moved from the one big lie about what happened to Caylee.  She denied, denied and denied it all until Jose Baez told us that Caylee’s death was a drowning accident, the result of which snowballed out of control.

Of course no one believes that – correction, the jury believed it. But, that’s another story for another day.

I could not possibly know what it must feel like to be in Casey Anthony’s shoes.  To have been in jail….. Then again, I have never killed another human being.

Are we all capable of killing?  Many people say, yes, we could.  Given the right circumstance, anyone could kill.  I don’t agree.  I don’t think we all are built or capable to kill.  Most of us could not and would not.

Perhaps if you grew up with violence in the home, or if you grew up with guns, or if you were trained as a soldier, you could.  But, most people are not built to kill, thankfully.

Personally I am a rag doll when faced with danger – I freeze.  And the knowledge that I become crippled in the face of danger, scares me.  I have no defense.  I can’t run either because my knees won’t let me.

Once, quite a number of years ago, when confronted by a peeping tom who was just ten feet away, on my patio, I tried to scream but noting came out of my mouth!

I moved my mouth and tried to yell to get my mom’s attention, but couldn’t.  Then, moments later, my mom saw me.   She took one look at me and saw my terror.  Her head shot in the direction I was looking.  She immediately flew, as fast as a bird, to the sliding glass door and yelled: ‘GET OUT OF HERE!” in a voice so frantic and loud that the guy ran like the devil!

By the time the police arrived, not five minutes later, my mom’s voice was already gone. She’d hurt her vocal chords so badly from that “GET OUT HERE!” that it took a couple of days to regain her voice.

If he hadn’t been behind that glass door, she would have attacked him.  My mom is five feet tall, less than 100 pounds, but she would have killed him to protect me.

I don’t know what it feels like to kill someone, especially someone I love.  I can’t go there in my mind – it’s a place that I can’t bear to contemplate for even a second.  My mind just will not go there.  It must be sanity that keeps my mind from being able to go there, even for a second.

People who kill must be able to go to a place in their mind where they know they could kill.  Do you think that maybe people who kill are born knowing they can kill?

We don’t want killers in society.  We don’t want them walking free among us.   As people of America, we have a system of laws that keep the good people free; the bad people locked away.

That’s what the law says should happen.  The good are free, the bad guys are locked away, right?

No, it’s not so black and white.

There are innocent people in jail right now as I write this, and there are guilty people who are free and committing other crimes as I write this, too.

What can we do about it?   Well we can guard against the bad guys and the killers in our society.  We can take precautions to keep them away from us – lock our car doors, stay in “safe” sections of our communities, put alarms in our homes, carry guns, knives or mace, put bars on our homes.

We do any number of things to keep evil out. But when the evil is within the home, that’s a whole new conundrum that begs for a solution where there often is none.

I know someone, in her 50’s now, who was terrorized from the time she was a young child until the time she got away from her family, at the age of 19. The terrorist was her own brother.

This family, the mother and father, and her, were terrorized by her own brother.  And not a single thing was done to stop it.

He would rage in the home, throw the mother against a wall when the father was gone, kick and throw things at her. He’d terrorize the young girl, pick her up and shake her, scream at her until she’d wet their pants, bang on bedroom doors in the middle of the night, screaming like a maniac at the family.  He held a butcher’s knife on every one of them at one time or another and not a single thing was done to stop it.

It was the 1960’s in a backwards community in rural Tennessee. You see, “Good” people kept their dirty laundry inside the home then. “Good” people were just that, “good,” and they wanted to keep their reputations “good,” too.

This family would never disturb the facade of “goodness” they enjoyed in their neighborhood.  Calling the authorities on their own son was unheard of.  In the 1960’s this did not happen, they thought.  They only knew that families protected their own and kept up appearances.

The son could have killed them all, they knew it, but they did nothing until they just couldn’t stand it anymore and threw him out.  They heard later that he joined the marines.  Yes, this maniac was “good” material for the war in Vietnam.

He survived the Marines and Vietnam, but came home even more violent.

In the 1970’s things were different, especially after Vietnam.  He never returned home but to visit.  He was a drug addict.  But the family had changed the locks and he eventually stopped bothering his family.

He eventually became such a bad drug addict that he killed himself in a drug overdose.

Even with all the turmoil he’d put the family through, when his mother learned of his death, she mourned deeply. The son who had tried to kill her so many times, was deeply mourned in death.

