In today’s Orlando Sentinel, there are two pieces by Hal Boedeker that are quite good.
I always enjoy reading Hal Boedeker’s take on the Casey Anthony saga – he’s so down to earth and asks questions that people want to talk about. His columns on the Anthony story are always popular, always generating hundreds of comments. There was a time when I’d read the comments with interest, I even commented once, too. But as time wore on, the comments became so ugly and over the top, filled with such hateful vitriol that was (and still is) too bizarre for my taste.
But, Hal Boedeker’s work is always excellent; here are links to today’s two stories that contain interesting analysis from the lawyer analysts covering the trial.
- Analysis and Q and A with Bill Shaeffer, Richard Hornsby, Mark NeJame and Diana Tennis.
- Interview with Bill Shaeffer, who says trial was Soap Opera
It’s interesting how we just can’t stop talking about his case! It’s still an open book to be dissected. When Boedeker discusses Anthony in a column, he’ll get hundreds and hundreds of comments. Even when I write about the case, the number of visitors to my blog literally triples. And when the trial began, starting with jury selection, and right up until the end, I’d receive well over two thousand visitors a day, often more.
It was really a weird feeling to know so many people read my thoughts…. I never expected that – ever.
A lot of blogs and media outlets experienced huge increases in Internet traffic as a result of this case. This was a good thing because most of the bigger blogs or media outlets are able to turn the Internet traffic into a bigger revenue stream for them. WordPress puts advertising on blogs like mine for the revenue stream, too. I have no control over the ads you may see unless I want to pay WordPress to prevent them from posting their ads. I’m more than happy to let them advertise! I hope they make some money from their blog sites since they offer virtually everything on WordPress dot com completely free to the blogger.
Anyway, now I forget what the point of all this was going to be!
Oh yes, public interest in this story. I’m still interested in the Anthony case, but not as before. There are many days that I forget about it, and that’s good.
I stopped reading for pleasure when this case began. Now I’ve started reading a lot again. I read three books this week. I finished the Jacyee Dugard book about her years of captivity; titled, “A Stolen Life: A Memoir.” I’m glad I read it, but it was difficult to get through because of the extreme suffering she lived with for so many years (she was abducted at age 11.) I have a great respect for her and her will to survive. It’s a very quick read, told in her own words, (without a Ghostwriter’s help), and for that I was impressed.
But the book I recommend so highly is “ROOM” by Emma Donoghue, written in 2010. It is absolutely breathtaking. The story is narrated by a five year old who was born as a result of his mother being abducted at age 19 and held prisoner in a shed in her captors backyard. Her son, Jack, has never been outside the shed to experience the real world. The relationship between mother and son is captivating; and the situation they’re in is made horrifying by their captor.
I don’t want to say too much about ROOM because I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
I can’t decide what to read next! I have so many lined up in my Nook just waiting to be devoured and even more on my book shelves, too.
Well, I think I’m going to read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skoot next.
So, the weekend’s officially over now. It was a great one, too: Live Theatre, shopping, babysitting my niece, and reading…. perfect in every way!
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!
Why must Cheney Mason’s motions always contain personal and snippy vitriol? More importantly, why must he consistently act like a high-school boy who’s only able to communicate via a middle finger, with a bark and a scowl?
Oh yes, Mason displayed his middle finger again today – flipping it in the direction of a driver, reported Kathi Belich of WFTV.
There’s something wrong with a grown man, nearing retirement, acting like this. It’s uncouth (also uncool), for a lawyer to behave that way! It’s bizarre – beyond the beyond of bizarre.
And, what’s worse, Mason told a reporter that Anthony will NOT comply with the probation order. Hm. Perhaps he wants to loose his law license? By suggesting that Anthony will not appear, he – an officer of the court – is asking his client to break the law.
Cheney Mason, who once had a very good reputation in the Orlando area, is risking his law degree, and his reputation, for Casey Anthony? Really?? It makes absolutely no sense to me.
The motion that Mason “walked” to the courthouse today (all he needed to do was file it electronically), was done to assure he had an audience.
In the motion, titled “Emergency motion for hearing to quash, vacate, and set aside court’s order,” Mason writes that Judge Strickland’s “order was fraudulently entered.”
Mason also states that Judge Strickland, having amended the probation order, “Showed a reckless disregard for Ms. Anthony’s Due Process and Civil Rights.”
I cannot fathom that any lawyer would make such offensive allegations against a sitting Judge, especially a Judge as thoughtful and fair as I believe Judge Strickland is. It’s offensive.
Perhaps Mason believes that his career is over anyway, and so he doesn’t care who or what he insults. If so, that’s hardly an excuse. As an officer of the court and having taken an oath to follow the law, how can a lawyer act with such disregard for the law, and all behalf of Casey Anthony? It makes no sense.
