Monday, September 21, 2009

Casey Anthony: The Defense Files More Motions - Part 3

After spending the weekend with piles of motions and other documents stacked around me, it's about time to wrap up discussion of the motions filed on September 17. Imagine my surprise when WESH put up an article about another motion that had been filed by the prosecution

According to he article:

George Anthony, whose daughter Casey is awaiting trial on murder charges in her daughter's death, "testified at deposition in a manner that, to the recollection of the undersigned, was materially inconsistent with his grand jury testimony on some points," the motion filed by Assistant State Attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton said.

Ashton wants a judge to allow him to view that testimony and, if his suspicions are correct, unseal the information and provide it to Casey Anthony's defense.

As of now, the motion hasn't been posted on any news site, so all I can say is that it seems George Anthony has now been put on notice that "inconsistencies" in testimony of a substantial nature will not be accepted by the prosecution.

Moving on to the last two defense motions reminds me of how many times we have heard that George and Cindy Anthony haven't been able to visit with their daughter for nearly a year. The reason they haven't is a cause for much discussion and speculation throughout the Internet. Some say that Casey Anthony has no interest in seeing her parents for a multitude of reasons. Others are of the firm opinion that Jose Baez wants to keep Casey insulated from her family. There are even other theories, but the fact is that none of the players in the family drama wants the videotapes to be released to the public.

In a motion entitled Defendant's Motion For a Protective Order Directing Orange County Jail To Destroy Videos of Family Visits, Jose Baez and Andrea Lyon begin by making an interesting series of statements, most of which deal with Casey's meetings with her attorneys. They mention that she is chained around the stomach during interviews with her attorneys and does not present a danger to them. They also indicate that there are two guards posted nearby who have a clear view of the meeting. I'm not sure why these statements are even in this particular motion; they deal with her attorneys and not her family visits.

There are also a couple of statements having to do with the fact that this is a death penalty case which makes it much more stressful for Casey. Most interesting here is the statement that:

4. In an ordinary trial, the jail is responsible for Miss Anthony's general well-being. In a high-stress situation such as a capital trial, the jail should also be held responsible for her emotional well-being.

It is this statement which really hits the target as to the reason Baez and Lyon are making their motion.

Indeed, the motion asks the Orange County Jail to refrain from:

1. Saving any video and/or audio taping Miss Anthony's visits or phone calls with family;

2. Disclosing to anyone anything that occurred in the meetings or communications with family.

I would be very surprised if Judge Strickland were to agree with the defense on these items. When there was a hearing about the video of Casey's reaction to the news that the remains of a child had been found, Strickland did seal the video. It could be used as evidence in trial. When and if it occurs, the video could be unsealed.

Be assured that the representative for the jail will also be there to indicate that authorities will not treat Casey any differently than any other person in the jail, even though she faces the death penalty. I am very sure there have been other inmates who have awaited trial with death penalty implications who did not receive such special treatment. I'm sure their videos are available to the public through the Sunshine Laws and so will Casey's. Her problem is that this case is very bizarre and fraught with drama. Anyone who has listened to Casey call home her first night in jail and viewed the jail visitation videos will attest to that fact.

I do believe there is the possibility that the judge may order family visitation videos be sealed and only be made public if they were to be used as evidence in the trial. The same could be true for any phone calls. He may take into consideration considering the long memorandum attached to the motion by Andrea Lyon.

If you have time, read the memorandum. It points out that Casey is under a great deal of stress and needs the comfort and support of her family. In addition, the family needs time to work through the situation and help in developing mitigation.

Personally, it sounds to me as though the family should visit via teleconferencing with a family therapist in attendance to negotiate through the hazards of this family's dysfunction. The problem with all of this desire for privacy is that there is no expectation of privacy in a jail and we can be sure that detectives will be actively monitoring every visitation. That is something they have done in the past and will continue to do in the future.

The final motion also deals with video monitoring. In the motion entitled Defendant's Motion For A Protective Order Prohibiting Orange County Jail From Videotaping Attorney Visits, Baez and Lyons ask again for more privacy. I believe the first couple of sections from the previous motions were meant to be here as they dealt with the fact that Casey was not a danger as she was chained and that there were guards on duty with a clear view of the meetings.

I don't think this motion will prevail because, as has been stated before, it is jail policy to tape these interviews for the protection of not only the attorneys, but the "residents" of the jail as well. As it is, Baez has already had a few run-ins over his behavior during conferences with Casey and it's no coincidence that Baez has used visits to (illegally) pass letters to Casey.

Nevertheless, Baez and Lyon are asking Judge Strickland to order the jail to:

1. Immediately cease and desist from monitoring and/or disclosing any communications between Casey and her attorneys or attorney's agents;

Would this mean that the two guards with a clear view of the meetings mentioned in the other motion would have to turn their backs?

2. Immediately cease and desist from video and/or audio taping the Defendant and Defendant's counsel while meeting:

I do believe there is no audio taken during these meetings.

3. Immediately cease and desist from to anyone anything that occurred in the meetings or communications with counsel: (sic)

If you can figure out the missing word(s) here, I suppose this is in reference to some of the previous disclosures made about the inappropriate behavior during meetings?

4. Destroy all video or audio tapes or reports or other methods of memorializing meeting between the attorney and client that occurred on any other dates besides those already turned over for December 11, 2008;

5. Any and all other relief that is within the power of this court.

That's a tall order!


Anonymous said...


Thanks for your coverage. My understanding is that the defense moved for a change of venue to Miami. Has a ruling been made on that? I apologize if I missed it.

David From Tennessee

Ronni said...

Why are they even allowed to request all this special treatment? If the accused wanted privacy in her life, she whould not have got herself in this position in the first place. Why doesn't somebody just say, "Sorry--it's jail policy to record these meetings," and tell Baez to get stuffed? Why should Casey Anthony be allowed a separate set of rules from other people?

ritanita said...


Baez first filed for change of venue May 4. At that time, Judge Strickland told him that the motion was premature and didn't make a ruling. This amended motion adds Palm Beach and Broward County to his wish list for trial locations.

I don't know that the judge will rule on this motion at the next hearing.


Baez can ask for the sun, moon, and stars for Casey if he wants. What he will get from the judge is a different story.