Our mothers will love us no matter what.  Too many mothers, though, have rose colored glasses on when it comes to their own children.

A mother will forgive her children whatever they’ve done, generally speaking.

But, honest and emotionally intelligent mothers will love but never condone the evil that the son or daughter has done.

I think this is why we had issues with Cindy Anthony. And it’s also why Cindy Anthony was in such a precarious position: She loved her granddaughter more than anything, but not more than she loved her own daughter.

I think I can forgive Cindy Anthony for that.  And I can’t help but forgive her because I have not walked in her shoes.  I can’t begin to know what it’s like to live with what she’s living through.

I sympathize with the Anthony’s.  I feel for George Anthony – for what he’s gone through.

Cheney Mason, the annoying defense attorney with the nimble middle finger, said recently that Casey Anthony will have nothing to do with her mother and father, but may see her brother, Lee, some day.

The Anthony’s, like my friend’s 1960’s family, never got help for Casey Anthony.

Casey was a deviant.  She stole thousands of dollars from her mother and family. The Anthony’s nearly lost their home as a result.  The Anthony’s knew Casey didn’t work, but like “good” families, they wouldn’t allow themselves to believe this – they were a family that wanted to keep up appearances.  They were a “good” family and would never admit to themselves they had a deviant daughter.

This perfect daughter wrote this, while in jail, about her loving parents (this is taken verbatim from one of the jail letters to prisoner Robyn Adam):

Saturday, hints why Baez still couldn‘t get a hold of her. Turns out, she meets with Meredith Veiera, formerly of the view, now associated with the media, the Today Show, I believe, or Good Morning America. She‘s not well enough to take advantage of seeing me in person on Friday, but can shmooze with the dirtbags the next day?! Seriously?! But wait, there‘s more! (I‘m sweating while writing this. My emotions are obviously getting a workout.) Come to find out that she put a Trademark on Caylee‘s name months back, never told me, and even talked about doing the same with mine. This is the same time she publicly states that she plans on writing a book about this!

B-E-T-R-A-Y-A-L!!! I‘m so sick to stomach even thinking about this. I‘m the only person who has tried to protect Caylee throughout all of this, and it kills me! All my Mom talks about now is doing a public service for herself, because she needs to. I can‘t believe my own mother is capitalizing, or trying to, off of everything that has happened. I had written her expressing my disgust, grief, and hurt, after what happened on Friday, this is before finding out all of this. And what happens when she meets up with Baez yesterday to read my letter? She laughs at the idea of getting caught with her lunch on Saturday. Laughs!

I can‘t take it Robyn. I can‘t I‘ve done everything possible to hold my family together and I continue to get stomped on, thrown under the bus, and it doesn‘t surprise me anymore when it happens. I have too many other things to worry about and now all of this! I‘ve officially lost my entire blood-related family in the blink of an eye, in the midst of mourning my daughter‘s death, trying to exonerate myself, and figure out what steps to take in achieving these things, and I get Fucked over by my entire family. I talked to Chaplain Gonzalez about it briefly, Cliff Notes version, and she wanted to cry. She told me my feelings are completely valid, and that I have to start looking out for myself. Not that I have a choice in the matter. They chose for me.

Casey was perfect.  She was pretty. Popular.  The Antony’s have known all along about Casey but did nothing to help her because they could not or would not see it.

The Anthony’s knew she never graduated high school, but pretended she had.  They knew she was pregnant, but wouldn’t believe “good” Casey would have sex, so therefore she couldn’t be pregnant.

I’m not sure if it was George or Cindy who said, “She’s not pregnant, she’d have to have sex to be pregnant.”   (I believe it was Rick, Cindy’s brother, who revealed this conversation he’d had with Cindy when he was talking with Yuri Melich.)

So, is the Anthony saga coming to an end now with her freedom?  Probably not.  But, the Anthony’s will one day become a faded memory to us, believe it or not.

Oh, this case will be remembered, but the feelings of hate that many have for Casey Anthony will fade because  time heals everything.

Time heals even the memories of so called, “Trials of the Century.”    A century is a long time.  This is the year 2011 and no doubt there will be many more “Trials of the Century” before this century is over – in the year 2100.

We have 89 more years to go before this century is over and I guarantee this trial will be forgotten in the year 2100.  Oh, maybe it will be “Googled” in future law school classes, but then again, maybe not.  Who knows!

