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.
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.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s website:
A Movie about the case:
A CNN clip
Brian Scheuble’s Port St. Lucie, Florida travel agency, hypocritically called “Go With God,” would like a little publicity, thank you very much, but not in a very “Godly” fashion.
Let me back up a moment.
We recently learned that Casey Anthony, acquitted of murder for the 2008 death of her daughter Caylee, is living in Port Saint Lucie. A city south of Orlando. Because of death-threats from maniacal haters, Anthony had moved to that previously undisclosed area of Florida, upon her release from jail.
That previously undisclosed Anthony hide-away, is no secret anymore.
And, Brian Scheuble would rather Casey Anthony not live in Port St. Lucie. You see, Brian Scheuble, co-owner of “Go with God” would like to have Casey Anthony Giddy-Up with God and git right out-of-town. Amen.
And, a Strip Bar in Port St. Lucie, although not claiming any alliance with God, would like to have Anthony dance in their strip club, “Body Talk.”
The strip club also got their 15 seconds of fame when they said to a West Palm Beach television station, “Hey Casey, we’re hiring.” Actually it sounded like this: “Well, (guffaw-guffaw) hey there Casey (guffaw-guffaw) Anthony, (guffaw-guffaw), why don’t you git on down here and (guffaw-guffaw) dance (guffaw-guffaw-guffaw-guffaw-guffaw) with us here?”
Oh yes, when you got a gimmick and you can attach a Casey Anthony story to it, you got yourself some free publicity. (Guffaw-guffaw-guffaw-guffaw-guffaw.)
To both these neanderthal-men, Brian Scheuble of “Go With God” travel agency, and to the nameless goon who would offer to hire Casey Anthony as a stripper, I would say: You are no better than Casey Anthony. Kicking a person who is already down is a low and horrible thing to do.
Some people are so hateful, and stupid. It’s mind-boggling that this “Go With God” travel agency could be twisted enough to publicize their hate while maintaining “God” as Captain of their ship. Maybe the God in the title of the “Go with God” travel agency, would prefer a public stoning if running Anthony out-of-town doesn’t work?
Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. I had to work, but I managed to read stories about various celebrations going on across the country in honor of the day.
It is good to pay respect and honor the men and women in the military, they are doing what they are paid to do. (At least they get a paycheck.) I do think celebrating today’s “wars” is hypocritical. (Maybe hypocritical is the wrong word. Disingenuous is more like it.)
Let’s face it – we all know today’s involvement in conflicts around the world are not “wars.” We call it war, but it’s not.
Who attacked us? Certainly not Iraq and certainly not Afghanistan.
Yet we call our invasion into these countries (who never attacked us) a “war.”
Our military involvement and the involvement of American contractors (who’re making millions of dollars a year), are not helping to end a war!
We are in a money war. The sole reason for our involvement is to bring enough stability in a region to take over their oil and profits.
We can’t head into Iraq or Afghanistan and ask them to roll over so we can rape and ravage their land. No. It is necessary to invade these countries on the premise of instilling so-called democratic values; christian and capitalism values to profit and control the regions.
Of course it’s appalling. Of course it’s also true.
The 1% who have stolen America’s wealth and seek to extend our form of “democracy” over the remainder of the world’s people, are the only ones who benefit from our aggressive sorties into other continents. The mercenaries, Pentagon bureaucrats, military contractors, and pathetic fools who serve in and with our armed forces, because there are no other jobs available in this economy, recognize the absurdity of calling these murderous conflicts “wars.” Wars are fought with those who can fight back. Germany’s slaughter of the Jews was not a “war,” it was murder, plain and simple –likewise with the conduct of our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and now, Africa. ~ Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken / November 11th, 2011
This article (click the link below) is sad but honest.
This is a very topical Whack. I agree it’s necessary to get out of your box to look for unusual possibilities in usual places!
It’s limiting to be defined by a single box because, as human beings, we are constantly evolving and evolution will happen whether we like it or not. The world will go on with or without us. And if we’re lucky – if our children’s children are lucky, we will continue to evolve as a human race and stop making wars because we don’t like our neighbors religion, or we want their land, or their weapons or even their people.
