I have to say, I'm finally getting up some energy to write about the motions filed since my last summary. The weather has been perfect for napping, and going through the pages makes me want to throw them up in the air to create a paper blizzard of my own.
However, I've done it and am ready to give you a few of my thoughts about them.
Whether we like these motions or not, the fact is that the defense, in order to do a credible job of defending their case, has to file these motions so that there will be no problems when it comes time to appeal.
I am going to start with the State Of Florida's Motions In Limine. Yes, it says motions and is only four pages long if you include the signature page. That last page is boldly and legibly signed by Assistant State's Attorney Linda Drane Burdick. In the motion, one can clearly understand that the prosecution does not want any of the grandstanding that the defense has committed in the media, in court, and in their motions. The motions ask the court not to allow counsel, the defendant, or any witness to offer any evidence about:
1. Any testimony or expression of personal opinion by counsel, or any witness, that the
defendant is guilty or not guilty.
2. Any testimony about irrelevant character traits of the defendant.
3. Any testimony or argument by counsel expressing a personal opinion that the witnesses are
"liars" or words to that effect.
4. Any testimony or argument that unidentified members of the Orange County Sheriff's
Office, Office of the State Attorney, or any other government agency "leaked information
to the media, or any third party.
5. Any testimony or argument that members of the Orange County Sheriff's Office arranged
for the Defendant to be video recorded upon learning that her daughter's remains were
6. Any testimony or argument that unidentified members of the Orange County Sheriff's
Office, Office of the State Attorney, or any other government agency, who will not testify,
committed any alleged improper acts.
The factual bases for what she has asked for are elegantly explained. As you read the remainder of the defense motions, remember what she wrote. Drane Burdick filed this motion on December 30, at 3:16 PM. Many of the motions filed by the defense were all filed after this. She is not a mind reader, but she knows the defense.
As you can tell from the picture above, the Motion In Limine To Preclude The Use, In Any Fashion Whatsoever, Of A Certain "Jib Jab" Cartoon. Joy Wray, a person who worked very hard to insert herself into the case is the "producer" of this cartoon. She inserted herself so far into the case with some rather absurd claims, that the OCSO seized her computer and extracted all the material relevant to the case and turned it over to the prosecution. They, in turn, were required to turn it over to the defense. Apparently, the defense is in their thin-skinned mode and have accused the prosecution of:
4. The aforesaid cartoon can only be reasonably said to have been created and then released by the State as "evidence" in an effort to embarrass the defense and counsel for the defense. No other reason can be imagined as it does not in any way attempt prove or disprove any issue in this case. (bold mine)
Wowzer! The defense says that the prosecution made this cartoon and put it in to embarrass them! Cheney Mason, remember, not all discovery will be used in the case and the State's Attorneys don't have the time or inclination to make up videos like these.
Very early on in the case, the camera man for the video feed tried to get a close-up of what Casey Anthony was writing. Jose Baez complained about that (and rightfully so). For the next hearing, the video was shot from the back of the courtroom. The camera man learned his lesson and has probably passed it along. The only other issue has been with a photograph taken and published in the Sentinel.
Therefore, we have a Motion To Restrict In Court Photography/Videoing. To boil the argument down to what we need to know, Cheney Mason wants to take the still photographer's "super telephoto lens". He also wants the video camera to have the same sort of restriction, although we know that happened a long time ago and hasn't happened since.
Although not in the title, Mason also wants the microphone on the desk gone. Apparently the mute button isn't good enough for him and the defense team. Mr. Mason has participated in recorded trials before (remember Nelson Serrano?). He should learn to live with the wonders of modern technology. The rule for this is simple. Don't say anything you don't want anyone to hear without checking the mute button first. From what I've seen, it gives Casey something to do while sitting there.
The next motions have one thing in common. They attempt to confuse time lines which make the content less material to the case.
The first is the Motion In Limine To Prohibit The Use In Any Fashion Of Internet MySpace References Attributable To The Defendant As "Diary Of Days". This is the one where Casey posts lyrics including, "everyone lies, everyone dies" and other morbid things. The motion states that:
1. On or about the date of the Defendant's arrest in July of 2008, the posting appeared...
It actually appeared on July 7, 2008 smack in the middle of Casey's infamous 31 days. Mason argues that "it does not tend to prove or disprove any issue in this case", and that "if it could be stretched by imagination to have some probative value, it is clear that same would be outweighed substantially by danger of unfair prejudice confusion and misleading the jury."
Aside from unusual sentence structure, Mason may have a point on this one. I'm sure the state will argue it is probative of state of mind. This posting may or may not make it into trial, but it is probably a minor issue.