Here is the emergency motion, filed by Cheney Mason, filed on the CFS News13 website.
Richard Hornsby, a smart (and sometimes sassy!) criminal defense attorney that I admire, wrote a post on his blog that is excellent and that I encourage you to read – the link to his blog is on my blogroll and a link is available in the quote below.
Richard concludes the following with regards to the sentencing orders for probation:
While Judge Strickland’s intentions were clear, there seems to have been some confusion because the sentencing minutes that were generated after the hearing, and which Judge Strickland signed, simply stated credit for 412 days jail followed by one year of supervised probation. Notably, the sentencing minutes never contained the magical words “upon release” at the end of the sentence – not that they needed to. ~ Richard Hornsby, Criminal Lawyer
The real question is whether Judge Perry will hear this emergency motion tomorrow on behalf of Judge Strickland.
If the order stands, and I think it will, Anthony will have to report to an Orlando probation officer Wednesday, August 3, 2011, by 5 pm, or she will have violated the terms of her probation. When that happens, a bench warrant for her arrest will be put in place, and back to jail she’ll go.
Anything could happen at this point – and it probably will!
It’s difficult to read the tea leaves on this one. Oh boy! Stay tuned….
Tomorrow’s hearing in the State versus Casey Anthony involves high stakes for the defense. They have filed a motion asking for permission to hire an expert witness who specializes in the analysis of bones and fossils. Presumably this witness will be using photographs of the remains at the crime scene to analyze and then determine a time period for when Caylee’s body was placed in the area off of Suburban drive, since it was reported that Caylee’s remaining bones were cremated by the family.
In a recent hearing, however, the defense was granted the funds to hire an out of state DNA testing firm to test both a laundry bag (which served as a carry-all bag for Caylee’s body), and the shorts that Caylee was wearing.
The testing of these articles could possibly turn up foreign DNA (belonging to an unidentified source). If that turns out to be true, it could be an argument for reasonable doubt for the defense, as they hope to prove that someone other than Casey “bagged” Caylee and placed her body in an area off of Suburban Drive.
Richard Hornsby, Orlando Attorney and frequent contributor to WESH News, says it best with regards to the testing of the laundry bag and the shorts:
You’re seeing them trying to find the next red herring…. ~source: WESH.com
It remains to be seen if Judge Perry will grant the defense the bone/fossil witness. The ruling should be made tomorrow. Regardless, the defense needs this bone/fossil expert witness since they’ve lost Laura Buchanan – who has given the defense team it’s most recent black eye.
As you may recall, Laura Buchanan was a Texas EquuSearch volunteer who was certain that she (and others) were in the Suburan Drive location where Caylee’s remains were later found, and saw nothing. She has since changed her tune, stating she was actually not in the area.
In addition, Laura Buchanan, who has been discredited, is being investigated for falsifying documents related to the search for Caylee. Yet the defense, surely aware of the shady intent of this witness, was allegedly relying on her testimony to prove that the area was clear of any sign of Caylee’s body (when it was searched, in July / early August), inferring that Casey Anthony could not have placed it there.
As it turns out, Buchanan never visited the Suburban Drive area and has, allegedly, falsely sought the corroboration of Joe Jordan, another defense witness and EquuSearch volunteer.
Again, Richard Hornsby gets to the heart of the matter in a recent news report:
The defense seems willing to rely on questionable witnesses and incredible people to try to save Anthony’s life, and in the end it’s only going to do her more harm than good. ~Source: WESH.com
Following the money
And finally, on tap for tomorrow’s hearing is a Prosecution motion requesting an itemized accounting of all defense spending to date. This is bound to be a colorful and interesting argument!
No doubt the defense will play the blame game and claim that the State, with it’s limitless resources, is harassing them…. It’s a blame game for the defense. They will not lay down softly for this motion, of that we can depend.
It’s been reported that Casey Anthony will be present for the hearing, which is set to begin at 1:00 pm.
Monday’s status hearing in the case against Casey Anthony, though brief, was chock full of interesting bits of insight.
There are two Orlando attorney’s who regularly comment on this case and who always share valuable insight. They are Richard Hornsby, and Bill Sheaffer. And yesterday Attorney Sheaffer gave an excellent explanation about “excited utterances.” Specifically he discusses what it means according to the law, and also, more importantly, what it means in this case.
To review the excellent interview of Bill Sheaffer by reporter Kathi Bellich – please click here.
There is an important motion hearing coming up July 15th. At that hearing the admissibility of the 911 calls will be argued by both sides. Also argued, the EquuSearch files, as well as whether Roy Kronk will be put under the microscope with regards his supposed “prior bad acts” and the feasibility that he could be a suspect in the case.