All I know is Casey Anthony has a lot of years of living to do before her times ends.  I hope she fills, what is left of her life, with grace.  That’s the poet and the dreamer in me talking, though.

In reality, I know Casey Anthony will not have a good life and will probably end up living her life out in some prison in America.

So be it.  Live and let live.

Good-bye Casey.

11
Jul

can’t stop thinking about….yup, the trial

I want to mention a couple of things about the Casey Anthony case that are still really bothering me. And, I want to share what I learned today about “Cloud Computing” and using Microsoft “SkyDrive,” which is relatively new, I believe.

But first, the trial.

Practically everywhere I look – on Twitter, blogs and on newsy websites – there are articles and reports about the Casey Anthony trial.  I can’t get away from it – especially when the news reminds me of critical questions that should be asked.

Here’s what bugs me still:

  1. If, like the Anthony defense contends, Caylee drowned in the pool, that would be the manner of death.  But, there were at least two times that Jose Baez said in the trial (I believe it was in front of the jurors), “We’ll never know how Caylee died.”   So, what’s true? Did she drown?  If it was a pool accident, that’s how she died!  This equivocation by Jose tells me he was NOT completely sold on the drowning theory.
  2. When did Jose Baez learn that Caylee was not a missing child?  Didn’t the Anthony family and the defense, until December 11th, 2008 – when Caylee’s remains were discovered – believe she was missing?  The Anthony’s were on Larry King on the evening of the 10th of December and they were bound and determined to get us to believe Caylee was “missing” and yet, according to Lee, Cindy had Dominic Casey, in November, search the woods off of Suburban Drive.  The search supposedly came about via a tip from psychic, Ginnette Lucas.
  3. When did Jose Baez and Cheney Mason learn of the “drowning”?  And did Casey tell them, or was it simply a theory of the defense?  In Dr. G’s deposition, Cheney Mason mentioned drowning as a possibility.  The Dr. G. deposition was taken in January or February, 2011.  Did they only just “learn” about the drowning?
  4. If it was an accident, why did Casey spend three years in jail?  I don’t believe for a single moment she would sit in jail if her father was complicit in the “accident.”
  5. On April 6th, 2010, Casey Anthony’s jail letters were released.  In them, Casey writes to Robyn that her brother would sneak into her room at night.  She also writes in the letters that she’s wondering if maybe her dad molested her, too.  She’s not sure because the memories are just coming back to her now.  But, she’s pretty sure he did molest her, too.  Did the defense team see a Golden Egg filled with reasonable doubt in the letters?  No doubt they did!
  6. The jury, we’re learning now, DID think Casey was guilty, but they claim, the prosecution didn’t prove it????   Juror #11, the foreman, told Greta Van Sustern that he was “disgusted” that he had to sign the verdict form.  Um, if the jury THOUGHT that she was guilty, wouldn’t that mean the prosecution proved their case?
  7. Some jurors thought that George could have been involved. The jury was told only to consider “evidence” during deliberations.  Where was the evidence regarding George’s involvement???  The answer?  In Jose Baez’s opening statement only, which is NOT evidence. Did this confuse the jurors?  Was Jose lying to the jury?  Why isn’t it illegal for a defense attorney to lie?
  8. Jose Baez gave a number of public statements referring to a “missing” Caylee early in the case. Jose specifically discussed a missing Caylee during his press conference on the day of Casey Anthony’s indictment.  Did Jose know at that time that Caylee drowned?  Why would Baez discuss Zanny the Nanny early on if there was a drowning?  Seems as if the drowning theory was just that, a theory, aka a lie.
  9. Cheney Mason said today he believed Casey’s story the first day he met her, at her home, before he signed on to the case.  At her home???  This would  have to be before October – prior to the indictment.  But, Caylee was missing then, right?  He believed her story about the drowning then?
  10. Casey was living at home with her molester father until she was 22, and then also when she was out on bond?  If the lawyers really believed the story about George, why didn’t they tell law enforcement or the prosecution about the molestation?  There is NO Statue of Limitations on child molestation.  So, if George did molest Casey he would be in jail right now.

So, these are my top 10 maddening left over issues.  But, I have accepted the verdict – almost.

Anyway, we have known all along that Casey Anthony is a prolific liar and we knew that George Anthony was going to be the reasonable doubt the defense needed.

We also knew that the jury would be able to see through the smoke screens, but they followed the law as they saw it, and I feel for the jurors now.

