Before discussing the news of the day, I want to tell you about my new blog look! It’s the newest WordPress blog theme – just released today.
The theme is called iTheme2; created in appreciation for Steve Jobs, and Apple.
What do you think? Do you like it?
I’d love to hear your constructive feedback. Is it easy to read and navigate in? My favorite thing about this blog is the sliding post feature at the top of the Home page!
Now for the news of the day
The Orlando Sentinel’s Anthony Colarossi, is reporting that the Florida Bar has disclosed the nature of the two (2) complaints against attorney Jose Baez.
Complaint One: As expected, one of the Florida Bar complaints against Jose Baez is regarding his failure to produce expert witness discovery. This took place in January of 2011, when Judge Belvin Perry ordered the defense to produce expert witness discovery by a certain deadline date. When the defense failed to comply, Judge Perry concluded that the defense willfully violated its court order and ordered sanctions.
Prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, frustrated by the refusal of Jose Baez to follow the rules of discovery and the court, advised the court that the defense had a history of deliberately skirting deadlines, and contempt or sanctions should be imposed.
Jose Baez was sanctioned by the court – ordered to pay $583 as penalty.
This is the very issue now up for review by the Florida Bar.
I wonder if the Bar is also looking at a similar violation that occurred in June 2011, during the trial, over defense witness Dr. William Rodriquez.
This was another typical scenario in which Baez attempted to hide certain aspects of Dr. Rodriquez’ testimony, clearly to ambush Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton. Baez must think that “Perry Mason Moments” are a make it or break it strategy in the courtroom. The truth is, defense lawyers want to win, and some of them will do whatever it takes to get a leg up – rules be damned.
If the Florida Bar fails to act, it will set a bad precedent, perhaps encouraging other lawyers to bend the laws, too. We can’t have that!
Complaint Two: This complaint surrounds the felony check fraud charges that Casey Anthony was found guilty of prior to the murder trial.
The Honorable Judge Stan Strickland found Anthony guilty on 6 of the 13 charges of check fraud.
Judge Strickland sentenced Anthony to time-served, and one year probation to be served after the murder case is concluded. Judge Strickland, who, by the way, is retiring at the end of this year, was very clear in his ruling, but a court clerks written report erred in its description of how the probation was to be served. The error only came to light at the conclusion of the murder trial. Judge Strickland realized his court order was not followed and resubmitted the probation order.
The defense fought hard to throw out the probation. They were desperate to prove that applying probation would be akin to double jeopardy, since Anthony served probation while in jail.
That argument, so weak, went no where and Judge Perry ordered Anthony to serve her probation as Judge Strickland originally ordered.
During the hearing concerning this issue, it came to light that Baez knew she was serving probation in jail, but didn’t correct the situation.
It’s against the law for you and I to violate a court order. When a lawyer willfully disobeys a court order, there should be consequences. If a lawyer cannot follow the basic rules of procedure required for an officer of the court, the system is in trouble. Let’s hope the Florida Bar agrees.
Early retirement for my favorite Judge
I just read this evening that the Honorable Stan Strickland is retiring from the Bench beginning December 31, 2011.
Judge Strickland has served Central Florida in the 9th Circuit Court for 21 years. He spoke briefly to Anthony Colarossi, reporter for the Orlando Sentinel today, and said:
Once it becomes tedium, it’s hard to continue on. It’s hard to explain: You just know when it’s time, and it’s time. ~Judge Stan Strickland
Reporter Colarossi asked Judge Strickland if the Casey Anthony case had anything to do with his decision to resign, the Judge said:
Did that have a part in the wearing process? Sure. But not a part in the ultimate decision.
I am happy for the Judge, but sorry for the people of Central Florida who are losing one of its finest.
So many of us – everyone visiting this blog – have shared their thoughts regarding Judge Strickland’s nonpareil service to the Casey Anthony case; he is held in hight regard here.
I have the highest regard for Judge Strickland. Not only is he an excellent Jurist, he’s a very nice man.
Socrates, writing in approximately 470 B.C., wrote the following, which I think sums up perfectly who Judge Strickland is:
Four things belong to a judge:
to hear courteously,
to answer wisely,
to consider soberly, and
to decide impartially. ~ Socrates
It’s as if Socrates had Judge Strickland in mind here, don’t you think?!
The jail video within a jail video released yesterday? It is much ado about nothing, as far as I’m concerned.
It’s hardly even distinguishable anyway.
The jail was unable to extricate the original file from their video player, so a video of that video was shot, hence the grainy appearance.
This is the video that had originally been ordered under seal by Judge Stan Strickland, he believed it may have been prejudicial to potential jurors in the case. The prejudice would lie in how it would be interpreted and debriefed in the public and in the media prior to trial. That was certainly a valid concern for Judge Strickland.
The fact is, on its face, the video could be translated as a picture of a grieving mom just learning that her daughter’s remains have been found. Or, it could be positioned as a consciousness of guilt. If a jury had information about how the reaction to the Blanchard Park discovery of bones elicited no reaction, this juxtaposed non-reaction may have been harmful to the defense, maybe.
The State of Florida chose not to use this video tape. I tend to think there was too much baggage with it since they’d have to put Robyn Adams (convicted felon and Casey jail friend), on the stand to discuss Casey’s reaction to Blanchard Park. Putting Robyn on the stand may have been a risk the State didn’t want to take. I believe the State was confident in the case they laid out. Were they a bit too confident? I don’t know. I do know I admired the work they did.