It’s unhealthy to be in a box Life in a box is no life at all. Thoughts outside of the four walls of the box are far more interesting, don’t you think? Going outside of the box involves risk. And an open mind. Opening the mind is not easy when prejudices interfere. And being risk-adverse is nearly as sad as not accepting or appreciating people for their differences.
99.9% of all DNA in a human being is identical. Yet, we are afraid of a seeing a Muslim or Arab person in an airport! There is nothing so horrible as that kind of disrespect. People who accept the Islam faith are not different than people who accept the Christian faith. There are horrible people and there are loving and beautiful people in both beliefs.
Most people have two eyes, a nose, teeth, arms and hands with usually five fingers and five toes on the end of two feet that are at the end of their two legs. Chances are, though, if you happen to be one of the brave individuals who jumped on the “Mission Possible” boat with criminal George W. Bush, you may no longer have arms or legs.
If you sacrificed your body as a result to the big lie, I am so sorry. Americans know your reasons for fighting were honorable. Unfortunately, you were led by a criminal into a war that was based on fiction and lies.
Criminal George W. lied to Congress and the American people for his own political interests. Criminal George W. lied and attacked the people of Iraq in March of 2003 without provocation. It had nothing to do with 9/11 either. As most of us are aware, it had been proven that Iraq had no role in those attacks.
We attacked Iraq because the Bush Crime Family, with their deep family ties in Saudi Arabia, had their eye on a bigger prize: Oil. Texans must have their oil.
So, this Get out of Your Box Whack refers to beliefs, culture, and how we should look at the world not by our rules, but by a set of truths different from our own.
There are person (s) who call themselves Christians and post on this blog to fight, and to lecture me (and others) about our religious views.
I’ve learned there are two kinds of “Christians” – the people who go to church because it fills them up with things they value and enjoy believing in. And those who are fanatics about religion with one goal in life – to tell “non-believers” like me how horrible we are because we question “religion” and because we don’t believe in their religious brand, we are not the chosen ones.
Sorry, folks, but demeaning non-believers is not Christian. It’s just annoying and hypocritical in the extreme.
I think it’s beyond the beyond of wonderful that you love your religion, but I don’t like it jammed down my throat in mean or demeaning ways. So, leave me alone! If I wanted to become a Holy Christian person I would! But, I don’t want to. I like what I think and I will go on thinking this way, too. Get the message? I don’t like being boxed in.
I enjoy reading about the history of religion, of all religions and I don’t like one over the other. I like the diversity of many religions! Who can say there is just one GOD? I bet GOD is a SHE.
Oh, and I believe in evolution which tends to be the opposite of what the loud Christians believe.
I believe in Islam. I believe in Judaism. I believe in Buddhism (I practiced Buddhism for a couple of years until life got in the way.) I believe in your religion, whatever it is because I am able to get out of the box with curiosity and find something good in what you believe. But I don’t want what you have, okay? So, you can go away now.
You’ve already told me you’re the chosen one….and you’ve explained how I am nothing and I will not get into the Kingdom, and when I die I’ll be on the wrong side death’s door, or something inane like that and blah blah blah. When I hear all of that I have to ask, who’s the hater?
I never answer the door when the religious people come knocking on Saturday, all dressed to the nines in 90 degree weather. I won’t respond to people who attack me because I don’t care about their religion. I would love to talk about anyone’s religion, but NEVER ever will I entertain insults. I don’t trust people who want to push religion on anyone. Religion should be lovely, personal and enlightening, right? Dumb me. I thought the study of religion would result in wisdom, sensitivity, acceptance.
Speaking of wisdom….
Did you know more and more children are being born without wisdom teeth? A professor told a class I was in that because more and more people are born without wisdom teeth, it is due to the evolutionary process of discarding human traits that are superfluous, or not needed.
I found that fascinating – to be witness to evolution as it is happening. However, there are two schools of thought on this. One school says that if a person does not have wisdom teeth as a result of genetics, that trait will be passed on, and on, and on. Evolution, on the other hand, will cause traits that are not useful in an environment to slowly disappear. The differences are not so different in my view… but I am hardly a scientist or anthropologist.
However, my professor could be right, and he could be wrong because scientists are not quite certain. The point here, then, we cannot dismiss either possibility because the truth is still evolving and it changes…..