Not so the next motion. This one is the Motion in Limine To Prohibit The Use, In Any Fashion, Of A Posting On Internet MySpace References Attributable To Cindy Anthony, The Mother Of The Defendant. Cindy Anthony has attempted to talk her way out of the meaning of her posting. There was an interview or deposition she gave where she said that there were "no red flags" in it. Somehow, her attempts didn't work with me. If you read it (it's attatched to the motion), it paints a clear picture of the situation as it existed on July 3, 2010 when she wrote it to "get Casey's attention". So, in this motion, the dates are even more important. Again, Cheney Mason writes:
1. On or about the date of the Defendant's arrest in July of 2008, the posting appeared,...
Notice, the posting APPEARED, it wasn't WRITTEN! The date here is of more consequence because it was not written anywhere near the date that Casey was arrested. By saying it was "on or about", Mason minimizes the importance of the content, as though Cindy knew Caylee was missing only "on or about" the time Casey was arrested. Even though he uses the same arguments, I have to wonder if the judge may rule in the State's favor in this one as it shows the emotional condition of Cindy and the realization that Casey is not all she would like her to be.
Jose Baez' Defense Motion To Exclude Irrelevant Evidence Of Tattoo and it's accompanying memorandum play to the same date game. At the bottom of the first page, the memorandum states:
On June 19, 2009, the State filed a motion to compel photographs of Miss Anthony's tattoo. The tattoo in question is a script tattoo that reads "La Bella Vita," (the Beautiful life), and was obtained on July 2, 2008, approximately two weeks after Caylee was reported missing.
That would make it a "memorial" tattoo rather than a "let's party" tattoo. I'm sure these time slip-ups won't do any good in whatever Judge Perry's decision is.
The next motion is a strange one for me. It seems that Baez is making any number of possible witnesses for the State into agents of the State out to trap Casey Anthony. The Motion To Suppress Statements Made to George, Cindy, Lee Anthony, Maya Derkovic, Robyn Adams, And Sylvia Hernandez is unusual in that it includes two totally different sets of facts.
The OCSO was searching for Caylee, alive or dead, when the family was asked to help get information from her to find her daughter. The others are associated with the jail experience Casey had before and after the remains were found. Mr. Baez stresses that Casey had invoked her right to counsel at the time the conversations took place.
I can't wait to hear this motion argued by the defense and the prosecution.
Linda Drane Burdick addressed the Motion In Limine To Suppress Video Footage, which was submitted on December 29 at 4:16 PM. In the memorandum to the the motion, Jose Baez lays out his theory:
On December 11, 2008, Miss Anthony was removed from her cell and taken to the Orange County Jail Medical Clinic by the staff of the Orange County Department of Corrections. Mis Anthony was taken to the clinic by jail staff, under direct orders from the Orange County Sherriff's (sic) Office, in order to for (sic) her to witness a television reports (sic) alleging that the remains of Miss Anthony's daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony, had been found. The Orange County Sheriff's Office had made prior arrangements with the Orange County Department of Corrections to place Miss Anthony in a location where security cameras that were originally intended to monitor inmates for safety purposes were positioned to record Miss Anthony's verban and/or nonverbal reactions to the aforementioned television reports. Miss Anthony was led to believe she was being taken to the clinic for medical purposes and was unaware that she was being recorded.
Those are the basics of Baez' argument. There's more about how he was not permitted to see Casey at that time. It goes on, and on.
It will be an interesting debate in the courtroom.
The last five motions in limine are the ones which challenge scientific evidence. There will by Frye hearings set for some and some of the discussions will go far beyond the limits of a hearing. Let's hope they are pushed off for a bit. Here they are for your reading pleasure:
Motion And Memorandum Of Law In Support Of Defendant's Motion To Exclude Irrelevant Evidence Of Stain In Trunk Of Car
Defendant's Motion In Limine To Exclude All Evidence Relating To Canine Searches And Alerts
Motion To Exclude Unreliable Evidence Pursuant To Frye, Or In The Alternative, Motion In Limine To Exclude (Chloroform)
Motion To Exclude Unreliable Evidence (decomposition odor)
Motion To Exclude Unreliable Evidence (Post Mortem Banding)
I suppose we're all holding our breaths to see exactly what will happen tomorrow. Will the judge hear the State's Motion for Sanctions? Which other motions will the judge hear? Will he hear them all he can? Will he schedule a 5 PM hearing for some?
Tune in tomorrow to the usual links at 1:30 PM to find out!