I've always loved to watch criminal trials, but what puts this one right over the edge for me is that I have actually taken (and loved) trial advocacy. I may or may not make objections to questions out loud at my desk at work, and get excited when they are in sync with the other attorney's. I think it's just affirmation that, "Hey! I really learned this! I really do know how to do it!" That's a good feeling to have when you're paying, you know, $100,000 for your education.
So here are my worth-a-grain-of-salt opinions on the case. I think there will be a guilty verdict, and it will come down to whether the jurors have the guts to give her the death penalty or not. In Florida (as opposed to federal) cases, there will be a separate sentencing hearing before the jury. The attorneys will have a chance to present both aggravating (the state must prove these from a expressed statutory list, and nothing else) and mitigating (the defense has free range here) factors, and then the jury will make a recommendation to the judge on whether she should receive the death penalty or not. Key word: recommendation. In Florida, the judge has the ability to override the recommendation of the jury. This rarely happens, but if he does, he will have to write a memorandum outlining why he chose to depart from their recommendation. (Thank you Sentencing course, Spring 2011 for this blurb.)
And of course, if she happens to be found not-guilty, she will be a free woman. But that isn't likely to happen, for the following reasons.
|And sir, please, lose the pocket squares. They make you look cheap.|
a) Her defense attorney is an idiot. Her entire defense appears to be some collaborated story with absolutely no evidence to back it up. Mr. Baez seems to be a not-so-well-known solo practitioner from my very scientific google-stalking investigation, and likely took this case as a career maker. It's going to be more of a career breaker at the rate he's going. (ha, that was clever, right?) On several occasions, I have NOT, for the life of me, been able to figure out where he is going with his line of questioning, so I know the jury can't. He just keeps digging himself into a hole. All I'm saying is that if I were George Anthony, I'd be hitting him up with a defamation suit at the end of this trial if Casey is found guilty.
|This chick rocked a hot pink jacket during her opening statement.|
b)The lead prosecutor, Linda Burdick, rocks. Her opening statement was one of the most effective ones I've ever seen, and she has managed to finagle some pretty key evidence in that I was skeptical about. I really didn't know if they were going to get those 911 tapes in due to some specific rules of evidence only applicable in Florida, and that would have been a SLAM to their case. Her arguments are strong, despite the fact that all she really has is circumstantial evidence.
c)Based on the reporting from people in the court room watching the juror reactions, they aren't buying the "she drowned and my dad hid the body and even though I partied for 31 days while she was "missing," that's okay because, btw, he sexually molested me and taught me to hide my emotions as a child and that's why I did it" story. Eh. Refer back to point (a).
At the end of the day, this is just my rambling, and my opinion really means nothing. Let's just hope that none of the jurors see this post before the trial is over and we have to start the whole she-bang over again. Considering we found the only 12 (supposedly) unbiased jurors in all of Pinellas, and that jury selection alone took over two weeks, that would be just terrible for everyone involved. The prosecution is a little over halfway done presenting their case, and I am anxious to see what the defense decides to put on in the next couple of weeks.
And, despite my fascination with the legal drama side of things, let us all be mindful of little Caylee, who actually did die a horrible, awful death and was treated with less dignity than an animal upon burial. Bless her heart, and may she rest in peace.
May justice be served, folks, that's all. Thoughts?