We all have roots extending back 200,000 years to the emergence of the first modern humans in Africa, and back more than 6 million years to the evolution of the earliest human species in Africa. This amazing story of adaptation and survival is written in the language of our genes, in every cell of our bodies—as well as in the fossil and behavioral evidence. http://humanorigins.si.edu/
Regarding “Get out of Your Box,” the message is as clear as day. Wouldn’t you agree that thinking in a box is incredibly limiting? Being in a box means to accept only what we know – or think we know. Like Hamlet said to his friend Horatio:
There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene V.
- What does Islam and Buddhism have in common (wiki.answers.com)
- How does the different Chinese religions live together in harmony (wiki.answers.com)
- What religious practices of Judaism separated it from other religions in the first century (wiki.answers.com)
Have you read or heard the shocking news about Arlington National Cemetery? This revered cemetery of hallowed ground is now facing a criminal investigation! Reading this story nearly knocked me off my feet – it’s shocking and so sad.
The problems at the cemetery were apparently discovered in 2010, as noted in this recent msnbc article:
In June 2010 an Army inspector general’s report cited widespread problems at the cemetery, including more than 200 unmarked or misidentified graves.
In August 2010 officials revealed one grave site at Arlington was found empty, another contained the wrong remains and a third had two sets of remains, only one of which matched the headstone’s name. Read msnbc article.
Because urns of the veteran soldiers, many who died in battle, were unmarked, it has been difficult to identify to whom they belonged. One clue, however, allowed the identity of Gwyn Stecher to be revealed. A photo of a young ice skater was found with the remains of Gwyn Stecher. The photo turned out to be that of 19 year old Granddaughter, Rachel Stecher, now a Cadet in the Air Force Academy, says the NBC report.
The urn containing the ashes of Gwyn Stecher were supposed to be buried with her husband, Adolph Stecher, a retired officer who served in World War II, and North Korea.
What does this say about society today? I hardly know what to think. It would seem absurd to place blame on the whole Arlington National Cemetery itself, though there obviously are individuals there without respect, concern or care for the honored soldiers, or family of soldiers.
This horrible story regarding Arlington National Cemetery makes me think conscientiousness and respect are in the process of eroding. Aren’t we a God fearing society?
The Right-wing Extremists like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and others, say you’re damn right we are!
I don’t look forward to the upcoming Presidential election, by the way. The religious fervor in politics is alarming – that’s another post for another day.
The hypocrisy holler!
I abhor hypocrisy, especially as it relates to the actions of those who are supposedly beyond reproach like ultra-religious priests, pastors, ministers, clergy. I’m also talking about the regular guy/gal wearing a big cross around their necks as they murder or rape or steal in between preaching engagements. That’s who I am referring to.
Speaking of hate, the judgmental pastors, who are more like loud car salesmen than anything else, who march up to the podium to condemn any state allowing Gay and Lesbians to marry, also also Politicians and Washington Lobbyists. They are anxious to tell us, repeatedly, that marriage vows are exclusively for a man and a woman. Really? Yes, says the Bible. Since the Bible says so, it must be true.
The good book also tells us that: “Entering the holy place without wearing bells can result in death.” And, “A man has an obligation to produce a child with his brother’s widow. If he refuses, his sister-in-law is to spit in his face in front of the elders.” Click for citation.
I don’t know a single Gay or Lesbian with those aspirations!
The Civil Rights that we depend on weren’t only for African Americans, and other minorities. Civil Rights belong to everyone. Nowhere do our Civil Rights discuss sexual preferences.
This is what angers me about politics today. The fact that we are not screaming bloody murder over what some immoral politicians promote because they think it will get them elected.
There are too many Americans who have, stupidly, gotten swept up in a fervor, believing that a good politician is chiefly a good Christian. A white Christian, at that.
I have a problem with religion that is taken to the extremes. I respect all religions, as a matter of course, but religion has begun to scare me.
Religion is like an oxymoron when hate mongers threaten to destroy the rights of people who are different, like gay and lesbians.
It scares me to see Bible-Thumping goons promising to heal; their devotees shaking and shimmying with the spirit, singing, “Praise the Lord” as they fall to the ground, shaking and shuddering, writhing in pain.
Who wants to do that?
Wouldn’t it be nice if our religions were loving, caring, soft and private? Religion is scary when it’s loud. Religion shouldn’t be loud.