However, according to WFTV, and other sources, the Defense may be backing off of the Kronk angle. Attorney Bill Sheaffer feels it’s a weak argument – most of us with knowledge of the case do as well.
Check out the coverage on WFTV by clicking here.
If this is not the most confounding story, I don’t know what is!
So many questions linger…. but this is what I believe now with regards to the George Anthony story:
- I believe that George did have the affair, and i believe the woman is for real,
- I believe that George knew he was lying when he said Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed”, or
- He was talking out of both sides of his mouth when he said it was an accident, because at the very same time, he was saying to the press that Caylee was still alive, while knowing that the child was deceased.
- I believe the timing of his statement is important. For instance, it was reported tonight that George made the accident statement about one month prior to the discovery of Caylee in the woods. I wonder how George described Caylees death after the body was discovered? Did he still refer to the death as an accident even after the whole world learned about the duct tape?
This is what I believe could be true with regards to Baez and the possible cover up of the payment and the payment arrangements:
- I believe there is something to this story, especially now that we learn tonight the state is questioning the indigence status altogether.
- I am confused by how Judge Strickland could have missed this. In a recent hearing, Strickland did have an in-camera hearing regarding Baez’s collection of payments to date, and ruled that nothing he saw was objectionable.
- However, the Judge cannot know what payments were promised to Baez down the road, after the case is over and done with. Perhaps ABC made a deal with Baez that they’d continue to fund the case, if after its conclusion, if Baez would agree to a deal with ABC? So, the $111,000 was like a down payment for services down the road?
- I could believe, if it were proven, that perhaps Hornsby is right and the money is really a problem for Baez.
- And finally, I could believe that Andrea Lyons did advise Baez to file for indigent status, to help defray the costs, not realizing that it would throw a monkey wrench into the monkey’s already deviant plans?
Regardless of the truth here, it is an intriguing set of circumstances; and could reveal serious problems for Baez, if Hornsby is correct.
We will have to see how this unfolds.
What a zoo.
It is difficult to know what to make of the stories flying hither and yon in the Casey Anthony saga.
The newest allegation? Well, brace yourself: Could the George Anthony story be some kind of ruse to keep people’s attention off of the money trail / gravy train? Well, hmmm. I haven’t got a clue, but it seems Attorney Richard Hornsby and reporter Rozzi Franco do, and they are very clear in their distrust.
So, the elephant in this room, according to Attorney Richard Hornsby and reporter Rozzi Franco on a recent interview with Steph Watts of Blogger News Network, is the $111,000.00 paid to date by Casey Anthony.
Where did that money come from, they ask. Could the money paid for Casey’s defense to date been money from the ABC Network, asks Hornsby?
Hornsby and Franco go so far as to allude to the George Anthony story being a ruse to deflect attention from this Thursday’s Indigency hearing. They claim that WFTV “may” have gotten exclusivity on the George Anthony story to deflect attention from the upcoming hearing. They point out that WFTV, being an ABC affiliate, “could” be in on it, as it would look bad for ABC if they were the source of the money to Casey.
You will have to listen to the additional allegations – I don’t want to repeat them here as they are not substantiated as facts, in my view, they are musings and “what ifs”, but they are very interesting nonetheless. However, please listen to the interview as I’d like to know what you think.
So, back to the George Anthony story. River Cruz claims that George told her that “Caylee’s death was an accident that snowballed out of control.” And now, this story has snowballed and is getting bigger and bigger – Orlando Sentinel is carrying it, WESH is carrying it, and of course WFTV broke the story.
If you listened to Attorney Richard Hornsby and Rozzi Franco’s interview posted here, you’ll hear that Hornsby and Franco are both very blunt in their assessments. And to add a bit of oil to this fire, reporter Rob Kealing reports, in an interview with Brad Conway, that George never made any such statement:
“I was first approached about this story by the National Enquirer. That should tell you something about the people’s motives,” Conway said.
Conway denied George Anthony ever made that statement. He said the motives of Cruz, and her sister, Skye Benhaida, are questionable.”The sheriff’s office is doing an investigation. They’re thorough. They’re serious about this, and they’re going to interview and take statements from anybody that has information relevant to the death of Caylee Anthony,” Conway said. “What I can tell you is that George Anthony did not make that statement.”
There is much more to this story than meets the eye. I hope you will listen to the interview that is posted here and let us know what you think.
I am at the point that I don’t know what to believe. But, I do think that there is something rotten here; something sure smells with regards to the $111,000 paid out to date from Casey Anthony. And yet, I do remember that Judge Strickland was privy to the funds allocated thus far for Casey’s defense. Therefore, if the money has already been deemed “legit” by Judge Strickland, are we not all making a mountain out of a proverbial molehill?
One just never knows when it comes to this case!