Monday, September 15, 2008

CRIME NEWS: Can Casey Anthony Get A Fair Trial and Why We Should Care

Casey Anthony may have never set foot in our fair State of Texas, but what she's experiencing over in Orlando, Florida, is coming into our homes on a daily basis.

And that's good -- because we all need to be watching to see how Casey Anthony's rights are being respected over there in Florida. Because her loss of rights today does impact upon your rights, as well.

Your rights are only as safe as hers are.

What's This Case About?

The bottom line to the case is Casey Anthony's 3 year old daughter, Caylee, has been missing since June and mom Casey didn't report her missing until 31 days later - and then, she tagged onto a 911 call made by her mother, and the little girl's grandmother, Cindy Anthony.

Since that 911 call, Casey Anthony has been charged with child neglect, filing a false statement, and check fraud. She's out on bond in excess of $500,000 and is currently on house arrest in her parents' home, spending her days in the law offices of her attorney, Jose Baez.

What's Her Attorney Been Doing?

1. This past Thursday, Baez filed a motion seeking a court order to stop the prosecution's testing and handling of forensic evidence until the Judge can set rules on how this testing should occur. Baez is arguing that forensic testing can destroy the forensic samples, and he wants the Judge to oversee how this key evidence is tested, as well as what methods are used. Baez also wants a member of his defense team to observe the testing.

Why is Baez requesting all this -- even before his client is charged with anything BASED upon this evidence? He's urging that this court oversight is needed to protect Anthony's right to a fair trial.

Of course, pundits are critical of Baez's motion (just listen over at Nancy Grace) because this type of motion usually isn't filed until the client has been charged with something correlated to the forensic testing. The soil and carpet samples from her car, much less the air (yes, air) from the car's trunk, presumably connect to some type of murder charge - not the current charges that Anthony is facing.

Still, given what Baez has already seen, his motion isn't a surprise ....

2. Baez filed a Motion to Decrease the Half-Million Dollar Bail earlier, and not only was that denied by the trial court but the appellate courts upheld the bond amount. Remember, excessive bail is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution and Casey Anthony is only charged with two things in connection with this bond amount: child neglect and giving false information to the police. This is an extremely high bond for these charges.

3. Baez filed a Motion to suppress audio and video recordings of Casey Anthony communicating with family and friends while at the jail, arguing that releasing this to the press would inhibit his client's ability to get a fair trial. The Motion was denied.

What's At Stake Here?

At the time of this post, not only have the jailhouse communications been released to the media, but there's also 400 pages from the police investigation files (incident reports, etc.) readily available on the web, along with audios of interviews between the detectives and Casey Anthony. Additional charges have been made against her -- more economic charges, for writing bad checks, etc.

At the Anthony home, protesters yell and carry handwritten signs ("BabyKiller") 24/7, and one "blogger" was filmed taking away the Anthonys' trash and later combing through it for "evidence."

The neighbors' lives, as well as the Anthony family's, have to deal with this chaos now -- apparently, the police come only to break up fist fights.

Casey's parents, Cindy and George Anthony, have hired their own criminal defense attorney. Someone has offered Casey over $1,000,000 for her story and someone else has put up a reward of $250,000 for information regarding the whereabouts of little Caylee.

Why This Should Worry You

Every night, CNN devotes two hours to this story since it's all that Nancy Grace follows anymore. FoxNews usually has an hour, unless Greta Von Susteren is covering something about the presidential race.

On the web, an unbelievable amount of the police investigation files are available for anyone to download and read. Countless blogs and forums exist to chat and discuss the latest information as well as the latest rumors.

And what is the common theme here? Judgment. Casey Anthony is being judged on whether or not she did something to her child long before she is ever charged with a crime or made to face a jury.

She has a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. You have that right, too.

She has a right to be tried fairly, with an unbiased jury who have not made up their minds in advance. You have that right, too.

It is not a question of whether or not Casey Anthony harmed her daughter. It is a question of whether or not the system is being played.

Disrespecting our system of justice is something that should make us all very, very worried.

Good luck, Jose.


OrlandoSentinel.Com (Complete Coverage of Missing Caylee Marie Anthony)

NancyGrace/CNN's Find Caylee Blog

Investigation Discovery -- Full Coverage of the Caylee Anthony Case


Anonymous said...

