Yesterday was a the first day of jury selection in Clearwater, FL (Pinellas County). I have to admit, I had a busy day with two routine medical tests prior to the beginning of the court day! I rushed home and caught the very beginning of the session. Unfortunately, I only made it to 2:45 before conking out listening to jury selection. So, here I am, putting together what I have to say and listening to the very end, when Jose Baez spoke to Judge Perry about his inability to get the proprietary data base from Dr. Vass' research.
The day also began with Dr. Vass. Apparently, Judge Perry released his Order denying the defense motion to exclude Dr. Vass' air testing. Due to the lack of sound at the beginning, I only could figure out that the defense was asking for a continuance to deal with this decision. Judge Perry rapidly denied the motion and we were on to jury selection.
Yesterday's jury selection was to separate out those prospective jurors who had hardships. We heard plenty of them. There were a lot of younger people who were caregivers to young children (mostly daughters), it seems. With the difficult economy, many employers do not pay for jury duty which would cause people to literally lose the house and car if called to serve jury duty for six to eight weeks. There was one lady who said she was hesitant to judge anyone and a young man who felt she was guilty. Unless there are retired people on the jury, it's going to take a long time to select a jury of 12 + 8.
Casey Anthony started out her trial on a "lacrimose" moment as Judge Perry was reading the indictment to the jury. Most experts said that this would not be good for her at this point in the trial. I had to agree with them, especially since the tables were literally turned so the entire jury pool would not be photographed. Among their first images of Casey was of her literally picking her nose with a hand towel and crying about the charges against her.
We also learned, from WFTV, that Casey had turned down a plea deal because she would have to tell all the details of the crime.
The hearing ended with a motion by Jose Baez concerning the proprietary data base, which is evidently owned by the FBI. Judge Perry wondered why Baez hadn't pursued the issue over the past two years and was backed up by Jeff Ashton. Judge Perry was very troubled that this needed to be dealt with. He said that it could end up causing the trial to be heard twice and he might have to exclude that portion of the testimony and have Dr. Vass only testify to this as a layman who knows the smell of death. Quite frankly (to borrow a phrase from Mr. Baez), I have to wonder why the defense didn't go to the FBI directly for the information based on its importance to the case.
Jeff Ashton pointed out that Ms. Sims had just asked the FBI and felt that this information was not a secret. Let's hope the FBI will listen to the calls from both Sims and Ashton to get the information. Judge Perry will address the issue again on Wednesday.
May 10 will be another day of separating out prospective jurors for hardship.
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