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Posts tagged ‘Death Penalty’

5
Aug

Sharing the Outrage: An Innocent Man Executed

This morning I read this New Yorker Magazine article “Trial By Fire,” on my cell phone, as I was taking my dogs out for their first walk of the day, and my teeth are still clenched. I feel like there’s this vice-grip-like anger pounding in my neck.  It’s like this astonished and futile anger and I would just like to spit.  And curse – really loud.

Shit.

But, see?  Cursing is completely pointless.  So is spitting for that matter.

And then, after reading this insanely sad article, I realize it was written in 2009!

Where the hell have I been?  Todd Willingham was murdered by the state of Texas in 2010!

Another innocent man murdered by the death penalty – murdered by our own US government.   This is the greatest country on earth, we’re so often told, and we do this?   We murder our citizens is what we do.

I sat for a while on my couch, after reading the article, with my dogs on my lap, drinking my coffee, the sun pouring in from the window behind me, and I imagine being hauled away – accused of a crime I didn’t commit.  Dudes with guns coming into my home, throwing my dogs aside and tackling me in my pajamas because they knocked on the wrong door.

And then…What if I had to go to trial with a court appointed hack as a lawyer, in a paltry town in Texas, knowing my lawyer didn’t give a rat’s ass about me because his D.U.I. cases pay his bills?  What if?

And I think – forget what if – that could be me.  I could be Todd Willingham.  It could happen to ANYONE (well, except for the very rich – they buy themselves out of those kinds of outrages).

Our justice system isn’t. Our children are being scooped up – young black children, in particular. Yes,  children, scooped up in a system that isn’t even a system anymore because it only knows quotas and profits because criminal justice is a business now.  It’s become its own criminal enterprise.

See the movie “Kids For Cash” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. You’ll understand.

Thinking about the death penalty in this country and thinking about how criminal justice is itself, criminal, is very depressing.

“The only statement I want to make is that I am an innocent man convicted of a crime I did not commit.”  Cameron Todd Willingham
 

I get so frustrated.  I want to work on this cause (to abolish the death penalty) with my whole body and soul and make it the single most important pursuit of my life.  Except I have a life with bills to pay and a mortgage that I can’t really afford because I live in Florida and got sucked into the mortgage mess.

I want to do something real.  But what?   Well, for now I can share what I read this morning – this insanely well written story in the New Yorker Magazine, by author David Grann,

Sharing the outrage.  It’s the least I can do.

The New Yorker Magazine article tells the story of how one woman, Elizabeth Gilbert, teacher and playwright, befriended Todd Willingham, while he was on Death Row, learned about his story, and fought to save his life.  She would have succeeded, too, if Rick Perry hadn’t intervened by ignoring the appeals and the new exculpatory evidence in the case (evidence which would have exonerated Todd Willingham).

Instead, Texas Governor, Rick Perry, had him killed.

Bastard. Shit-head. Fucking Lunatic.

Excuse me while I go spit.

Resources:

Elizabeth Gilbert’s website:

http://camerontoddwillingham.com/

A Movie about the case:

https://www.yahoo.com/movies/film/incendiary-the-willingham-case

A CNN clip

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.

26
Sep

Xenophobia

Merriam-Webster’s definition of Xenophobia:  “Fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.”

I am on vacation this week, so my mom and I went to see the movie Sarah’s Key this afternoon.  We’d both read the book by Tatiana De Rosnay, and were both anxious and hesitant to see the movie, knowing the Holocaust is disturbing  subject matter.

I never knew about France’s role in the genocide of Jewish people, during WWII, until I read Sarah’s Key.  I’ve read many books on WWII and yet never heard of the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup.

The movie follows a young victim of the genocide in France.  In the Roundup, (Paris, 1942), the police and government set about to ensure the extinction of Jewish families.  During the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup, Jewish families were herded into the Velodrome, a large bicycling arena, where they were kept for days without anything to eat, no restrooms, or medical care.

And then, families were separated.  Husbands and wives separated, young babies torn from mothers, then older children dragged away from mothers desperate to keep them.

The events in France – the extinction of thousands and thousands of French Jews – was something, as I mentioned earlier, I’d never studied.  I was under the impression that France was of a different mind during the war.  As it turns out, they were as ruthless as the Germans.  (I’m reading some historians who say the French finally found their conscience and the genocide did end and was never repeated.)

The reason I am writing about this tonight?  I cannot get out of my head the reality – the harsh and brutal facts that people could be herded off to their deaths en masse.  French citizens allowed it to happen.  In the movie, some cheered as victims were herded out of their homes and into the streets, then removed.

How does society, or a community, allow this to happen?   It is mind boggling to think of the reality – the flesh and the blood, the fathers, mothers, sons and daughters purposely slaughtered.  Human beings like you and me, taken like they were property from their homes!

I’m a complete idealist, and have trouble accepting how prejudice can fester, like a cancer, in the hearts of  people.

Anne Frank wrote, in The Diary of a Young Girl, ” In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart… ”

It was not long ago that the horror of the holocaust happened.   The United States condoned slavery, the interment of thousands of Japanese Americans in 1942, and similar atrocities.  What would we do if such atrocities happened today?

I thought of Troy Davis.  I thought of the death penalty, and how our state governments murder people on death row.  And I thought, if a government will kill one bad person, what prevents them from killing masses of people perceived by them to have no value?

The Holocaust happened not that long ago.  The Spanish Inquisition (1492), and the Holocaust, (1939-1945), were made from the same religious fervor and  hate, only they were centuries apart.