The video had to be released. Judge Belvin Perry had no choice, really. Jose Baez’ argument about the HIPPA violation was a long-shot, and I’m sorry it didn’t work for him. But, Judge Perry did what he needed to do – uphold the Bill of Rights – the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The video is just sad, in my opinion. Its release does nothing more than pick at an old scab – opening it up and pouring salt on it.
Why do that to ourselves?
Every day spam is scooped up by the excellent WordPress spam-blocker and deleted. Sometimes I have to manually delete the spam because occasionally legitimate comments are mistakenly caught.
I found one of those “legit” comments tonight. Although, it wasn’t exactly a comment, it was a link to a petition about the Casey Anthony trial. It’s a legitimate link and an actual petition that already has 48,000 signatures.
48,000 people agree with this petition.
The petition, on change.org, is intended to convince the legal and political community in this country to consider trying Casey Anthony in Federal Court, with a federal crime! What federal crime they believe Casey Anthony committed, I cannot tell you, but the petition refers repeatedly to the murder of Caylee Marie Anthony.
The petition will be sent to:
- Office of Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll (Jennifer Carroll)
- United States Attorney’s Office Middle District of Florida (ROBERT E. ONEIL)
- State of Florida Attorney General (Pam Bondi)
- Governor of Florida (Florida Governor Rick Scott)
- United States Attorney General (The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder)
- Director in Charge FBI Headquarters Washington DC (Robert Mueller)
- Assistant Director in charge FBI Headquarters Washinton D.C. (James W. McJunkin)
- ORANGE COUNTY STATE ATTORNEY (LAWSON LAMAR)
- FBI Orlando Headquarters (Special agent in charge Steven E. Ibison)
- President of the United States (President Barack Obama)
Though I am loath to publicize this petition, if you would like to review what is written, here is the link: http://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-attorney-general-try-casey-anthony-in-federal-court
Apparently, there are 48,000 people who don’t know the reason for the double jeopardy rule of law.
The concept of double jeopardy is based on the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. “Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”
The reason for this protection? To make sure that We the People are not abused by the government via repeated prosecution, or other abuses.
If repeated prosecutions were legal, it would amount to a form of oppression that denies human rights.
In Communist countries the government has total control over such things, and will convict because they can. Communist countries also control religious beliefs, political parties, and the distribution of wealth.
As we know from WW2, Hitler’s goal was to design a type of German individual that fit his liking. Under Hitler it was a crime to be Jewish. 13 million people were given the Death Penalty because of their religion. Catholics, and homosexuals were singled out, too.
Communist countries don’t have trials. They have convictions.
Casey Anthony was already tried for the crime of murder. She was found Not Guilty. Yes, the verdict is difficult to swallow. Yes, it seems like a travesty of justice, and yes, most of the country believed she was guilty. But, to even consider trying her again is chilling. Think about what it would mean if citizens could be tried twice for the same crime!
Casey Anthony is not guilty; that does not mean she is innocent. Though, she was innocent until proven guilty. She was proven not guilty and now, she can sing from the rooftops that she committed the crime, and not a single thing can happen to her.
People say, our system of justice didn’t work in this case. I do not agree. The system of justice worked. Just because we didn’t like the outcome of the trial does not mean the system didn’t work.
Casey Anthony now deserves all the freedoms that you and I enjoy.
She had a fair trial – she was given protections and special treatment that most defendants don’t enjoy. Unfortunately, 12 jurors did not believe the evidence presented – that’s the bottom line.
Reforms are needed to improve the jury system in long, media-laden trials. But no one could say that Casey Anthony did not have a fair trial or a fair jury.
Judge Belvin Perry is a Jurist of the highest caliber, as was Judge Stan Strickland. The Prosecution won most of their motions leading up to the trial. No one can say the prosecution got a bad wrap.
The defense, we said, was incompetent, unethical, and morally challenged.
But they did what they had to do and won the case.
They won. In life there are bitter pills to swallow.
After the recent hearing to decide the amount of money Casey Anthony will have to pay back to the State of Florida for the pointless search for her “missing” daughter Caylee Anthony, attorney Cheney Mason claimed it was sour grapes resulting from the State losing the case.
Sour grapes, huh?
Casey Anthony, just like any other citizen, will have to pay the State of Florida back its investigative costs. (Note: The costs are not related to the trial/prosecution of Casey Anthony.)
Sure, the State of Florida wants to recoup the nearly $517,000 they spent to investigate a “missing” child they later learned had “drowned”.
Yes, these are absolute costs that Casey Anthony rightfully owes for the hours and hours and weeks and weeks of law enforcement investigation that, of course, was all a ruse. The costs cover the dates of the deception, which were July 15, 2008 until December 11, 2008, when Caylee Marie Anthony’s remains were found.
You defraud the public, you pay the public back.
End of story.
We will find out the amount that Casey Anthony will have to pay in about three weeks when Judge Perry submits an order with the amount due.
Now, about that sour taste in your mouth, Mr. Mason? Just go ahead and gargle with strong mouthwash because I do believe your client may have to put up and shut up. Only my opinion, of course.