So, I am ranting about religion tonight because of the likes of Pastor Dale Richardson, held without bail for kidnapping and raping three women at gun point. A serial rapist. And a Pastor.
When rapists, murderers, and thieving criminals, are God-Fearing, what God are they listening to? Is that the God you and I believe in? It does make me wonder.
Dale Richardson believes and depends on the Word of God, say his followers. If there is one God, I don’t think I want Pastor Dale’s version.
What God do the Catholic Priests pray to when they rape little boys? When these God-fearing criminals are caught, I wonder if they blame God?
To those of you who will think me blasphemous, I don’t apologize. I’m just a little fed up. Sad, too.
Here is the story about Pastor Dale Richardson – this story is what prompted this post:
I’m still thinking about the jury and the verdict.
I’m trying to figure out what happened. I’m trying to understand.
Was the jury in the Casey Anthony case like an apparition? Were they like a confluence of wild variables and coincidences that brought like-minded people together in such a way they all ended up marching to the same drummer?
Why didn’t the jurors ask questions of the Court to clarify aspects of the law?
Sadly, there are more questions than there are answers.
The jurors who have been on TV all talked about guilt, but didn’t vote for guilt. I don’t understand that.
But, like I’ve said before, I have accepted the decision, I don’t like it, but I have accepted it. Casey Anthony now deserves to be left alone to go about her business. She has earned the right – as unfair as it is, she is soon going to know total freedom.
You know, the fallout from this story has been bothering me. The media coverage seems over the top. But by the same token, I don’t blame the media – they are simply doing their job and giving their audience what it wants. And, you know shat? Many, many news outlets will converge on the Orange County Jail at the stroke of midnight when Casey Anthony is released on Sunday, the 17th. They will hang from trees, hoping like mad they’ll get a glimpse of the soon to be ex-inmate.
Once she’s free, the paparazzi will be in full swing, stalking Casey Anthony like she was a rock star, or a Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton. The sale of her picture will be lucrative; the photographer in the right place at the right time could make a fortune.
These are the sad facts of criminal notoriety. Train wrecks sell. Can there be a worse train-wreck than Casey Anthony?
The interest and the coverage of this show called “Casey Anthony” now has millions of viewers. The interest is high, and getting higher now that she’s going to be free.
Her story may only be appealing to people who like those pay-per-view bloody boxing matches on HBO. No doubt, the Casey Anthony audience will want to see her center-ring and bloody-well given her due – metaphorically speaking!
I understand how people feel about the verdict – I don’t like it either. But, enough is enough now, because all this attention is actually making Casey Anthony more and more marketable – pushing her price up and up and up.
There was a news story today that Al Taylor, an independent producer from California, has contacted defense attorney, Jose Baez about a one million dollar payment for an interview. The producer said he’d pepper Casey Anthony with tough questions, in the hope of grilling her like a fish. Taylor said his offer to Casey Anthony would be good for Florida. I’m not kidding! He said Florida could recoup the money she will be in the hole for…
Can’t you just hear Dana Carvey, as the Church Lady saying, “Isn’t that Special?”
The truth is, all the major networks are going to go after the big interview with Casey Anthony. The highest bidder will get the golden ring, too.
Don’t kid yourself, the major networks aren’t worried about any network or sponsor boycotts that we might threaten. We represent a drop in the bucket to them.
This is about money – big money.
I guarantee that IF Casey Anthony wants to tell her story in prime time, she’ll have the opportunity. It’s about money now, for her and her lawyers and for the networks, too.
The California based television producer, Al Taylor, who has reportedly worked with tabloid type sensational shows like “Hard Copy,” Jerry Springer, and “A Current Affair,” wants to pay $1,000,000 for the interview.
Personally, I don’t think one million will come close to the kind of money she could make.
I don’t like the thought of her getting rich over the death of dear little Caylee Marie, and I don’t mean to sound cynical, but I believe a Casey Anthony network interview will be reality before the media frenzy settles down.
And she needs money – badly. There are a number of lawsuits hanging over her 25 year old head, and of course, she’s young and will want to live la vida loca, unless she gets in trouble again.
