It was just announced in the Orlando Sentinel that Casey Anthony will not attend the hearing tomorrow.
Judge Stan Strickland ruled yesterday that the jail video of Casey Anthony will be sealed. In his ruling, Strickland said, "While the Court is loathe to shield any public record, an argument can certainly be made that the contents of the video are highly inflammatory."
While this is a victory for the defense, I hope Jose Baez realizes that this decision came as a double-edged sword. When Strickland writes that "... it is not unreasonable to assume that many persons in the potential jury pool might view this video and develop a "hardened" attitude in reference to the defendant's guilt," he is clearly stating that when he viewed the video, it seemed to make Casey appear guilty.
In part 3, the judge also states that, "It is at least a possibility that the video in question will never be shown to the jury that decides this matter. While that can be said of other items disclosed as well, no other item comes to mind that would carry a similar inflammatory impact."
While I would love to see the video, I've read enough depositions and interviews of jail employees to have a pretty good idea as to what is in it. Obviously, Strickland saw some pretty incriminating behavior in the video. The wording he used is extremely strong and is very damning to the defense.
I must also add that I am relieved there was no additional hearing on the issue. I don't know how much more I could have taken of Todd Macaluso thundering on and on about how poor Casey had suffered from "cruel" treatment at the hands of the jail employees.
Perhaps Baez can now drop his efforts at deposing the jail employees and start deposing witnesses in the criminal trial.
It has also been announced that Judge Strickland will hold a hearing tomorrow on Brad Conway's motion to seal the autopsy report. While citing no legal precedent, Conway, on behalf of George and Cindy Anthony tells the judge:
The information contained within the report will cause great anguish to the Anthony family, still struggling with the loss of their only granddaughter. (4)
Releasing the autopsy report to the media at this point in time causes endless comment and speculation in the media and public forums, such as the internet. The publication of these results has already been the topic of countless television programs despite the fact that the actual autopsy report has not been released. (6)
I'll again state that I'm no legal expert, but those seem to be pretty thin arguments for keeping what are normally public records under seal. It will be interesting, however, to hear how Mr. Conway argues this to the Court. Since Jose Baez is not party to the motion, I also wonder if he and Casey will be in attendance at the hearing.
See you all at the hearing tomorrow!
Video (WFTV's Bill Sheaffer's commentary on Judge Strickland's ruling.)
UPDATE: : June 19, 2009
In a hearing this morning Judge Strickland ruled that the autopsy report will be released to the public. It's already up on several media web sites. Sprocket.