Perhaps Mr. Jose Baez neglected to consider the impacts his bold opening statement during the trial would have in the long run?
When Baez said, “Caylee was never missing, but drowned” and when his client was found guilty of lying, cha-chings started adding up. And well they should have.
Despite the jury finding Casey Anthony not guilty, she was found guilty of lying to law enforcement and will have to pay a hefty sum for those lies.
That will satisfy Lady Justice just fine.
To Mr. Cheney Mason
So your client was found not-guilty of Murder. It is no matter here. Of significance now? Her lying bilked thousands of dollars out of the Florida coffers. Had she told investigators that Caylee “drowned” at the outset, the investigation costs would have totaled about six hours, according to witness Lt. Paul Zamboris.
Mr. Mason, as you well know, when people defraud the public and get caught, pay-back is a bitch. Well, this is nothing new. And, no one is singling our your “indigent” client!
Are you living in the past? You must still believe that your Southern Gentleman-like charm, and that Old-Florida drawl you put on as thick as Aunt Jemima syrup on hot pancakes, will work in this case. Ain’t gonna work. But, heck, you can resort to name-calling and obscene hand gestures all you want, it ain’t gonna amount to a hill of full of beans. Throwing sophomoric hissy-fits will not persuade the Honorable Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., either.
But, I do have advice, Mr. Mason. Don’t continue with that mean and cantankerous Ole Florida Coot act. It only makes you look like you’re eating the sour grapes. And it’s unbecoming. You won the war, and jolly good for you. You may not win the battle, so prepare yourself.
Remember the Runaway Bride story and how that ended?
The Runaway Bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, was running away from her fiancée, John Mason, (whose name, coincidentally is Mason, though I know of no connection), and also had to pay a sum of money as restitution.
As a result of her fraud, the Runaway Bride plead guilty to, a felony. She got two years of probation, and a bill for nearly $43,000.
That story was a media circus, too. Jennifer Wilbanks, like Casey Anthony, defrauded the public and had to pay.
According to the BBC, Jennifer Wilbanks sold the media rights to her story to a New York City company for $500,000. Wilbanks did not offer to repay the whole cost of the search for her, which totaled almost $43,000. BBC, June 5, 200
I think the penniless Casey Anthony should start counting those pennies.
I don’t believe a plea of “sour grapes” will convince the court to let Casey Anthony off scot-free.
Um, I’m sure you know that, Mr. Mason.
Read Hal Boedeker story here.
BBC article: Read here.
Tonight I need to scream! Plug up your ears – here goes! Yeeeeeeeeeooooowgrrrrrrrhmph!
I feel better now.
My life seems out of control these last couple of weeks – well, not really, but that’s the feeling I have. I’m so busy at work and it’s getting to me. I really really really really want to QUIT! But, I can’t. I won’t.
I can’t because that would be incredibly stupid and I’d regret it…. I know I’d really miss it, too. My issue is, I’m stretched too thin. I told my boss that if I ever tell her again that I feel like quitting, I’d stop what I’m doing and say the Serenity Prayer. And, then things might be better and then maybe I could chill and not want to quit.
But, I can’t even remember the darn prayer!
“Give me the serenity to (something) the things I cannot change and (something) when I know the difference?” But, that’s not it, it sounds wrong. I can’t think of how it goes, and I couldn’t remember it today either.
Here it is…. the part I need my lips to remember.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
And it’s Thursday night and I completely forgot my favorite of all time TV show was on! Project Runway – I only missed the first ten or so minutes. I saw Oliver fall and the running track. And, I saw enough of Bert, too. I am beginning to hope he’s booted off soon. He’s such a mean fart! So, he’s got talent – you have to be a nice person, too! Talent alone doesn’t do it!
And so, I had to watch Project Runway, which is why I am all over the place writing tonight – no coherent plan. Just stream of consciousness writing tonight – I’m about to run out of time, too, because if I don’t go to sleep by 11:00 tonight, I will regret it. Last night I was up until two! Dumb! That’s probably why I wanted to quit my job, come to think of it.
And, I read a little bit here and there about the probation issue today, and it infuriated me! It was a really big deal, we learned today, that Casey Anthony has already checked in to her Probation Officer. BOMBSHELL! Casey checked in! Stop the presses! Woo! That was really news worthy.
And tonight I read that one of the local Orlando stations, Tony Pipitone of WKMG, is asking, “Why is Casey Anthony getting special treatment?” That’s a brilliant question, isn’t it?
Tony, she is NOT getting special treatment! She is being protected from the people who want to murder her! A better question is, why are you giving her special treatment? Could it be because your station wants to sell advertising?
WKMG reporter, Tony Pipitone (who always seemed to be a fairly sane reporter), has gone off the deep end. He wants the Court to 1) reveal who Casey’s Probation Officer is, 2) release the documents related to probation, 3) provide where she’s reporting for probation, and 4) what classes she’s taking. (She’s taking online courses.)
First of all, if she’s enrolled in a college or university, information about her course work is off limits, protected by FERPA.
The Family Rights and Privacy Act – FERPA. This law protects the information of any student taking college or university classes. Look up FERPA, Tony.
Enough is enough. It’s over, she’s Not Guilty, said the jury. Respect it and think about why YOU are treating Casey Anthony any differently?