I certainly could be wrong about this…. but something tells me she wants to talk, we know she loves the attention. It was intimated that she really wanted to testify during her trial, but her lawyers strongly advised against it. Now that she’s vindicated, she’ll thoroughly enjoy telling her tale of being an innocent victim in this tragedy.
We’ll hear quite a fairy tale.
Perhaps what the producers don’t realize – this will be a one-shot deal for them, and for her.
Once she weaves her make-believe in front of an American audience, they won’t want to see or hear from her again.
It will be a one-shot deal because ….. it will be that sickening.
It would have been a very Good Friday if Judge Belvin Perry had filed the remaining Frye rulings today. For a while this morning, WFTV was reporting that, despite it being Good Friday, the Good Judge – the Good Trooper that he is – would actually file his rulings today! It didn’t happen, of course, but surely we will hear learn Monday about these Frye rulings.
One thing we did learn today: the 48 Hours No Mystery Defense Propaganda Show was not enough press for Mr. Baez. Now he is scheduled to appear in a soon to be aired In Session segment.
The Defense Team really needs this coverage now – they need to pepper the jurists minds with salacious spin. Why? The story must change.
Most people have heard something about this case – generally they’ve heard negative press that goes something like this: A young woman’s child goes missing for over a month and she parties the whole time and probably killed her own baby.
Jose Baez needs a new story out in the public, and fast. Will the new story be: A young mother, abused by family members, looses her senses for over a month after learning her family may be responsible for the death of her child?
Do you think that part of the defense strategy is to get a new story out in the public?
It’s entirely possible. When truth or evidence fails, inundate the press, taint the jury pool, and twist, twist, twist the truth! They are already succeeding – many people are aware of the “talk” with regards to George Anthony as reasonable doubt, right?
No matter how reprehensible or hypocritical – desperate times call for desperate measures.
It will be interesting to monitor the press in these last couple of weeks to see what story they are floating.
I’ll keep my eyes and ears open!
Don’t forget to vote for Yuri! Once a day, every day until May 8th!
It’s a mad, mad, mad world for Casey Anthony’s defense team.
I think they’d like to believe in miracles. They would like to believe there IS a Santa Claus, and they’d love to believe in Casey’s innocence.
This, my friends, sums up the world of Jose Baez and friends:
If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn’t be, and what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see? ~ Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Illustration by Sir James Tenniel
Oh, I was waiting for this to happen! As you may recall, in response to the second court order in the case against Casey Anthony, the defense recently released their version of discovery with regards to their expert witnesses.
As I mentioned previously in A Sophomoric Summary post, the defense answered the motion to provide expert witness testimony with a churlish, laughable and utterly contemptuous litany of what amounted to non-answers to the state.
And now, well Christmas has come early for Casey Anthony – though she may not realize it – because Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton is calling for sanctions and possible contempt charges against the defense for failing to follow the courts order and provide details of their expert witnesses!
I do not have the copy of the motion for sanctions written by Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton. My source for information is the Orlando Sentinel story released last evening. (I have been so busy with my family, I missed this story last night!)
The motion boils down to this, from Jeff Ashton:
in deliberate non-compliance with the court’s order as to certain of their listed experts and that sanctions to address the non-compliance are necessary.
Not only does Jeff Ashton call for sanctions, but he also uses a wonderfully harsh and professorial tone. Here he calls the defense’s response laughable:
The excuse provided is laughable and indicative of the deliberate attempt to flaunt the rules and intent of discovery and this court’s order.
It would do Jose Baez good to be thrown in jail for contempt charges. For Pete’s sakes, the court throws regular people in jail for refusing to follow court orders, I think it’s time for Baez to spend a night or two in the slammer, maybe then he’ll have some empathy for his damn clients?
I am sick of the blowhard Baez flaunting his cock-sure ego around the court like a rooster on steroids. He has a client facing the DEATH PENALTY and he plays games!
There should be laws against these kinds of attorneys who do whatever it takes to sleaze their way around the rules of criminal procedure in an effort to hide the fact that they have NO CASE!
Any fool can see what he’s doing. Baez has no case, he has no money, and instead of doing his best to defend his client, he plays with the media and issues innocent proclamations in an attempt to make news and taint any potential jurors that may hear this case.
Oh I am mad. I am fed up with this nonsense. And thank God, Jeff Ashton (who by the way, is my new hero) is fed up too.