I wonder if hate, prejudice, racism, or  sexism, etc., results from ignorance.  If that is true, I’d like to think that education is the cure.   Ignorance, lack of education and socio-economic disparities harm our communities, too.  The education our children recieve in our Public Schools (in Florida) is horribly burdened from the top down and bottom up.  This is the very reason I agreed to be on the Board of the YMCA in Broward County, Florida.  Our children don’t have the resources they need to succeed, especially in the inner cities.  Not to mention the problems with parental support, homelessness, hunger, and so much more.

People are in trouble today in our communities.  The fact that people are going hungry in the United States of America is something I never thought possible.  My fear is the longer our middle class is allowed to shrink and morph into the depths of severe poverty, the more we are in danger of increased crime and unrest.

And, the Death Penalty is not the answer!  The Death Penalty has no bearing on crime. It is not a deterrent, say the experts, and it’s far more expensive to carry out than are life sentences.

One of the characters in the film, while in the filthy, crowded and pestilent train-car that was taking the Jewish victims to the work camps, shows young Sarah the large ring on his finger.  He tells her there is poison under the false facade of the stone on the ring.   He says,  “No one, no government – nor anyone but I – have the right to tell me when it’s time for me to die.”

25
Sep

I am Troy Davis

I am struggling with the murder of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia.

“I am Troy Davis,” cried the throngs of supporters who battled to turn his death sentence around.  Indeed, we are all Troy Davis – we could be charged with something in the blink of an eye simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For a black American male, the reality of “I am Troy Davis” is quadrupled.   Black men have been stopped by police because they drive a nice car.  Sadly referred to in South Florida as, “Driving while Black.”   The stereotypical scenario that an expensive car and a black man, in some areas, is a red flag.  The first suspicion?  The car was stolen.

How can a racist nation; a nation that murders people, be thought of as civilized?  It can’t.

It seems the criminal  justice systems of the deep south have three versions of criminal law – separated by the classes.   The very poor black man is guilty until proven innocent; the same is nearly true in the sluggish criminal justice system for the middle class; and there’s the rich person’s justice where fat-cats play and money is made via pay offs.

As an idealist, I am loathe to see this divide.   But when a white man is given clemency by the Georgia Parole Board the very next night as Troy Davis’ murder, there is clearly something wrong!  Read the Reuters story about Samuel David Crowe’s clemency. 

We know the original United States Constitution denied black persons the same rights as white persons.  That sacred set of rules by which we live was originally littered with racism.   There is no denying that America, at one time, judged people by the color of their skin.  Throughout history white persons were afforded privileges well above and beyond the meager allowances of black citizens.

I remember, as a little girl growing up in South Florida, there were “colored” beaches, and beaches for everyone else.  My mother has told me for years that as a child I wanted to drink from the “colored” water fountain because I thought it would be colored water, like fruit punch.  I thought “colored” people were made of primary colors.  I suppose I associated it with my colored crayons.

Fortunately, I had an advantage over other kids my age.  My father was a teacher in a black school, in the sixties, and I grew up knowing his students, and fellow teachers.  He and my mom made sure I went to segregated schools.  I never knew how racist the United States really was until I entered college.   Well, I knew about slavery before college, but had a difficult time believing it until the television mini-series “Roots,” aired and I learned how I saw the world and how it really was, were very divergent.

I wasn’t a very good student in high-school; I only cared about singing, dancing and acting.  What was on my mind back then was practicing how to write my signature when people wanted my autograph, coming up with different stage names, creating scenarios for when I met Barbra Streisand and what I’d talk to her about.  (I had pages and pages of things to talk to her about – and I’d practice the conversations, too.)    She was my obsession and I was so sure I was going to meet her as soon as I was famous.

Sorry, I was talking about Troy Davis.

I don’t know that Troy Davis was innocent.  I don’t know enough about the crime itself (yet) to really pass judgement on “innocence” though many people are making that leap of faith.  What is bothersome to me is all the doubt that people are saying existed in this case.

The murder weapon was never found and seven of the “eye” witnesses recanted their testimony.  There was no DNA, Troy Davis has denied being the trigger-man, and is insisting he is innocent.   (A lot of criminals go to their grave denying they committed the crime – look at Casey Anthony.)   Just because a defendant maintains their innocence means nothing in the big picture – criminals will lie.

In the Troy Davis case, because enough doubt has been raised over the years should have at least raised the white flag of surrender to clemency for Davis, don’t you think?

The fact that Georgia and the Supreme Court did not err on the side of life for Troy Davis makes a statement.  The statement, in my estimation, is one that informs us that Georgia is callous as it concerns race relations.   I was sure the Georgia Politicians would be sensitive about race, and therefore do the right thing – so as to not suffer the consequences of political suicide.   The fact that Georgia lawmakers and politicians did not take a stand on this issue is alarming.

The politicians must believe that the populace prefers a lynching rather than what Spike Lee called, “Doing the Right Thing.”

The cartoon by Chan Lowe was published September 23, 2011, by the Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune Company.

23
Sep

guilty of being black in Georgia

Racism.  It is a horrible reality in our country.  I know we don’t like to discuss it, but it’s there, it’s pervasive, it’s sickening.

What is racism anyway?   If we break it down, what does it imply at its heart?  I think it boils down to two things:  Superiority and skin color.

My skin is pale white and I have freckles that I hate, they cover my arms, legs and chest.  The skin on my face is also pale, not pasty, just pale with some freckles.   Growing up near the beach in South Florida, I loved the ocean and the sun.  I’m paying for my sun-worshiping days now.  No skin cancer – yet – but the way I baked my skin when I was young, doctors always have an eye on my freckles.

