Tuesday, April 20, 2010
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.