When the media plays these sensational games, it’s no longer journalism (if it ever was journalism in the first place), it’s hype, pure hype that could literally endanger a life!
I don’t understand this continuing madness over anything “Casey Anthony!”
It’s time to move on. It’s time to wish her well and let her go on her merry way.
I hope she is able to put the shattered pieces that are left of her life, back together and do something for herself. Enjoy her family – move away, live life, enjoy her parents.
Life is too short to not be happy.
To Tony, and all the other drooling reporters, repeat after me:
“Have a good life, Casey! Bye, bye.”
OMG – It’s 11:30! Good night!
(Sorry for any typos, grammar fopaux’s, etc.)
Just a quick post about Casey Anthony’s probation, as ordered by Judge Stan Strickland, blessed by Judge Belvin Perry, and sealed with a kiss by the Fifth District Court of Appeals, Florida.
I looked again at the original order, curious as to what is required, and interested in seeing what a probation order actually looked like and said. There are 13 points at the end of Judge Strickland’s probation order that sum up the requirements of probation.
The 13 points are:
- Not later than the fifth day of each month, you will make a full and truthful report to your Probation Officer on the form provided for that purpose
- You will pay the state of Florida $20 per month toward the cost of supervision, plus a 4% surcharge per month by the fifth day of each month unless otherwise waived in compliance with Florida Statutes.
- You will not change your residence or employment or leave the country of your residence without first procuring the consent of your Probation Officer.
- You will neither possess, carry, or own any weapons or firearms without first securing the consent of your Probation Officer.
- You will live and remain at liberty without violating any law. A conviction in a court of law shall not be necessary in order for such violation to constitute a violation of our probation.
- You will not use intoxicants to excess; nor will you visit places where intoxicants, drugs or other dangerous substances are unlawfully sold, dispensed or used.
- You will work diligently at a lawful occupation and support any dependants to the best of your ability as directed by your Probation Officer.
- You will promptly and truthfully answer all inquiries directed to you by the Court or the Probation Officer, and allow the Officer to visit you in your home, at your employment site, or elsewhere, and you will comply with all instructions he may give you.
- You will not possess or use any marijuana or other controlled substance except upon prescription of a duly licensed medical or osteopathic doctor and then only in accordance with the prescribed dosage. You will not possess any controlled substance, paraphernalia or forged or blank prescription forms.
- Unless prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages by a special condition in this order, you will not consume alcoholic beverages, to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired.
- You will submit to a reasonable search without a warrant by the Probation Office of your person, effects, residence or business premises or vehicle for alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, weapons or firearms. You will submit to chemical tests (breath, urine and blood) upon request of your Probation Officer to determine the presence and quantity of alcohol or controlled substance in your blood.
- The Court retains jurisdiction to place you in the Probation and Restitution Center upon recommendation of your Probation Office without finding of violation of probation.
- You will not knowingly associate with any persons engaged in criminal activity.
These requirements, it seems, sound fairly general with application to most any person serving probation.
I’d think that for Casey Anthony, the big question and the greasy fly in the ointment will be the work requirement. Is writing your memoirs considered work? I bet so. Heck, she’s not likely to be working for Kodak Color Vision again.
We found out today that Casey Anthony’s appeal to stop her year-long probation, was denied. The Higher Court said, no way Jose!
There was never a question in my mind that she would be able to get out of serving probation. There was never a defense argument that made sense. Her lawyers tried, but failed in their efforts to get the High Court to overturn the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court decision.
Judge Belvin Perry wrote a wonderfully researched decision when he denied Casey Anthony’s request to Quash Judge Strickland’s amended order for the one year of probation. Here is a link to the document, if you haven’t read it.
Probation will be a bumpy ride for Casey Anthony.
This will be an unpopular thing for me to say, but I am going to say it anyway! I hope that Casey Anthony can be left alone to rehabilitate herself and find her way in the world.
What if, with all the therapy and guidance that Jose Baez says she will need, in the future she does something great, contributing in a meaningful way to society? Could we forgive her then? It’s difficult to say for sure, but I would hope so.
We just don’t know what the future will hold. What if Casey Anthony is someday in a position to save a child?
OJ Simpson never amounted to anything after his trial and verdict. His spots never changed, and now he’s in prison where he was meant to be all along. He never contributed to society one whit! And, he was given the greatest gift of all, his freedom – he did nothing with it. His crime was cold blooded and maniacal. It was blood sport to him. It’s good to know he is out of society.
And then there is Casey Anthony. Granted, no one else could have possibly killed her daughter and toss her in the woods like yesterday’s garbage. She was responsible, I have no doubt. However, she had her moment in court was found Not Guilty.
Unfortunately for Casey, the real and hard core jury: Society, will make things very difficult for Casey when she is serving probation. (Can we say a little prayer that no one gets hurt, not even Casey?)
Maybe, if she gets the help she needs, she will do something in her life that will make a positive impact on society. She’s very bright. Maybe one day things will turn around for the better for her.
Granted, nothing is ever as rosy as I like to imagine, or dream them to be. Casey could end up like OJ, right back in jail. If that happens, so be it, it will be all the more deserved. But, I hope that is not the case. One more criminal is one more too many.
For once, I agree with Jose Baez, who recently said, “It’s time for everyone to move on and let everyone who is involved in this case move on and live their life.”