I’ve always loved dark skin.  And the darker the better.   (I’d like all my freckles to merge into a rich mahogany color.)

Unfortunately, we can’t pick our skin color, it’s a gift we’re born with.   If Troy Davis’ skin was a pale color would he have gotten clemency, too?

The man pictured below, is the color of his skin dictate how deserving he is of pardon?  Yes, says the Parole Board of Georgia.

The man below is a murderer but was not murdered last night.  Before Troy’s casket was sealed, the Parole Board of the State of Georgia gave this man clemency.

Samuel David Crowe

Wouldn’t you think that the death penalty in Troy Davis’ case would give people pause, or prompt them to consider the consequences of killing an innocent?  There was too much doubt to kill Troy Davis!  But he was black….. Guilty of being black in Georgia.

Georgia murders more black men on death row than white.

There are Southerners and Skin Heads who hate a person’s skin color with such a passion.  it must be something that’s inbred – inherited from childhood, I think.

When I read that just last night this white man was given clemency in Georgia the night after Troy was murdered, it proved to me that the application of murder in Troy’s case was  racially motivated.  Why else would they put him to death and save this man?

They put him to death because good ole boys and girls in Georgia are not expected to have a conscious when it comes to a black person, particularly a black man who is believed to have murdered a white cop.

Troy Davis’ murder was, in my opinion, as much of a hate crime as the recently murdered Texas man who hitched a black man to his truck and dragged him to his death.

Troy Davis is guilty of being black in Georgia.

21
Sep

a stay for Troy Davis’ execution is only temporary

Supporters of Troy Davis, who was scheduled for execution this evening at 7:00pm, erupted in joy at the news that a stay had been granted at the eleventh hour for Troy.

Unfortunately, it is a temporary stay so the Supreme Court has an opportunity to review additional issues brought forth by Troy Davis’ defense attorneys

The “warrant” for Troy’s death is still valid until September 28, 2011.  Until then, there is still hope.

The torture of waiting to die

All in all, Troy has gotten a total of 4 stays since being on Death Row.  Three times before, Troy has had to ready himself emotionally and psychologically,  to die.

Ed Pilkington, writing for The Guardian, reflects upon what this “torture” does to a person in his article for The Guardian.  The article lists 10 reasons why Troy should not be executed, below is reason number ten:

Even if you set aside the issue of Davis’s innocence or guilt, the manner of his execution tonight is cruel and unnatural. If the execution goes ahead as expected, it would be the fourth scheduled execution date for this prisoner. In 2008 he was given a stay just 90 minutes before he was set to die. Experts in death row say such multiple experiences with imminent death is tantamount to torture.

ReadTroy Davis: 10 reasons why he should not be executed

Texas kills – again

Tonight, Texas murdered another prisoner.  It happened at 6:21 Texas time.  Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, was on death row for the racially charged murder of James Byrd, Jr.

The murder of Mr. Byrd is so heinous that I don’t wish to discuss it.

Suffice it to say that someone like Lawrence Russell Brewer is no better than an animal – no, most animals behave better.  This murderer is the worst of the worst, but not worthy of state sponsored murder.

No one should be willfully executed – ever.   It is barbaric and the United States is, or should be, better than this.

Civil societies do not murder their people, therefore the US states that sponsor the death penalty are uncivilized, barbaric and clearly mad.

A comment left today by Colleen on another of my posts about the death penalty, reminded me that in order to put the practice of the death penalty into focus, you should consider this:  There are four other countries that impose the death penalty on its people:  Iran, Yeman, North Korea, and the United States.  That’s the company we keep.   Update: there are quite a few other countries that allow the death penalty.  According to Amnesty International, this list reflects areas where the death penalty is in place:   See http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777460.html

Those of us who want to act and change how laws are applied in this country need to speak out about it. Protest. Get involved. Stop the death penalty!  It has proved over and over again that it is NOT a deterrent for criminal behavior, and it costs millions of dollars to impose.  The costs are much extensive than keeping a prisoner locked up for life.

I joined the NAACP and Amnesty International because I am sick of allowing state governments to trample on our basic human rights.  I think now is the time to speak loud about the death penalty.

With every execution that is allowed to occur in our country, we chip away at the civil rights that others fought or died for.  Individuals such as  Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Rosa Parks, The Little Rock Nine, Thurgood Marshall, and the example of the famous case, Brown v. The Board of Education, must not be forgotten.   We are doomed to repeat history if the lessons from it are forgotten.

For those who cannot appreciate the struggle for equality that some groups face, I would say:  Who will stop that hate-train when your rights are trampled on?  Trouble for one is trouble for all when it comes to freedom, equality and choice.

Speak out!

20
Sep

Troy Davis – Denied Clemency

The unthinkable is going to occur tomorrow night unless something miraculous happens.  (I have trouble thinking about this without shaking inside.)

I got word that Troy Davis was denied clemency in the middle of teaching class.  I didn’t do a very good job of hiding my feelings when I saw the text message.  My class wanted to know what was going on.  I told them, and they all knew about the case, and all but one person was very upset.  One woman in my class told us that if we’d had someone in our family die a horrendous death, as she had, we’d feel differently about the death penalty.