Sky Drive – Cloud Computing!

On www.skydrive.com, you’ll be able to set up a free account using SkyDrive’s suite of Cloud computing software.  You’ll get 25 GB’s of storage space, too.

You’ll have FREE access to create, edit, save, send Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents.   This is a great solution when you’re on the run.  Now matter what computer you’re on, your documents will be readily available, stored on your own “Cloud.”

8
Jul

juror groupthink, learning, listening & the system

The news about the acquittal of Casey Anthony, in her First Degree murder trial, is only a couple of days old and still the stories have legs like spiders weaving more sticky situations.

There will be questions and stories for days to come. I’d always thought that once Casey Anthony was sent to jail for the rest of her life, this story would fade away until it became a small memory in our minds.

The acquittal of Casey Anthony, completely unexpected by virtually everyone, including the media, is now a story with enormous interest.   Now that a complete acquittal has occurred, this story will drag on longer than necessary, because we need answers.

The media is all over every second of the story, and I can’t help but follow the news, tweets, and the stories that continue to come out.  That’s because, I am still in shock, I guess.

One recent story is Casey Anthony will have to appear before the glaring lens of the depo-cam in the law office of Morgan and Morgan!  This is in regards to the  civil case filed by Zenaida Gonzales, the person who was originally thought to be the real “Zanny the Nanny,” but was quickly cleared.  To have Casey Anthony in front of the camera for this civil deposition will be huge news, and certainly very interesting.

This Zenaida Gonzales has claimed she lost her good name, her job, her car, and was kicked out of her apartment because of being associated with the disappearance of Caylee.  I don’t have an opinion about this, though I am thankful for Morgan and Morgan for pursuing this case!

The video deposition is scheduled for July 19th; two days after Casey Anthony is released from jail.  The subpoena was delivered to Casey Anthony already.  It’s not clear to me if she can ignore this subpoena or not.  I wouldn’t think so, but one never knows!

The News of Late

The media is telling us, Casey Antony’s jail sentence will end July 17th, on a Sunday versus the original date, July 13th.  The additional four days were added by the Department of Corrections when it was discovered they miscalculated time served.

The costs of the prosecution of Casey Anthony are being calculated by the State Attorney’s Office; HLN reports the numbers could be in the area of $500,000.

Lighting struck a tall tree in the area where Caylee’s remains were found and the TV hosts were all over it, anxious for manic responses like, “It’s a sign, it’s a sign!  God has spoken!”

I don’t mean to belittle any of these kinds of divine intervention beliefs. But I’d be more apt to ask, “If God were to gesture to earthly beings, wouldn’t He want attention to focus on the millions of children suffering in Haiti, Africa, and even in the US, as children are going hungry on our very own soil?”

A darling Caylee, was brutally murdered in Orlando Florida, and the one charged with caring for her will soon be living “La Vida Loca.”  But, our justice system has spoken, though I believe justice got this one wrong.

The jurors are human beings like me and you.  Our world can be unfair; there is injustice everywhere and no where are there easy answers.  It is difficult to rationalize why.

The Jury System – Broken?

There was a dialog in the 1990’s about changing the jury system when the OJ Simpson jurors got it so wrong.  How to revamp the juror system would be a positive dialog to have.

Having regular human beings judge a complicated murder case, where a life is on the line, does not make sense to me.

They are to be the “Trier of Fact” and I believe in the jury system totally and completely, but times have changed.  Trials are sophisticated events.

Jurors are not lawyers, and we expect so much from them.  We expect them to deduce and reason like lawyers, but they are regular folks with regular lives and worries and issues.  They are not active participants in the process, they are passive listeners though we ask them to listen actively.

Active listening is very difficult when it is one-sided.  I am quite sure they  only really heard ten percent of the evidence.

Adults Learning and Listening

There is research into Adult Learning that tells us that human beings can only retain a minimal percentage of what is heard – the percentage is between 2% and 10%.

If you think back to the lectures in high school or college that you listened to – what did you learn, really?  How much of that lecture do you think you retained?

What Jose Baez did with the defense exhibits – using pictures of the evidence and pictures of witnesses, although it seemed really simple, was extremely effective as a learning tool for the jurors, in my opinion.  These exhibits were a sort of “job aid” for the jurors to use to help them frame the concepts of the case in their minds.

There’s a great deal of learning required of jurors during a trial.  But, helping jurors to learn is not the goal of our system of justice.