So, what do these sanctions mean for the defense? Well, a hearing will be held on the matter and Judge Perry will decide whether to issue sanctions. You see, a court case follows strict rules and deadlines and when one side does not comply with the orders from the court, the other side can request they be punished. The punishment hurts the other side’s ability to present its case – something Baez does not need. The sanctions are determined by the Judge in the case, but are based on recommendations from the other side. Jeff Ashton is suggesting the following:
Ashton noted that Florida rules of criminal procedure allow the court to prevent parties from calling witnesses or introducing certain evidence if they fail to follow discovery rules. He also cites rules stating an attorney can be subject to “contempt proceedings” and costs by violating discovery rules. ~ Anthony Colarossi, Orlando Sentinel
As mentioned earlier, contempt proceedings would do a world of good here.
Better yet, how about appointing a Public Defender? The way Jose Baez has been performing lately in this case, he’s asking to be kicked to the curb.
Wear your pointed boots to this hearing, Judge Perry, please.
Last week the Casey Anthony case brought a stunning exchange of emails between the State of Florida’s Assistant State Attorney, Jeff Aston, and Jose Baez. The subject of those emails had to do with the defense’s refusal to release information about their defense expert witnesses (which the court previously requested be released via discovery).
The court made it clear in an oral order from the bench to respond with the discovery. Baez did not follow the order. Jose Baez’s argument, as you may recall, was “just call me and I’ll give you the information (about his expert witnesses). When that didn’t work, he furnished Ashton via email, a paltry list of the names, addresses and phone numbers of the defense expert witnesses.
Of course this is beyond insufficient, and is a mockery of the court’s orders. And when Ashton advised Baez that his response does not follow the court’s order, Baez, ever the rogue, responded again via an email, this time listing the specialty of the witness, i.e. “botanist” along with a condescending statement to Ashton “This you know” or, “You know this” or, “Tell me you knew this.”
Jeffery Ashton knows this, of course. And he knows Baez was being recalcitrant in his actions before the court. So, last week, Ashton filed a motion asking the court for clarification. This motion resulted in yesterday’s hearing.
The result of yesterday’s hearing, you ask? Well, the court directed Jose Baez to furnish the expert witness details to the State, post haste! The hearing lasted all but fifteen minutes. (Justice can be swift!)
Judge Perry handed down a short but concisely nailed coffin for Baez! Oh it was poetic justice!
The Judge, none to thrilled, heard Mr. Baez exclaim: “this is nonsense,” in reference to the motion. Baez just couldn’t understand why they were even there, at the hearing.
And, by the way, Mr. Cheney sat right next to Baez, never saying a word. Now, Cheney is supposed to be a venerable, tenured Defense Attorney, why is he not counseling Mr. Baez? Or could it be that Baez is so arrogant that he refuses to listen? Why then is Cheney still putting up with this? Does Mr. Cheney not care about his reputation? I don’t get it.
Anyway, back to the hearing. Judge Perry quickly ended the hearing with an order that will be a great burden to the defense. Perry wants all the expert witnesses to submit their Curriculum vitae, topics and summaries and opinions of their investigations!
Well, my friends, Jose Baez (who may have thought he was so clever by not having his experts create reports), is now REQUIRED to have these experts write their opinions!
Oh, this is indeed rich.
Most of this material is due to be filed by December 23.
Judge Perry is asking the same of the State, but they have already complied with these orders therefore this will not be added work or a hardship to them.
Baez had little to say after this hearing. He usually entertains local news reporters at the courtroom steps, but he must have been feeling out of sorts because he had no comment. However, Baez did respond to an Orlando Sentinel reporter with the following:
Asked later whether the recent exchanges between the prosecution and defense suggest something about the tone the case is taking as the sides approach trial in May, Baez said, “I think it goes to the passion of each person’s commitment. We’re committed to Casey Anthony and her innocence and we’re committed to being able to demonstrate that in court.”
“We’re not going to roll over, not at all,” he added.
Roll over? Passion? No, no, no! We are talking about court orders – rules of discovery! Regular citizens get thrown in jail for refusing to follow court orders but Baez can do whatever he pleases and call it “passion.”