I wanted to argue with her, but couldn’t – I didn’t want to diminish what she went through, certainly.   And I wanted to tell her that despite this, I would never ask that someone be murdered, but I didn’t.  I just listened and felt her incredible pain.  Her beautiful fourteen year old niece was raped by five animals (I cannot call them “men” they are animals),  and then shot to death.

In this case, twenty years ago, a white police officer, Officer Mark MacPhail, was killed – shot twice in the course of duty.  The Savannah Georgia authorities were frantic to hold someone responsible and placed the gun that was never found, in the hands of Troy Davis.

Save Troy Davis Image credit: NAACP

No physical evidence of any kind was found.  No DNA, no finger prints, soiled clothes, etc.  Nothing was found other than eye witnesses.

This case was solely about eye-witness accounts – the WORST evidence in a trial.  Why is it the worst?   Because people are people and they make mistakes.   People like you and me always want to be seen in the best light; we want to be as honest as we can, and we try our best to do the right thing.  That can be problematic when Police are under enormous pressure to close a case.

The police in the Casey Anthony case were, in my opinion, the best of the best.  But, not all police are on the side of finding the truth. And, some reports I have read indicated the police were not honest.

Police can get eye witnesses to agree to anything simply by how they position a photo lay-out, or how they use their body language to suggest one suspects picture over another.

Sadly, there have been stories of police misconduct – how they will use any trick in the book to nail a suspect.  They lie, they use coercion, or use suggestions to try to close the case.   But, it’s not only because of shady police involvement in what eye witnesses say, it’s also because we humans are fickle and our memory changes as time passes.   In this case, as many as seven people recanted, saying they were mistaken when they initially identified Troy Davis as the shooter.

I don’t know one way or another what the truth is in the Troy Davis case.   BUT, I have enough faith in the people involved in this case to believe that if this execution happens tomorrow, it will be an enormous travesty of justice.  The fact that many thousands of people across this country believe there is enough doubt that Troy Davis is responsible for the murder, could give the justice system more than a black eye, in the long run.

Is our justice system breaking or broken?  The Casey Anthony case is fresh in the minds of millions of Americans.  Clearly she had culpability in the murder of her daughter, but was found not guilty.  We like to say, “The jury system worked as it should in the Anthony case.”   But, that’s not true.  If it worked as it should, Casey would be held  responsible.

I have accepted the finding of the Anthony jury.  I don’t agree with it, but I accept it.  And, frankly, I would rather she be found not guilty than die by lethal injection.  I would rather the guilty go free than the innocent punished or killed.

If Troy Davis is murdered tomorrow night, at 7 pm, there will be consequences that the justice system will have to face.  People in this country, and all over the world, will view the United States as a barbaric nation.  A statement by Amnesty International says it best:

“It is unconscionable that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied relief to Troy Davis. Allowing a man to be sent to death under an enormous cloud of doubt about his guilt is an outrageous affront to justice.” – Amnesty International in a statement Tuesday about Davis being denied clemency; he’s slated to be executed Wednesday.

I wanted to find a place to go and protest tonight; I want to protest tomorrow until time is up and it happens.

I don’t understand how can we kill someone when there is doubt about their involvement in the crime.  How can we murder our citizens and still call ourselves civilized?  How?  How did we become such an ugly nation of murderers?

I can’t find the words to fully express my sadness, anger and disappointment.

Doesn’t it say something about this case when The Innocence Project, the NAACP, the ACLU, Amnesty International, President Jimmy Carter, the former head of the FBI, William Sessions,  and all the other Human Rights groups are fighting for the life of Troy Davis?

The Justice system in Georgia should be fighting, too!  Fighting for life!  How can anyone be against abortion but for the death penalty?   For political reasons maybe?  Ah, and this is a political season, after all.   Politicians must be bold and appear courageous for their constituents when an election year is on the horizon.   “Tough on crime” is the battle cry.  What about tough on truth?

This is exactly why defense attorneys are so important.

Troy Davis will refuse his last meal tomorrow night.  In solidarity with him, those of us chilled to the bone will fast tomorrow. too.

I am wearing black.

17
Sep

nightmares

The stuff of nightmares:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/16-8

17
Sep

STOP the MURDER of Troy Davis

The Troy Davis story is yet another reason to rage against the death penalty. 

Save Troy Davis Image credit: NAACP

It is inconceivable to me that a single person should die for a crime they did not commit, or could not have committed due to evidence corruption.

When there are countless executions of the wrong perpetrator, shouldn’t that tell us something?  Shouldn’t that be reason enough to STOP this practice of killing people?

The possible execution of Troy Davis is yet another travesty resulting from the clearly arcane Death Penalty sentence.

Despite no physical evidence, and countless “eye witnesses” recanting their original testimony that Mr. Davis committed the murder, he is nonetheless scheduled to die on Georgia’s Death Row on September 21, 2001 for the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.

When a police officer dies, it is a horribly tragic event, there is no denying this truth.  Likewise, if there are countless witnesses saying they were wrong about Mr. Davis being the killer, and name another subject as the killer, it is also wrong.  Sadly, this is the scenario with the Troy Davis case.

The fact is, no physical evidence connected Davis to the murder. Seven of the original nine witnesses have recanted, with many saying their testimony was a result of law enforcement pressure. Of the remaining witnesses, one is highly suspect and the other could be the actual culprit in the officer’s murder.

Now, despite these and other facts, the state of Georgia has taken the final steps toward Davis’ execution — and only the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole stands between Davis and the lethal injection chamber. ~The Color of Change.org

Troy Davis, was at the scene of the crime, and is an accessory to the murder – but too many new witnesses have come forward and implicated the person Troy was with, Sylvester Coles, as the shooter.  EVERY witness BUT Sylvestor Coles now puts the murder weapon in Coles’ hands.  Not surprisingly, Coles is the only witness who has not changed his story.