I won’t try to kid myself, or kid you into believing that the media will all of a sudden stop following every morsel of news about Casey Anthony! That’s not going to happen! This is big business for the media now. If the audience wants news, the media will deliver – no doubt about it.
Maybe the news will slow down a bit? Hah! Not very likely!
So, Casey Anthony, I just read, has returned to Florida presumably to begin her probation? That is wise since she certainly would not want to ignore that responsibility.
More importantly, for Florida, there is Irene.
Casey Anthony may be upstaged because Hurricane Irene may be heading to Florida, too. Hopefully, the Irene story will trump the probation story.
With regards to Irene, they say it is going to be a Category 3, with winds up to 115 mph. It’s now a Category 2. But, Category 3 is a bad storm – it could be devastating if or when it hits.
I own a first floor condo, and the smartest thing I ever did was to put the kind of storm shutters on that all you need to do is pull them together and snap them shut in the middle! The rolling, pull-type shutters are on all the windows and my back door. The shutters are supposed to stand up to the test of high winds….. I sure hope so! I’ve never had to use them before.
We had a storm, in October 2006, called Wilma. Some say it was a Category 1, others say it was a Category 2 when it hit us.
Whatever strength Wilma was, it blew off many roofs in many neighborhoods. There are still people trying to put their lives back together as a result of the damage from Wilma.
When Wilma came, I took my dog and my cats and my computer and I high-tailed it over to my mom’s. Wilma happened before I’d put the shutters on, and I didn’t want to be home alone if my windows were going to break!
The worst part of the aftermath of Wilma was the clean-up, and dealing with no electricity for over a week.
Fortunately, my home survived Wilma well. The roof tiles blew off, and many trees fell, cracked and complained. But, all in all, it was okay.
The roof was fixed, landscaping is back to being beautiful again, and all is well. For now.
A Category 3 hit from Irene would be scary! Say a prayer that she decides to miss Florida and the Carolina’s and winds up out to sea for good, will you?
Hurricanes are just plain scary!
I hear the “Jaws” movie theme in my head as I write this. Do you remember that threatening music? Just before the shark is about to take a bite, that music plays and BAM! a poor swimmer gets gobbled up by the toothy monster-shark. oooooh! The ocean scared me after I saw that movie!
The Great White Florida Bar, aka “JAWS” is hunting again!
Today, the Florida Bar reports it is investigating Jose Baez again! This time the investigation is a result of Jose Baez, et al, not informing the Court of Casey Anthony serving probation while she was in jail. (It is not known who filed this most recent Bar complaint.)
When the issue of probation was recently heard by Judge Belvin Perry, the defense claimed it was not its burden to inform the court of any error imposed by the Department of Corrections, or of the Court. However, the defense KNEW there was an error, and ignored it.
This is akin to purposeful deception, I think. Why are all lawyers associated with this defense team ethically challenged?
Judge Belvin Perry wrote a scathing response to Baez when he upheld Judge Stan Strickland’s order of probation.
In regards to the defense not informing the Court of the error, Perry wrote:
To additionally seek to use a scrivener’s error to achieve an end that was against the court’s intent, especially where both parties had argued the issue of when probation should commence, strikes at the very foundation of our justice system.
No attorney should conduct himself or herself in a way that impedes an order of the court. …Our system of justice should never be in the position of rewarding someone who willfully hides the ball.
I believe Judge Belvin Perry has had just about enough of this kind of bold disregard of the duties incumbent upon an officer of the court.
Jose Baez AND
Perry Foghorn Leghorn Cheney Mason, too, crossed the edge of propriety on so many occasions before, during, and now after the trial. Too many occasions to list.
The defense should not be able to claim that they are now harmed by having the Defendant serve probation at this time.
This would allow a defendant to take advantage of a scrivener’s error and be rewarded. This is not the message the courts want to send to the public or defendants.
In an interesting coincidence, the defense today entered an emergency motion to have the probation, scheduled to begin August 26th, vacated by a higher court.
I predict, while the motion is considered by the higher court, Casey Anthony will have to begin her probation. When the higher court considers the motion, it will deny it, I believe.
Unfortunately, I think Jose Baez will not even be slapped on the wrist by this most recent Bar complaint. I hope I am wrong.
More news tomorrow….
It would be nice to forgetand the lawyer-minions supporting her. But she just won’t go away.
Her whereabouts are unknown at this time, but not for the media’s lack of trying. And, if the Orlando circuit court has its way, she will return to the Fantasy City to serve probation for the 2009 check-fraud case for which she plead guilty.
As you’re probably aware, Judge Stan Strickland, the initial judge in both the check-fraud case, and the murder case, as a result of her guilty plea, sentenced Casey Anthony to over 400 days of credit for time served, and to one year of probation, upon her release.
The sentence of one year of probation was recently reaffirmed by Judge Belvin Perry, after Judge Strickland recused himself from the case.
Yes, Casey Anthony was recently given a sentence of one year of probation, to be served in Orlando, too. She’ll have to get a job, check in with probation officers, and basically behave. This will be one tall order.
I do not see Casey Anthony ever returning to Orlando. Frankly, I hope she does not return. No doubt her lawyers will appeal; they’ll get a stay, but the appeal will fail. They will appeal again, this time to the Florida Supreme Court. They will get a stay, but the appeal will fail. All this could take a minimum of two years.
