Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Strickland Bows Out, Perry to Preside over the Murder Trial of Casey Anthony

Judge Stan Strickland
photo courtesy of 9thcircuit.org

I was saddened to hear that Judge Stan Strickland has recused himself from the murder trial of Casey Anthony. He has always been very fair and impartial. However, it is obvious that he had to do so. In Florida, the defense has one shot to accuse the judge of misconduct or bias where the judge has to rule as if the accusations were true.

Strickland, in his order, gave us the rare opportunity to know what he was thinking as he presided over all those hearings.
He starts out most eloquently by stating that

An innocent is dead and the life of an accused citizen hangs in the balance. The Court cannot conceive of any words with greater gravitational force or consequence. The Court's foundational belief in our judicial process, and the commitment to its purpose are unwavering.

By the second paragraph, we begin to see signs of his frustration with the defense team.

The issue before the Court presently is the Defendant's Motion to Disqualify the undersigned filed (courageously!) at 4:48 p.m. on Friday afternoon April 16th, 2019 (1) No courtesy copy or fax was provided to the Court. Obviously, defense counsel's intent was to maximize exposure, and minimize or delay any response.

(1) An amended motion was filed Monday morning, April 19th, following alert defense counsel's discovery that his first motion was a nullity since had used a notary stamp from a prior decade.

The judge continues in this vein as he described how he had been led to the blogosphere to research issues contained in the defense's motion for change of venue.

Having dispatched with the whole Marinade Dave situation, the judge next vented about his experiences with motion filed by the defense and the media juggernaut they have conducted.

Over the past 20 plus months, in-between media interviews, guest appearances on television shows, and press conferences, defense counsel has filed a litany of motions. The content of the motions has ranged quite broadly from a Motion to Disqualify the State Attorney's Office, to a motion to stop law enforcement from securing and investigating a crime scene of a homicide, to a more recent motion wherein defense counsel invited the Court to simply "trust" him, and further informed the Court that certain defense experts (including Dr. Henry Lee) would be willing to accept a crate of oranges as payment for their services. (2)

(2) It is the Court's most fervent hope that this promise was truthful, given the nature of our current budget. On the other hand, the Court fears that this statement may have merely been the product of an active imagination and tight boots.

While amusing to read, it is obvious Judge Strickland was not overly impressed by the antics of Casey's latest "boy", J. Cheney Mason! I've talked with my friends about what the tight boots might mean and we have differing opinions. I'm sure Mr. Mason understands exactly what the judge meant.

Having dealt with the nature of the motion and the nature of the defense in this case, the judge then had some very wise words to say.

If past is prologue, some defense motions may be denied. Since the undersigned has now been accused of bias and wrongdoing, potentially each denial of a defense motion will generate renewed allegations of bias. The cumulative effect will be to elevate an otherwise meaningless situation into a genuine appellate issue.

Judge Strickland is a man of class. He had done what was necessary to ensure Casey Anthony will have no appellate issues should she be convicted.

I've started looking at Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. who will take over on the case. So far I hear nothing but good about him. He is a tough judge who runs a tight courtroom. I have also heard he is not fond of cameras in the courtroom. Let us hope he will continue to allow the hearings and eventually the trial to be televised. Please let the sun continue to shine on events in this case. So many have become devoted to the cause of justice for Caylee Marie Anthony, who was taken from her life far to soon in a terrible way, most likely by the person who gave birth to her.


FRG said...

Thank you for your article, it was beautifully written. I am still saddened by his recusal and I just wish Judge Strickland knew how much we adore him.
Unfortunately we have to move on and I am sure justice will be brught for Caylee. Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. will make this trial to move faster, and as far as JB and CM will miss JS when the new Judge starts to preside. Can't wait Ritanita.
BTW, did you read what Silver wrote about the jail letters? I guess you did and it is bad news for the defense. Defense kind of wanted for us to forget about those damaging letters written by Muffin.
Let the games begin.

ritanita said...

FRG, It will be fascinating to see what happens next. I do hope Perry continues to allow the hearings to be televised. The people need to see how justice is carried out by the best.