This is a case in which the meaning of Reasonable Doubt is turned on its proverbial head to mean any doubt will do. 

The application of Reasonable Doubt is the cornerstone or our criminal justice system, but when it goes awry and innocent people die because of it, there is nothing more heinous. 

This dangerous game of Russian Roulette with the life of a fellow human being should never happen.  But it is happening.  It is wrong, wrong, wrong in every sense of the word.

This is the Huffington Post story I read this morning that got my blood boiling hot: The Execution of Troy Davis – – A Mother’s Story, by Martina Davis-Correia, as told to Jen Marlowe and Monifa Bandele.

Ever since  reading about the fight for Troy’s life by his sister and nephew, I have tried to do what I can to get the word out about this case.

If you have a moment, I hope you will, too.

Feel free to reblog, tweet or share this post on Facebook, or MySpace, etc.

Better yet, go to the multiple sites (listed below) who are bringing attention and support to Troy Davis.

Visit these sites for further direction on how you may take action:

The uncertain fate of Georgia Death Row inmate, Troy Davis, is plain wrong.   Please help to educate your friends and family regarding this case, and the Death Penalty.

6
Aug

Judge Perry: The Chaos Theorist?

Quite a while ago I wrote a post about the “Butterfly Effect,” (which is synonymous with the “Chaos Theory”), and it just occurred to me that the recent events in the Casey Anthony saga might be explained using that  model.

About the Butterfly Effect and The Theory of Chaos

The Butterfly Effect is part of the theory of chaos, and asks the question: If a butterfly flaps its wings a long way off, say Brazil, will that very sensitive little ripple of air reverberate elsewhere, causing unknown weather effects in Orlando Florida, or Paw Paw Michigan?

It’s very, very possible, says Norton Lorenz.

The term “butterfly effect” was coined by Edward Norton Lorenz, who was the first to ponder the chaos theorys application to weather patterns as something nonlinear and chaotic.

The Butterfly Effect or Chaos Theory is a very complex mathematical and meteorologic theory of how weather patterns align out of chaotic nonlinear events that may eventually become entwined.

A Chaos Theorist, then, tries to find some kind of order in a series of events that are nonlinear and chaotic.  The Chaos Theorist, may look at human behavior, or natural events, and try to find order.

Judge Perry as Chaos Theorist

In the fallout of the Casey Anthony probation issue, Judge Belvin Perry has been charged as the Chaos Theorist of sorts.

Like the flapping of a butterflies wings, a multitude of events converged to create the situation the Court is now in.

An event may get set off quite simply.  As in this situation, it started when a data entry clerk overlooked typing the words: “Upon release” to a court ordered probation.  Upon which, Judge Strickland, trusting that a court clerk correctly typed his orders, when in fact she hadn’t, overlooks reading the very same document.  And then, a defense lawyer, for whatever reason, doesn’t question that his client is on probation because a Department of Corrections employee, acting alone and out of a sense of duty, applies her own spin to a written order… and on and on.

All these things, and more, led up to Judge Strickland’s realization that his probation orders were not carried out.  With that realization, he is bound by law to correct it.

Though the defense lawyer Lisbeth Fryer claims it is out of vindictiveness that Judge Strickland acted, nothing can be further than the truth.  As is typical, when this defense team has a weak argument, they resort to using verbal diarrhea, and it’s disgusting.

The Legal Morass

Since the Chaos Theory can also be applied to human events or human systems, it could easily explain how a series of different events created what Judge Belvin Perry characterized as, “A legal morass.”

So, the question is this: What happened here?

It began with the underlying conflict of Jose Baez and the State Attorney, Frank George, each believing something different about how future events would unfold, meaning would Casey Anthony be found Guilty or Not Guilty in the murder trial?

At the time, Attorney Frank George argued that probation should happen immediately, while Anthony was awaiting trial for murder.

On the other side of the aisle, Jose Baez argued NO, he did not want probation to occur while Casey Anthony was in jail since she was not in jail for the check-fraud case.

It was clear that probation was warranted here.  After all, the charges were: 13 counts of check fraud, theft and fraudulent use of personal identification (using Amy Huizenga’s I.D. fraudulently).

The outcome was that Judge Strickland withheld adjudication on 7 charges but adjudicated her guilty on six counts.   And, being a very fair and thoughtful Jurist, Judge Strickland, acting Solomon-like, split the baby in half, and said:

We can’t withhold adjudication unless there’s a period of probation attached to it.  So we don’t know what the future holds here. If the State’s correct, there’ll be a conviction and lengthy prison sentence, or worse. If the defense is correct, there will be an acquittal and she will walk free.

I remember that day.  I remember when Judge Strickland said, “…or worse,” referring to the death penalty.

What is warranted?

I think many of us believe that probation is warranted and is only fair in this case.

Judge Belvin Perry, having reviewed the transcript of the hearing, reminded Jose Baez that he wanted probation to wait until the end of the  murder trial because he felt she would be found Not Guilty!

Sounds to me that Jose Baez wanted probation to start AFTER the trial, wouldn’t you agree?

Another question remains, why did the defense allow the probation to happen?  Was the State Attorney’s Office aware of this, too?

I seriously don’t believe the State Attorney’s Office was aware of this error and problem.  But the defense should have known!