Two years from now, Casey Anthony will be standing on someone’s Orlando porch, knocking on someone’s door handing them all her baggage. Who could handle her notoriety?
Let’s hope she is forgotten soon. Let’s hope she is quiet, unrecognizable, and allowed to live her life.
I don’t believe in hating, or writing furious letters or boycotting.
Is the purpose of boycotting because she was found not guilty? Is the boycotting because she may profit from her story?
She has every right to profit; she can do exactly as she pleases now. If we cannot respect her rights as a citizen, how can we expect our rights to be similarly respected? These are our rights, too.
If we put ourselves in her place would we act differently? If we were in jail, insisting on our innocence, and no one but a couple of dopey lawyers believed in us, what then? If we eventually prevailed in court and our rights were restored, wouldn’t it be great? We would say the system worked, right?
That’s our system and that’s what sometimes happens. It’s like baseball, there are winners and there are losers. But, when that game ends, it’s over. People will say, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.” I’ve never found that to be true even though there are a lot of fat ladies.
I believe in our system of justice, and know it’s not perfect. I hate that Casey Anthony will not stay in jail for her crime. She will have to face her community at some point, now that she’s facing probation.
Very few people, and certainly not me, will say she is innocent. But it no longer matters. Her accusers (the State of Florida), did not prove their case to the jurors.
Perhaps her lawyers were allowed to be too snarky and sneaky with the truth during the trial. But they won their case. The jury, even though I believe they did not take their duty seriously enough, made their decision and it is binding.
I absolutely believe that both Judges Perry and Strickland did the right thing by upholding her probation, and if she were not such a salacious media target, I believe she should serve that sentence in Orlando. However, she is a scandalous time-bomb in that fantasy city. The moment she steps foot anywhere near Orlando the media will find her, she’ll hide again, they’ll find her again, and on and on it will go.
If she is allowed to fade away, it would be the absolute best thing. I doubt it will happen.
I always wonder why this story is what it is. I think we should ask ourselves what is it that draws so much attention to this story? What is it that causes people to stand outside in the rain, at midnight, to get a glimpse of her driving away from jail? Why would people wait for hours across the street from the courthouse to get a ticket to attend the trial, and then fight and kick and scream at one another just to get a place in line?
I felt embarrassed for people who did that.
If I look at this Casey Anthony fiasco objectively, from a journalism/marketing perspective, I believe the obsession is because the Casey Anthony story is sexy.
There I said it.
There is no denying sex sells. If you don’t believe me, look at the magazine covers that are in our face in the grocery store check-out aisles. Look at the mannequins in mall store windows, or look at the ads displayed in store windows.
Our TV shows are either suggestive of sex, or completely full of outright sexual content. Movies and movie-stars are sexy and the consumers go nuts for them. For the last few years, the paparazzi does nothing but hound pregnant stars to get a shot of their swollen belly, which has become sexy, too. A baby bump is never hidden beneath conservative maternity clothing anymore – it’s sexier to see the bump.
We see “stars” in revealing bikini’s at the beach, and we are shown close-ups of their celluloid; we even shown close-ups of C-Section scars.
That is NOT sexy, but it is – it’s not but it is. And it sells.
Casey Anthony was a beautiful, buxom young woman and the story of Casey Anthony became a national obsession, but it was fading. If she shows up in Orlando to serve probation, our addiction to this story will be back.
I don’t blame the media. They are giving their audience what they think it wants.
It’s about money. It’s about the “money shot” of Casey doing whatever. It’s nuts and it sells.
But, it’s also about allowing a person to live the life she’s promised, given the rights and protections of the U.S. Constitution.
So what if she makes a little money in the process. Why should I care, after all she owes the State of Florida nearly half a million dollars, remember?
We want her to make a little bit of money. It will be good for the State of Florida; it will be a good reminder that the U.S. Constitution is supposed to protect us all.
In the meantime, I’ll keep writing about the legal fallout from the Casey Anthony case because it will be fascinating.
My brother says he’s afraid of the legal precedents, in the State of Florida, that could result from this case. I have no idea what he’s talking about because he knows the law and I don’t.
I’m afraid of someone getting hurt; and I’m afraid for the crazy people in Fantasy Land who will do anything for their 15 minutes of fame.
Although sex sells, so does horror.
[Insert monster laugh here.]
Today, as expected, Judge Belvin Perry held up Judge Stan Strickland’s amendment to his original order of probation in the Casey Anthony Check-Fraud case.
It has always been my opinion that Judge Strickland was right to amend the order for probation when it became apparent that his order of probation was not followed.
We are governed by laws and penalties for breaking laws for a specific reason. When a law is broken, as in the Check-Fraud case in which Casey Anthony plead guilty, there are sentencing guidelines that include probation. Judge Strickland specifically ordered probation, and his order from the bench, in open court, was not applied. What is more, the defense team KNEW Judge Strickland’s order of probation was not applied as ordered.
And, what’s more, Jose Baez ARGUED, back in 2009, that Casey Anthony’s probation NOT be applied while she was in jail. It was Prosecutor Frank George who argued for probation while Casey Anthony was in jail! (The State was so sure they would get a conviction in this case, hence their request for applying the sentence.)