And, again “innocence” is the battle cry. Now, if Casey were indeed innocent, wouldn’t Mr. Baez be thrilled to hand over the reports of his expert witnesses?
My goodness, this would be a great opportunity to show the State of Florida how wrong they are! Why, if I was Baez and I knew my client was innocent, I’d hand-deliver my expert witness reports directly to Mr. Ashton. Heck, I’d even seal them with a kiss!
Innocent people don’t hide. And, real criminal defense lawyers don’t act like Baez does.
According to WESH news, a recent ruling from the Justice Administrative Committee (JAC), denied additional funding for Anthony’s investigator. (JAC is, by the way, the authority who must approve costs associated with the defense of individuals who are found to be indigent.)
This request for more funding was in regards to a hoped for allocation of more defense funding for a case investigator.
However, the trouble with this request? The defense already used up its investigative funds on its fishing expedition of EquuSearch volunteers who allegedly searched the area where Caylee Anthony’s body was eventually discovered.
I will never understand why the defense is riding this horse. Surely they must know that there are so many more witnesses who will say “hogwash” to that piggish claim because the area was under water at the time!
There are dozens of witnesses who will substantiate the fact the area was under about two feet of water!
I mean, there are facts and then there is the fabrication of smoke and mirrors. This crazy notion, in my opinion, does not even rise to the level of smoke and mirrors, even! This is more like the act of hungry and desperate cats looking for a few red herrings to chew on. This is as far away from reasonable doubt as you can get, in my humble opinion.
So, my goodness, why the defense wants to ride this sodden horse is anyone’s guess.
The WESH article has a GREAT tag line, by the way! It reads: No Way, Jose! Now, that’s a good one!
Read the story here: WESH.com
As discussed in the most recent court hearing in the Casey Anthony case, the Honorable Judge Perry made a very clear, utterly succinct ruling regarding the disclosure of details surrounding the content of the defense expert witness testimony.
Jose Baez has until 4 pm tomorrow (December 3rd) to submit, to the State of Florida, details surrounding what the defense experts are going to testify to at trial. This type of rule is a common one within the rules of discovery in criminal cases in the state of Florida.
So, what does Baez submit to the State? A LIST of names, addresses and phone numbers of the expert witnesses!
Assistant State Attorney Jeffrey Ashton, responding to what is sent, attempts to clarify to Baez what the court intended when it made its ruling, on Monday of this week.
He wrote to Baez:
That is not what the judge ordered. He order [sic] you to provide the matters in writing. I want a written statement of the substance of their testimony as ordered by the court….(sentence blacked out) …. Do you agree with my interpretation of the Judges oral pronouncement? If not, we can seek time with the court to have him clarify any confusion. Thank you.
To which Baez replies:
You know what are [sic} all of the forensic issues are. If you have a question about any particular witness, just ask and I will be more than happy to answer it. (sentence blacked out) ….Just ask me what you want to know.
I clearly remember Baez saying the exact same thing in open court and the Judge responded, pointedly, that the defense MUST respond in writing with the intent and subject matter surrounding the TESTIMONY of the expert witnesses!
Is Baez daft? Did he not listen, or does he simply not follow the rules? Is he that bold that he would deliberately do the exact opposite of what the Judge ordered? What a NERVE!
And not only does he not respond as requested, when he DOES respond what does he say in an email to Ashton? Over and over he repeats the phrase “you know this” with regards to a expert name on the list. The tenor and tone of the email response is utterly condescending!
Here’s a sample of what Baez sends to Ashton – this is how he follows the courts orders:
Now, I know our system of justice is “adversarial” but what Baez sent and responded to is beyond the pale of rude and most assuredly unprofessional.
This is how Baez wants to win his cases…. he wants “shock and awe.” I truly believe that he wants to surprise the State by not sharing with them what these expert witnesses found. The rules of discovery require that he share the findings of these witnesses!
A motion was filed today by Assistant Attorney Jeff Aston for a hearing on the matter. Here’s a link to the motion.
This is a short, but powerful, video featuring one of the most famous speeches by Harvey Milk, given in 1978.
Listen to Harvey Milk. Listen to his message of hope, peace, equality and justice for all.
We are all one people in this wide world. Let us stop bullying each other.