Thank you! A voice of reason about this case. Plus, I wish they would not call those lunatics, "protestors". I very much appreciate your comments.

Anonymous said...


What do you want to do, outlaw the internet and freedom of speech? That's the price you pay for living in a free society, Mr. Attorney. That's what comes with free speech. Freedom of information, freedom of the press, freedom to share, opine, emote. Don't like it? Open a practice in Bejing.

I am not crying for Casey Anthony. Neither is any other law-abiding citizen. Her rights have not been violated. Only Caylee's has.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Bravo, to you, for this analysis, and for this warning. It would appear that the US, since the late '80s, has been so engulfed in COPS and America's Most Wanted, etc., that the mass of viewers has completely lost sight of that most profound fact which you have stated: That our own rights are only as safe as hers. Jose Ortega y Gasset, in his famous, "The Revolt of the Masses" was stating in the 1930s his fear of rising police forces, the submersion of democracy in organized theatrics, and above all, the terrifying fact that the average person does not understand the basic principles upon which democracy stands or falls. Thank you for posting this important insight. I only wish it interested people as much as the sight of Ms. Anthony in handcuffs, head bowed before the cameras.

Richard said...

Thanks for the reminder. I am one of those bloggers that is definitely too judgmental at times but you are damn sure right about not being guilty until proven so and I appreciate being reminded of that fact.

I do still think she can get a fair trial but they will have to change the venue to someplace else, that's if she is ever tried for anything in the disappearance.

Anonymous said...

It is becoming more difficult to get away with murder if you are an internet junkie, as Casey Anthony is. The story of her twisted soul will unfold in a courtroom saturated with internet forensics. However, there will be much learned after her case has been splattered all over the internet and television. Remember this: The blue screen of death is not your friend, Casey. You must have thought you were so slick.

Anonymous said...

People do have the right to be presumed innocent by a court of law and jury of her peers, that is not the same as the right to be believed innocent by the common man.

SM Kovalinsky said...

I think those remarks above are way, way off topic. Can anyone post about what the piece is trying to say?

Anonymous said...

If you were representing Ms. Anthony would she be at your office for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week?

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog. Very scary to think that it could happen to anyone of us. Charged as guilty before ever getting a trial.

SM Kovalinsky said...

The presumption of innocence is the most important sphere of our legal system. This is not about Ms.Anthony. No one has to feel any sympathy whatever for her; it is that they ought not feel any passion the other way, either. Justice ought to be dispersonal, and it is the mark of childishness to be protesting or in any way getting involved with this case. The legal system ought not mesh with personal agenda. That was the original point of the post: Not to sensationalize, not to go in for backdoor gossip. Otherwise, the personal becomes the political, which is a disaster, whatever the neo-feminists try to tell themselves and everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog. I have been thinking the same thing. It’s very sad that the police have used the media to basically tell a one sided story to the public. No matter if she is guilty or innocent, she deserves the right to a fair trial and to be considered innocent until proven guilty. That is the basis of our judicial system and should not be altered in certain cases because of high emotion as in this case.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I believe she will get a guilty verdict. However, after a couple of years have passed and several appeals, she will ultimately go free because of how this case was handled and by that time the emotion level will be down. It is sort of sad, because in the end, it may be the same tactics used prove her guilt that will have her released. She may end up getting away with murder at some point because of the handling of this case.
I’ve also been wondering…How can they publically release all the video’s and documents related to this case? There were addresses and phone numbers included in some of those documents. Some were marked through but others were not.

LisaHall said...

This case is being tried in Orlando,Florida. They have a public records disclosure called the sunshine Law which states that any and all criminal/driver/ civil records are open for public consumption, all the media has to do is request copies and they are bound to release them,..however , I don't see Casey Anthony getting a fair trial anywhere..period and certainly not Central Florida, where a lynch mob gathers at the Anthony;s residence everyday.There are two ways to look at this though, all evidence is being released, it the State's or the Media's fault if all of it makes her look guilty as all Hell?

Anonymous said...

After reading about this case, what I wonder about is why does it take so long to try a case like this? It sounds like there is a lot of evidence to get a guilty verdict.