Whereas, Jose Baez was certain that Casey Anthony would be found guilty of a lesser charge and eventually be released from jail. Baez wanted her to serve probation for the Check-Fraud charges, I believe, rather than probation on a more serious felony, like manslaughter.
You cannot pull any wool over the eyes of Judge Perry, Mr. Baez!
Today’s order from Judge Perry is a thing of beauty – it is brutally frank and professorial in its lecture and criticism of Jose Baez. I must quote some of the most telling pieces of Judge Perry’s order for posterity, and also because his narrative comments in the order explicitly tell Jose Baez that Judge Perry questions his judgment, candor, and advocacy as an officer of the court.
First, Judge Perry cited established case law that indicated it was within Judge Strickland’s jurisdiction to amend an order that, because of a clerical error, did not correctly reflect the spoken court order. A defendant should not benefit nor should they be harmed by a human clerical error.
With regards to the defense argument of “double jeopardy,” Judge Perry wrote:
This case does not involve additional punishment proscribed by the double jeopardy clause nor does it involve a punitive effect by requiring the Defendant to serve probation twice. The Defendant was in jail and unable to meet the goals and requirements of the probationary sentence. The Defendant could not comply with the standard thirteen conditions of probation while incarcerated on a[nother] pending charge.
Probation is a rehabilitative tool that facilitates the Defendant’s reentry back into society after being found guilty of a crime. “In society” is the operative word and is the testing ground of the probation period. The defendant is being tested to determine if he or she will be able to maintain themselves in society and not causing harm to others. Being in jail during probation is hardly equal to being in society.
With regards to allowing Casey Anthony to forgo probation, Judge Perry wrote:
To permit the Defendant, whose counsel was well aware that the probation was to begin upon the defendant’s release from jail, to avoid serving probation now, would take a lawfully imposed sentence and make it a mockery of justice. This would allow a defendant to take advantage of a scrivener’s error and be rewarded. This is not the message the courts want to send to the public or the defendants.
One’s duty as an Officer of the Court
Because the next section of the court order is so impeccably written, and so on-point with regards to the defense shenanigans, I want to provide you with these candid, and rather searing, words:
Finally, this Court would like to address the issue of what duty does an attorney, an officer of the court, owe to our system of justice to see that the lawful orders of courts are followed. The defense acknowledged in court that Mr. Baez knew about the error, but contended he did not have any obligation to inform the court.
It was absolutely blistering comment from Judge Perry’s, when, toward the end of the ruling, he cites specific conduct from the Florida Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Judge Perry clearly believes that Mr. Baez may find good counsel via studying the standards of conduct set forth by the Florida Bar.
Belly up to the Bar, Baez!
PS…. The order is priceless. Click here to read.
Before I write about my day, I want to take a moment and express how frustrating it is to read the catty tales from numbskulls in the community! Reading the discussions claiming that “mistakes” were made by Judge Strickland regarding the probation issue, in the Casey Anthony check fraud sentence, makes me want to bear my teeth and hiss like a cat!
Clearly these bloggers never took a moment to actually read about what happened. A little research will make it crystal clear. I’ve written a couple of posts about it already, so I won’t re-hash it here.
Suffice it to say, Judge Stan Strickland is beyond reproach. Period.
Attorney Richard Hornsby, whose writing I often cite, said the following in response to a blogger criticizing Judge Strickland’s sentence in the check fraud case:
You do realize, that Judge Strickland could have convicted her of all 13 check fraud charges and sentenced her to 30+ years in prison, but instead withheld adjudication on seven counts, meaning she was only a 6 time convicted felon instead of 13 time convicted felon, sentenced her to time served on all counts and 1 year of probation once released on the seven counts he withheld adjudication on.
No other judge I can think of would have gone that easy on her considering she was being held on murder charges. To imply that Judge Strickland was unfair or was not impartial to her is ludicrous.
She literally got a slap on the wrist for the check fraud charges and you are somehow complaining that Judge Strickland was acting biased towards her? Get real.
The above comment, written by Richard Hornsby, is part of the comments of a post titled: For Judge Perry’s Eyes Only
Beau did GREAT at the Vet! Me? Not so much…
I took Beau to the vet this morning. That’s him in his carrier, waiting at the vet’s office.
Beau got, for $182.00, a blood test, fecal and urine tests, and an exam.
The vet won’t be able to diagnose if he has Hypothyroidism until we get his test results back, tomorrow night, or Tuesday morning.
However, Beau’s ravenous behavior may have been solved (I hope) after I explained to the vet how I feed him…..
The vet seems to think that Beau’s ravenous hunger and his mad-cat attacking of people food, could be because I’m starving my own cat.
Oh God, Oh God, Oh God….
I am starving my cat.
After I told the vet his feeding routine, he said: “Double his food.”
As soon as I got home from the vet, Beau got more breakfast; tonight he got more dinner. And, is he happy!
I thought, wow, will this cure his hunger?
Not so fast. But there is some improvement already!
Although, just as soon as he finished eating, he was on top of me, trying to put his nose into the sandwich I made for dinner. But, he was calmer about it…..he didn’t show his regular ravenous madness in the pursuit of catching a bite of my food.
If the problem can be solved simply by feeding him more, that would be fantastic!