If the defense ever files the motions they gave to channel 13, I would like to see how the judge handles the attorneys.

Until those motions are properly filed, I am pretending they do not exist.

This was not a difficult article to write because the Honorable Stan Strickland said it all in the finest usage of the English language.

donchais said...

I have always believed that Judge Strickland was one of the fairest most, patient judges out there.

He did nothing wrong...he is a fair and caring man...and to suddenly see all the Monday morning, armchair quarterbacks saying...yay, I questioned his actions back then, is just plain dumb.

I must say the Honorable Judge Strickland wrote one of the finest and most memorable orders I have read!

Oh, ritanita...you are the bestest!

FRG said...

Good morning!!! Well, since we have to move on I am looking forward to the next hearing where Chief Judge Belvin Perry will be presiding I have a feeling it will be fun, at least for us to watch. LOL!!!
I just read the article at OS and boy oh boy the Motion granted on Monday did "backfire on the defense" big time!!!!
"Perry also has other duties in the legal system. He's chairman of the state's trial court budget commission, which lobbies in Tallahassee and looks for money to support courts.

On Tuesday, Perry's first day with the Anthony case on his plate, he was in Tallahassee fighting for funding, a court spokeswoman said."
I have to admit this was the best thing could ever happened in this case, I am not saying I am happy with JS's recusal, just happy it didn't work the way defense thought it would. Boy, JB & CM are not so happy, are they?? All I can say is that I am. I am so tired of the defense's antics and frivolous Motions and no more "hmmm and ummm" from JB. Isn't this a beautiful day??? LOL
Please Ritanita, let us know when the next hearing will take place and hopefully it will be televised.

ritanita said...


I have house guests coming today. One is a retired attorney who passed the Florida bar. They are looking to move there, in fact they are just on their way back home from a house-hunting trip.

I can't wait to show him the fantastic decision Strickland wrote. You just have to knowthat he tmade his decision quickly and spent the weekend writing crafting his fine order!

I'm sure the defense was blindsided by the rapidity!

FRG, I really don't know if the defense was expecting Strickland to step down. If they expected him to fight it, it would have caused a delay in the entire process. That would have helped them in two ways... the delay tactic defense lawyers use frequently and the factor that they could use the motion to challenge the case on the appellate level for reasons of bias.

If they DID expect him to step down, I have a feeling they might have guessed the new judge would be Belvin Perry, Jr. If so, why would they want him on the case instead of Strickland?

Anonymous said...

It infuriates me to see what defense counsels do and get away with here in this country. Can't the bar association do something about this? Or the US congress? Or the supreme court? Where has our justice system gone? AND, WHERE IS IT GOING? We need people of character in the legal profession and in politics. It seems Judge Strickland was one.

Character, honor, and honesty...how I long for it in this land.

ritanita said...


I understand your frustration. Unfortunaly, under Florida law, the defense get's one "change judges" card without the merits of the charges being discussed.

Strickland did the right thing because he couldn't defend himself. If they try this on Judge Perry, it will be a totally different situation.

It is my fervent hope that the defense filed the motion in the hopes Strickland would fight it and cause a major delay in the case.

FRG said...

How was your dinner? Hopefully you had fun!!!!
Did you read Judge's Order Setting Case Management Hearing today? I am sure you did. I guess you were laughing as I was. Talk about being efficient and straight to business!!! That's what we really needed in this case, it doesn't mean I agree with JS's recusal, it just means that JS was a very fair, laid back and impartial Judge and unfortunately muffin's defense team took over. Now no more delay tactics, no more antics, no more "blame game" and hopefully no more "chewing gum"... it was about time. Talk about shot in the foot!!!! LOL
I am looking forward to your new article.

ritanita said...

FRG, I always enjoy when my good friends come to visit!

I read the order, and I have to agree that Judge Perry is not going to tolerate any nonsense.

As a retired teacher, I know that people will do as much as they are allowed to get away with.

Perry is setting out HIS rules and I know that the attorneys will abide with them OR ELSE!

I'm pondering some ideas for an article, but I'm going to have to catch up on my sleep first before I say any more.