Courts do not present evidence or testimony from a learning/retention perspective.  But, it would behoove lawyers to use Adult Learning theories in the way they communicate to jurors.

Did Deliberation Occur?

It is being reported that some jurors originally voted for guilt but changed their minds.  Could the bond and the closeness that the jurors formed have anything to do with changing their minds?

I wonder if sequestration for such a long time is detrimental to individual thinking?

And, I wonder if the jurors cared more about each other than they did their duty?

You never can tell what kind of dynamic was at play – group dynamics can be confounding and it would take a strong person to stand alone in such an environment.

There’s that phenomenon called “Groupthink” that could have come into play in the relationship of the jurors as a group. Psychologist Irving Janis, coined the term and defined Groupthink.

I learned about the phenomenon of Gropthink in relation to group dynamics in the workplace, but it can be defined in every group situation.  Fortunately, it is not always present in every group.

Irving Janis defines Groupthink this way:

…occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment.”

Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions…

A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.   Source:  Janis, Irving L.  (1972). Victims of Groupthink.

One of the jurors, reportedly, was going to miss a cruise if the jury did not come to a decision by a certain time.  Was this a popular juror in the crowd?  Did the jurors want to be sure to decide quickly to ensure the cruise went as planned?  Maybe.  But, I think Judge Perry would have stepped in to help that situation so the juror did not lose money.

I’m at a loss for answers, but I do realize it’s futile to expect answers as to why justice for Caylee was heinously denied.  Or was it?  Not according to Cheney Mason, Jose Baez, or Dorothy Sims.

This is our system and, like it or not, they will say it worked.

I disagree that the outcome was justice, but I respect it nonetheless and realize that common sense was not common here…

7
Jul

don’t like attorney antics? file a complaint

Did you know that we, as citizens, can file a complaint against a lawyer?

I didn’t realize this until yesterday.   The Orlando Sentinel has reported that someone in Coral Gables, Florida, has filed a Florida Bar complaint against Mr. Cheney Mason for this reprehensible posturing and lewd gesture.

Photo Credit: PHELAN M. EBENHACK, ASSOCIATED PRESS / July 6, 2011

John B. Thompson, who says he is a lawyer, bases his complaint on the fact that Mr. Mason is not representing the integrity of the profession.

Ya think?

The story, however also states that the complaint is made by an attorney, John B. Thompson, who is listed as a disbarred attorney.  Read Story.

The Orland Sentinel contacted the Florida Bar who said a complaint has not been lodged against Mr. Mason at this time.

As individuals, we can make a complaint to the Bar.  Here is the form to complete: Bar Complaint

The above complaint form is under the “Consumer” link on the Florida Bar Website: http://www.floridabar.org/

6
Jul

not innocent

To say the verdict in the State v. Casey Anthony is shocking is an understatement.

I am dazed, overwhelmed at this jury decision.  Are we in an alternate reality where wrong is right and right is wrong?  It seems so to me.

But, I have to accept it.

Even though Casey Anthony was found not guilty yesterday, it does not mean she is innocent of the death of her daughter.

Apparently, the jury did not have an abiding and sure belief of guilt.  And I have to accept and appreciate their decision.

But, it’s difficult to do this because I see this as a miscarriage of justice.  Then again, a worse miscarriage would be finding an defendant guilty when they are innocent.

That would be far worse, and so I’m taking that to the bank.

What went wrong?

Some Legal Eagles and Talking Heads are saying, “Well this verdict is an example that the system worked.”   I can’t quite agree with that, but I do understand that I have to accept the verdict because this is our system, and it’s the best in the world.

I think the heart of this decision boils down to the jury not wanting to have the burden of sending Casey to jail for the rest of her life.  Maybe they thought if their decision was wrong, it’s better to be wrong via an acquittal then to be wrong via finding guilt.

My belief in Casey’s guilt is abiding, and I think the jury made a decision that speaks to their fear of getting it wrong, so they erred on the side of caution.

We all believed that because the jury took only eleven hours to come to their verdict, they must have found her guilty.  I was so sure that was the case.  I can’t help wondering that this jury did not delve into the evidence because they wanted or needed to get home.

My head tells me, this jury, who are supposedly people without vendettas, without prejudice, without agendas, have made the best decision because we have trusted them to do so, and twelve of them have sacrificed two months of their individual lives to fulfill their promise.