He did so well at the vet’s office. The only time I heard him scream bloody murder was a result of the vet getting a fecal sample… can’t blame him for screaming, who wouldn’t scream at that?
I’ve had Beau for 12 years – since he was born. He’s the nicest cat I’ve ever had. He’s incredibly affectionate, attentive, and follows me around like my constant shadow.
The vet told me he also has a black male cat and his cat has a similar personality to Beau’s. And he told me that the best and most docile domestic cats are black males, and male orange Tabby’s.
I had a white female cat, Tallulah, for 20 years and she had the same loving qualities as Beau – but she was smarter.
I would have liked to ask the vet more questions about this cat personality phenomenon, but my mind was still racing and feeling so guilty that I’ve been starving my Beau….!
Well, in truth, the vet didn’t say outright that I was starving him….
Well, I think it’s because he saw how upset I was…. Guess he’s careful when it comes to near hysterical cat mothers who’ve been starving their cat-child.
Oh God, Oh God, Oh God…………
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?
The term “butterfly effect” was coined by Edward Norton Lorenz, who was the first to ponder the chaos theory‘s 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.
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!
It was a Project Runway night which meant I have been glued to the T.V.!
I do love that show! However, I often don’t pick the winning look; worse than that, I often like best what the judges like least! But I always learn something and end up appreciating the opportunity to see the design from the eyes of the judges.
Tonight’s design challenge was to construct something unconventional from items purchased at a pet supply store. Josh, the designer sent home during tonight’s episode, made an outfit out of quasi-fabric material – he used umbrella fabric, and a black piece of material used in a fish tank. The sad thing about his design, it was very dated: A halter top and short skirt. Not exactly unconventional. The other designers used bird seed, feathers, dog toys, hamster bedding material, dog food, and other non-fabric material.
I thought the worse design was the skirt constructed from dogie pee-pee pads. The outcome was off center, in a bad way and prompted a stream (pun intended) of cynical retorts!
Tomorrow’s hearing about probation in the Casey Anthony probation issue
Judge Belvin Perry will hear defense arguments concerning the probation issue. It is difficult to know how Judge Perry will rule on this – many experts have differing opinions. Whatever the decision of Judge Perry turns out to be, I’m sure it will be the correct one.
I found it interesting that Lawson Lamar, the Orlando State Attorney, made a statement regarding the opinion of his office. Lamar believes that should Anthony be forced to serve probation (again) it would amount to double jeopardy, which is unconstitutional.
Far be it from me to know the truth of the probation matter from a legal perspective. Lawson Lamar would know far better than I, but I question that statement never the less. My opinion is that Anthony did not serve probation in jail – on paper she did, but it was not real probation.
The question for me is: Do we value probation as an important tool to lessen the behavior of the criminal who we want to rehabilitate? Are we treating Anthony differently? Clearly, she is given far more consideration than another person charged with the same kind of crime. What other defendant would be able to serve probation while in jail?
Whatever the outcome is, it will be for the best.
It was another newsy day with regards to Casey Anthony.
First, the Honorable Stan Strickland recused himself from the Anthony fraud case in which Casey Anthony plead guilty and was ordered to serve probation. At issue, as you’ve most likely heard by now, is the oversight in the probation orders typed by the court, as well as the interpretation of the orders by the Orange County Corrections.
The wording, in the written order, states there is to be one year of probation. Because the sentence lacked the words “upon release” (from jail) it was not clear when the term of probation should commence. Huh?
Probation is what it is – isn’t it?!! It’s supposed to be an extension of the custodial process, right? Who ever heard of probation happening while an inmate is in jail? Well, perhaps if the inmate is in prison with out the possibility of parole, perhaps then it may be used. Even then, if the inmate is in jail, it sounds like a redundant process, doesn’t it?
It was the Dept. of Corrections who took it upon themselves to set up Casey Anthony’s probation while in jail. Why they did this is anyone’s guess. Someone failed to take the time to think this one through.
Judge Stan Strickland, the original assigned Judge in this case, when he realized that his order of probation was omitted, he amended his order to include it. And, oh the firestorm it caused!
Judge Strickland recused himself from the Check Fraud case today, and Judge Belvin Perry took the reigns.
The first thing that Perry did was to issue a stay as it relates to when the probation should begin. The Court will hear arguments on Friday, August 5th, and will rule as to whether to enforce the probation, or dismiss it.
There’s every reason to believe that Judge Perry will uphold Judge Strickland’s position, unless Perry can find a legal reason to change the ruling.
I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that probation is an important part of the rehabilitation process and should not be taken lightly, whether your name is Casey Anthony or Anthony Casey.
Regardless, Judge Perry knows his case law, and follows the law to the letter; if the law calls for probation, then it will begin.
In what ever decision he reaches, Judge Perry will have to weigh the safety of Casey Anthony. If it’s possible to move the probation to another state, perhaps that is an option – I don’t know. We’ll find out on Friday what fate befalls defendant Anthony in this regard.
I firmly believe her deeds in the check fraud case should have a period of real probation – not “pretend” probation as she served while in jail.
TMZ photos and video
Someone working for TMZ.com got pictures of Casey Anthony doing what she loves best: Shop! She’s in Ohio, says TMZ. Take a look at the pictures, do you think it’s her? I do.
There’s a video, too. You can view it at this link: TMZ.Com Video.