I feel that most professionals understand that by allowing a mistake to fly by – keeping it under the radar, is a bad idea.  Mistakes like this one have a funny way of returning and biting you when you’re least expecting it (the universe seeks order, not chaos).

So, why did the defense not complain or bring up the mistake to the court?  Did they just not realize it was happening?  If so, that’s a very lame excuse and very unprofessional.  Of course, they would be loathe to admit this either way because it does not put them in good light.

It was a domino effect of errors.  And, because the original intent of the order was clearly for probation, I believe Judge Perry will find probation in this case is warranted.

After all, the Department of Corrections mistake caused no harm to Casey Anthony – there was no violation of her rights as far as I can tell.  Where is the double jeopardy?  Being visited by a probation officer, in jail, versus serving real probation, can’t equate to double jeopardy, in my opinion.

For a legal treatise on this subject, the popular and likeable Orlando lawyer, Richard Hornsby, wrote a great piece on this issue.

READ Richard Hornsby’s post here: For Judge Perry’s Eyes Only.

Video of Judge Strickland’s orders on Wesh.

The rest of my day….

What to do, what to do!  I am still exhausted from the last two weeks of teaching seven hours a day.  It’s grueling, but great at the same time.  And, I have another class beginning this Monday, also for two weeks.   So, I thought I’d have a long day of rest-up today.  Reading, watching a movie maybe, too.

Tomorrow morning Beau (my cat) has to go to the vet because he’s acting like a mad, mad cat – ravenous for food these past few weeks.

Beau has literally stolen food out of my mom and my hands!  Once he ran away with an entire sandwich in his mouth! And once he had a huge piece of a chicken carcass in his mouth!  My mom caught and held him while I pried the chicken out of his tightened jaw!

He’s never acted like this – it’s a total 360, as he’s normally quiet, inconspicuous, like a rag-doll.

I talked to my vet and she explained that his behavior sounds very much like Hypothyroidism, which, I’m now discovering, cats frequently suffer with.

Needless to say, Beau will be a mad as a wet hen in the morning, should he see the cat carrier before it’s time to go to the vet.  I’ll have to plan for this  covert operation and strategically place the carrier when he’s not looking!

It’s funny how animals scope you out and know exactly what you’re planning for them!  My dog, Jazz hates a bath.  He can tell when a bath is on the horizon.  All he needs to see is me taking a towel to the kitchen – he knows that means it’s time to run.  (He gets his bath in the kitchen sink.)

And then, when I put the towel surreptitiously in the kitchen area and begin to get his shampoo ready, or run the water in the sink, he runs!

Even when he’s in another room, his radar can sniff out trouble like a wizard.

Come to think of it, I don’t enjoy his baths, either.

I get soaked.

But, as much as he hates his bath – REALLY hates it – he LOVES when it’s over so he can race around like a flibbertigibbet on speed.

Okay… I’m off to start his bath…. I bet he can sense it’s coming even as I write this – after all, he’s a gifted mind-reader of a dog!  Aren’t they all?

There’s nothing like a dog!

12
Jul

an honorable OCSO; an honorable Judge Strickland

It was another interesting day in Orlando as the Law Enforcement and Judicial community resolve to accept the Not Guilty decision in the State V. Casey Anthony trial.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), today held their first and only press conference to discuss the work they did over the three years the case progressed.  (The men and women of the OCSO are the best of the best – literally.)

The well-spoken Sheriff Jerry Demings attended and discussed the devotion and the hard work the men and women of the OCSO put into this case.  He also mentioned that the Caylee Anthony case, as a father and grandfather himself, personally affected him.

At the press conference it was confirmed that George Anthony was never a suspect in the disappearance of Caylee Anthony.  There is an open investigation into witness tampering with regards to Laura Buchanan and it is on going.  Detective Eric Edwards is leading that effort.

You may remember that it was Laura Buchanan who the defense team wanted to use to prove that Caylee’s remains could only have been placed at her final destination only AFTER Casey went to jail.  The problem, as it turned out, Laura Buchanan (or some one else), attempted to fabricate a Texas EquuSearch document so it appeared that she had searched in the area where Caylee was found, when in fact she had not been in that area.

The defense wanted Joe Jordan to provide a similar story, but as we heard in the trial, Jordan was mistaken about where he searched and admitted he had not been in the area where Caylee was found.

This mystery will continue to unfold.  The question on the table is whether Laura Buchanan created the paperwork herself, or if the document, and the story, was manufactured by someone from Jose Baez’s office.  The OCSO is not talking about it at this point since it is an open case.

There was a very large picture of Caylee on display at the press conference.  When asked about the picture, the replies given were heart-felt.  “It was always only about Caylee,” was the unanimous response.

If you missed the OCSO press conference, the WFTV website has included the video in two parts.  Click here: Part One.  Part Two.

The Honorable Judge Stan Strickland

Judge Stan Strickland, snipped: WESH.com

Reporter Bob Kealing of WESH, did an excellent interview Judge Stan Strickland, who was the original Judge assigned to the case prior to Judge Belvin Perry.

Those of us who were following the case closely during the early days were thrown for a loop when Judge Strickland recused himself.  Like Judge Perry, Judge Strickland proved to be an extremely fair and balanced jurist – thoughtful and kind, but no-nonsense.  It was a great loss, we all felt.

Judge Strickland’s style was somewhat more restrained than Judge Perry’s.

I especially liked him because he is not one to sentence death, unless the law demands it. In fact, he told Bob Kealing that the thought of Casey Anthony facing the death penalty kept him up a few nights.  In contrast, Judge Perry, as a former prosecutor, did have a history of leaning toward Capital Punishment.