And so, I should accept the jury’s verdict, just as Assistant State Attorney, Jeff Ashton so gracefully accepts it.  I’m struggling with this.  Really struggling.

Jeff Ashton was on the Today Show this morning.  He has accepted with grace and understanding this verdict.  Watch Jeff Ashton on the Today Show:   http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/43651905#43651905

So, what went wrong?  I never, never expected things to go this wrong.  How did it happen to go so wrong?  Were Casey Anthony’s parents partly to blame because of all the lies they told?  Did the family muddy the water just enough that the jury did not know who to believe?  Did the jurors think that the garbage in Casey’s car explained the smell of decomposition?  Did they believe Jose Baez’s claim that Caylee’s death was a tragic accident?  Did the jury sympathize with Casey and did not want her to pay with the rest of her life?  If that is the case, what about Caylee?  Were they only thinking about Casey and nothing about Caylee?

The charge must fit the crime.

Did the State of Florida overcharge Casey Anthony?

The charges, though fitting of the crime in my view, must fit the jury’s ability to grasp all of the elements of the crime.  Was the case so convoluted and muddied to such an extent by the defense, they took reasonable doubt to an even higher standard?  No cause of death. No eye witness. No CSI moments.  Just a lot of circumstantial evidence.

The death penalty and circumstantial evidence may be a hard sell for a sentence of death, or life in jail.

Did publicity hurt this case?

Scott Peterson was convicted of Capital Murder with much less evidence. That trial was not televised.  Did the TV play too big of a part in this case?  Did the transparent and liberal public records law in Florida damage the case?

I read so much of the discovery in this case, there was no doubt in my mind of who was responsible for this crime.

If the State of Florida had to do it again, would the charges start with 2nd degree murder?  I believe, though in hindsight, this would have been just since the cause of death, tragically, was ruled unknown.

Had Caylee been found the first time Roy Kronk relieve himself in those woods, it would have been a very different case, obviously.

There are many more questions than there are answers.

Theory of the Defense

I believe that Jose Baez and team floated theories that were deceiving and not at all a search for the truth.  I felt this defense team was unethical.  Do they teach trickery in law schools?

Why couldn’t the jurors see the tricks and the deception of the defense team?

I truly thought that a reasonable person should see through the smoke and mirrors and see what the defendant did to her very own child.

Why didn’t this jury at least ask themselves, “What is reasonable about not reporting a child’s absence for 31 days?”   Answer?   It is NOT reasonable!  It would never be reasonable!

Didn’t the State of Florida make it clear that this mother NEVER, for 31 days, cared one bit for her child and lied about her whereabouts?

Did the jury buy the drowning accident?  I think they must have. Didn’t they want evidence of drowning?

Was this jury just so anxious to get home?  Is that why they did not review the evidence?

What’s reasonable?

When reasonable doubt is the standard, shouldn’t the penalty be reasonable, too?

Reasonable doubt is a high standard, as it should be.  If this standard did not exist, the possibility of a Police State could easily become our governing system of justice.

To me, reason and justice are entwined.  Maybe the problem is that reason means different things to different people.   Is it as simple as knowing right from wrong?  Not exactly.

I think reasonable doubt is sometimes an unreasonable concept for people to understand.  This is the “reasonable doubt” the jurors were told to apply, as written in their jury instructions:

Whenever the words “reasonable doubt” are used you must consider the following:

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.

If you have a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty. If you have no reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty.

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.

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.

My reason tells me:

  • A child in the woods whose face is covered in duct tape is wrong.
  • An accident made to look like a murder is wrong.
  • A mother not reporting her child missing is wrong.
  • A car with the smell of human decomposition means something is wrong, just as Cindy Anthony said, “There’s something wrong…”
  • A mother thinking her life is beautiful now her child is gone, is that mother’s right, but it is wrong by every ethical standard.
  • A Father molesting a daughter is wrong.  Did it happen?  There is no proof either way except a liar says it is so.

I also think that how a person’s individual definition of right and wrong plays into their understanding of reasonable doubt. What I think is wrong and what you think is wrong, may be different.

Maybe this is problematic with juries.  Maybe we need a better way to define what reasonable doubt means.  It would be good to give examples to jurors.

Or, maybe we could give potential jurors a test – if they fail this test, they cannot be jurors!

That may be prejudicial though.

How about we change laws about lawyer credentials – insist they take a test to prove that integrity and ethics are values they hold dear.

If only.

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