Our classrooms are filled with children who, because of ignorance on the part of their parents, condone Gay hatred and thus we have young people committing suicide. Young people who were born Homosexual but are too young to understand what it means to be Gay. They are too young to know that being Gay is RIGHT for them. Children who are too young to appreciate that no one should care about an individuals sexuality because it belongs to the individual.
There is no right or wrong in being Gay or Straight. One is not better or worse than the other. Believe this. Live this for the sake of our children. For the sake of children who will grow up to be lovely human beings, not necessarily because of their homosexuality, but because they will have grown up with a sensitivity that will become a lovely sensibility.
Believe this. Stop the hatred. Stop the bullying. Condone kindness, empathy, and appreciate the different colors and the different sexuality that others own.
Live your own life without fear or judgment.
Say no to fear.
Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person who all the sudden realizes that he or she is gay; knows that if their parents find out they will be tossed out of the house, their classmates will taunt the child, and the Anita Bryant’s and John Briggs’ are doing their part on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says “Homosexual elected in San Francisco” and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said “Thanks”. And you’ve got to elect gay people, so that thousand upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s: without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope. -Harvey Milk, 1978
Perhaps we see the religious world differently, you and me. I look at religion with wonder, fully accepting out of curiosity and trust the beliefs of any religion I encounter. My eyes are wide open and my thoughts are not skewed by a fear of reprisal from a different cultural religion coexisting freely in the United States.
Trust takes on great importance when it’s but given rarely. Trust is only as liberated as we are in our thoughts and in our communications with each other.
We are only human, but do we allow our humanness to sit on a back shelf when it comes to religion?
Today religion has grown beyond itself and I fear that freedom of religion (or freedom FROM religion) will not be our (sacred) right if we allow ourselves to fear an Islamic religion.
The only thing to fear is the loss of our freedom to worship with a group of like-minded persons. If we take this right away from another group of persons, who is to say someone will not take our religious freedoms away?
The US embraces “religion” and it’s everywhere around us. It’s in politics; it’s on TV, in our schools, on our money, in our anthems.
The US wants to be “God-fearing” because it sees this as noble. But, these so-called noble allowances for religious freedoms have been hijacked by a sense of righteousness, or a sense of superiority.
Then there is the duplicitous “Religious Right” who want to make hate legal – to allow it to trump the freedoms of some individuals…. But that is another story for another day.
Today I want to talk about religious freedoms because I don’t want to loose mine; and I don’t want you to loose yours.
Look at this image. What do you see? Do you see an old woman? Do you see a young woman? Do you see both?
You should see two women. Keep looking until you see both.
I hope you see both. If you do, then perhaps, your mind is also open to accepting how perfectly natural it is for Muslims to worship any where they please in this free country of ours. Since religion is a religion unto itself, so too are an old woman and a young woman one in the same.
If you see two women in the image above, then perhaps you will appreciate the cultural and rich religious diversity that an Islamic Mosque would bring to the sad and hollow earth we know as “Ground Zero.”
Should we not allow a Mosque to be built at “Ground Zero” the US will become shallow with hearts that are spray-painted with dull monochromatic apathy. I trust that all religions want to mourn the victims of 9-11. Islam, too.
If we fear the Islamic religion, my friends, we will have serious problems down the road. If we fear Islam or any religion will that not engender hate eventually?
The U.S. must open its eyes wide and see that we all want the same things: Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Baptists, even agnostics and atheists too, all want the same thing: to live in a peaceful world where we can have the freedom to pray (or not) to the God or Universe of our choosing.
Pastor Martin Neimoller wrote these words as a result of his experience in World War II:
They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up.
He was speaking of the unthinkable persecutions and horrors he and others witnessed when Germany was overrun by Hitler. However, the context of this speech was the ultimate of ironies because Neimoller was himself a Nazi sympathizer until he was arrested himself for not supporting the regime sufficiently. He was in death camps for seven years. It was after he was liberated that he spoke thus. (K. Olberman, 2010)
Please don’t think that I am comparing what Neimoller experienced with the situation in New York City, I am not making that comparison at all. However, these words ring richly in my ears as a warning missive should we refuse to open our hearts and minds to the loving and peaceful intent of Muslims among us.
It’s really so simple. But, in truth, nothing is simple when passion that is brushed in an apathetic hue, colors our trust.