It was the defense’s doing to get Judge Strickland recused from the case – and the reason for it was nonsensical – so it was ironic for the defense when they were handed Judge Perry who is pro-death penalty.  Judge Strickland, in his recusal from the case, wrote with regards to media attention, “The irony is rich indeed.”

Linda Drane-Burdick used the line, “The irony is rich indeed,” in her closing argument, too.  I’m certain she was expressing a respectful homage to a very fine Judge.

Here is the full interview with Judge Strickland. It’s excellent! Click here to watch on WESH.

In other news

Cindy Anthony will not face perjury charges; and Tim Miller of Texas EquuSearch, filed a lawsuit asking for $112,000  in damages against Casey Anthony.  There is a bill pending from the State of Florida, too, which will recover costs from Casey Anthony for the investigation into Caylee’s disappearance.

Justice

That’s about all the news I have for you tonight!  In the meantime, I will leave you with this thought, from Dr. Martin Luther King:

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Even though a final decision was made by unsuspecting men and women regarding the guilt in the death of Caylee Anthony, we have to accept it.  This is our system – and, here on earth, there is none better.

But, there is a balance in the universe; and I believe that someday Casey will be forced to see her crime and she will be punished according to the laws of Karma, and the Universe.

That’s what I believe, anyway!

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.

2
Jul

counting down…

I don’t know about you, but the fact that the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony is nearing its conclusion, hasn’t really hit me yet.  It’s so amazing that we are so close to the end now!

Pretty soon we’ll realize that  justice for Caylee has happened.  Of course, justice for Caylee will never be enough, some kind of closure will be good for our souls and sanity.

I have no doubt there will be justice for Caylee. The State has delivered a strong case, and the defense, uh well, it was the worst defense case known to man. Their case was a total debacle replete with histrionics and peppered with untruths the likes of which we will probably never again see in a court of law.

Like so many of you, I began to follow this case from day one.  When the documents and the discovery began to be released, the story became uglier and uglier and absolutely confounding.  The more I read, the more I needed to understand Casey Anthony, and the more I began to fall in love with little Caylee.

I got so hooked.  I am still hooked – will continue to be – there will be fall-out after the fact, as we know.

The Case That Wouldn’t Let Go

In July 2008, my niece was the same age as Caylee – born just two months earlier than Caylee.

My niece has just turned six; ready for first grade.  Caylee would be six, heading for first grade, too.  She’d be like my niece, Elizabeth, absolutely over the moon to be able to say, “I’m six, I’m going to first grade, and my front teeth are loose!”

My niece, Elizabeth with April (favorite doll), and my dog, Jazz

That was her big news today!  “I went to the dentist and he said I have four loose teeth,” she said jumping in place!

Elizabeth is beyond excited that her teeth will be falling out, but more excited that the Tooth Fairy will visit her for the first time.  And, of course, she already has a plan in place about meeting the Tooth Fairy.

Here’s the plan: First, she will keep her eyes open all night and she’ll set up her Mom’s camera by her bed to get a picture of the lovely fairy for me to see, too.  Elizabeth is sure the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t mind just one picture.

Elizabeth is quite sure she’ll be able to lay in bed and not fall asleep the night the Tooth Fairy is going to come.

I spent a lovely day and evening with Elizabeth.  We worked on puzzles, we even played lawyer and judge (her dad is a lawyer), we drew and created beautiful artwork, we played with dolls and read “I Spy” and I’m worn out.

I’m just now sitting down to write my daily post and wanted to be sure to remind everyone that tomorrow, at 9:00 a.m., closing arguments begin!

I wish Caylee were safe and sound in her little pink room, excited about loose teeth, wondering about Tooth Fairy’s, loving her dolls, growing, and filled with the wonder of being a first grader.

Tomorrow & Decisions

I’m as excited about tomorrow morning getting here as my niece is to meet the Tooth Fairy…

If the rumors are correct, both Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane-Burdick will share the closing statements for the State of Florida.

I have heard that Cheney Mason could be handling the majority of the defense closing.

I believe this will be a short deliberation for the jurors.  I would not be surprised if they return a verdict on Monday.

What will happen after the verdict?  That’s up in the air.  But, chances are, if the verdict is Murder in the First Degree, the Penalty Phase to determine if Life or Death is the appropriate sentence, should happen shortly thereafter.

Then, Judge Perry will sentence Casey Anthony.  The sentencing usually occurs at least two weeks after the Jury’s decision.

In short, there will be many tasks to handle after the jurors reach their verdict in the guilt phase.

Still, it’s going to be over before we know it – I’m glad it’s coming to an end, really.

Once justice is delivered, it will be a great relief to let go, don’t you think?  We’ll never forget, of course, but letting go is good.

1
Jul

when does justice begin?

Here we are, Friday morning, waiting for the continuance of the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, and shenanigans are in full swing by a defense team in a boat with gaping holes and no paddles.

The Court is in an indefinite recess this morning while the defense deposes State rebuttal witnesses.

Interestingly, the defense is charging  that the State is “ambushing” them “again” by failing to disclose reports or information about computer searches, and about issues regarding a forensic anthropologist/toxicologist, rebutting testimony by the skull-clutching, Dr. Werner Spitz.

The Defense rested yesterday only to realize how deeply they’ve sunk, how desperate they are.  The defense has not raised a scintilla of doubt about anything Baez promised in his opening.

The defense has put on an empty case – an empty search for the truth as it is demanded by true justice.  It’s quite interesting that Jose Baez’ website is still as empty as the case it just rested.

Justice does not BEGIN with this defense team, as Baez Law Firm website says, it snoozes and is entirely lost:

It’s as if this empty website is a ruse or a facade because there are no working links still, after three years.

Furthermore, the photo on this website has the caption:  “BATTLE OF JAILHOUSE TAPES.”

We know, there was NEVER a battle over the Jailhouse tapes!  As a result of the jailhouse tapes, Jose Baez was totally humiliated.  The jailhouse tapes had disparaging comments from the Anthony family about Mr. Baez’ motivation and abilities to represent Casey.

Perjury?

I have some doubt the defense knew Cindy Anthony was going to LIE about being at home and searching for Chloroform.  However, Jose KNOWS that Cindy has lied in the past, however, whether Jose put on false testimony via Cindy would be difficult to prove. After all, Jose has to present testimony and evidence if its exculpatory, the State of Florida must provide all exculpatory evidence as well.

But, Cindy’s testimony has nothing to do with discovery or exculpatory evidence. There should be no surprise that the State moved to verify Cindy’s testimony as FALSE.  The State will prove Cindy was at work when those computer searches happened, they will also prove there  were  NO searches for Chlorophyll either, as Cindy testified to.  And the State will further PROVE Cindy did not have remote access to her work computer (from home).

There should be NO surprise to the Defense that the State of Florida has proved Cindy is a bald-faced liar, desperate to assist her daughter.

If the state of Florida puts Casey Anthony at that computer, making those 84 searches for “How to Make Chloroform,”  it is most damaging and goes to premeditation.  The State, if they prove this, will move very, very close to proving this aggravating factor for the death penalty:

The capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.

Rebutting Dr. Spitzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

In its rebuttal case, the State of Florida will put on evidence to directly rebut Dr. Spitz’ testimony about the “cranial wash” and whether it is protocol to open the skull of a victim.

So, we wait this morning.  The trial is going to start again soon.  This is simply delaying the inevitable and ultimate sinking of the defense dingy.

29
Jun

the courtroom as torture chamber

I find it’s difficult to write about the tumultuous day in the Orlando courtroom where Casey Anthony is being tried for the Capital Murder of her daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony.

It was a cruel day for George Anthony, Casey’s father.  It was not a Father’s Day for Roy Kronk, either.

If looks could kill. Photo: Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel

George is an ordinary man who has made ordinary mistakes.  His love for his Granddaughter, Caylee Marie Anthony was extraordinary – more to him than life itself.

Today was a stellar day for the State of Florida, thanks to the defense team.  Jose Baez, the most despicable attorney on the face of the planet, provided the State of Florida with extra energy today.

The performance of Jose Baez, especially today, was slimy; crueler than cruel.

His courtroom performance demonstrates, at least to me, why he should be immediately disbarred at the close of this horrendous case.

Baez tortured George Anthony today for hours.  Is this American Justice?  Can this be what our system is becoming?

When did the courtroom become a witness torture chamber?

George Anthony sat in that cold courtroom with his chest cut open while Baez poured acid into his open wounds.

It was painful to watch. Though I’m sure most everyone cheered the courage that George Anthony had today, no doubt they cried, too, seeing him lay there bleeding.

As he bled, George’s own flesh and blood, Casey Anthony, used her murderous eyes to cut him further.

Were those the eyes Caylee saw as she took her last breath?

My prayer for Caylee, just as her own mother snuffed the last breath from her, was that she was gently taken up by loving hands to a place we can’t see – beyond a veil, protected and loved. To the same place where her “Jo-Jo” wanted to go to be with her.

When George was explaining his suicide attempt, which Baez cruelly mocked, he said, through tears:

My emotional state even through today is it’s very hard to accept that I don’t have a grand-daughter…

I just felt like it was the right time to go and be with Caylee, I just decided that was the time for me to get away from all this, to spend time with Caylee..I didn’t want to be in this world anymore….

His voice trailed as he waited for Baez to land another blow to his already beaten heart.

Hell will have a special room for the likes of Jose Baez.

Anyone who would attack another human being at their lowest and most vulnerable – just when their heart is hanging out and freshly bleeding –  is inhumane and certainly does not deserve to be called an officer of the court – a seeker of the truth.

Clearly Baez never learned the Golden Rule for defense lawyers.  Juries do not like cruel defense lawyers and are likely to punish the client as a result.

The cruelty of this defense and this murderous daughter is coming full circle and will result in a charge of Murder One and the disbarment of Jose Baez.

The accusations, the lies, the innuendos from Baez have all back-fired.  The State will bring it all forward in their closing statements, and will remind the jurors that the truth  and this defense team are strangers, as the Honorable Judge Stan Strickland once said about Casey Anthony.

The boomerang effect has landed a death-blow to this defense.

And, it serves the defense right that their last witness of the day, Dr. Sally “Hello Dolly” Karioth, was more Carol Channing, singing “Before the Parade Passes By,” than she was grief counselor hired to help the defense.  Jeff Ashton skillfully sliced and diced her testimony so skillfully she never knew what hit her!  (By the way, did Judge Perry not see that she was chewing gum on the stand?)

And, lastly, Brandon Sparks, who appears to be a very troubled young man, blew it when he referred to his father as, “Roy Kronk,” and then as his “biological Father,” while testifying.

Jurors are not stupid; they will smell a son’s vendetta from forty paces.

Two children destroyed two fathers today.

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