I am lucky. I get up in time before court has started. I'm listening to the live feed from WESH. At first, all they are showing is a view from the hallway outside the courtroom.
It's 5:29 am PT. The only camera live on my computer is the view of the hallway on the 23rd floor. I just saw one of the defense team walk by the hallway camera. I see court personnel, an occasional officer come into camera view.Now on the WESH live feed, we have commentary.
OCSO is getting ready for the possibility that she will be released.
I did not stay up late last night to hear the one juror who spoke on Nightline.
I see Mason, George. Oh lord. WESH is replaying the reading of verdicts.
Now the talking heads are saying she could have the cost of the trail charged against her.
It's unclear from the statute how much she might owe.
Anthony is inside the courtroom. Here hair is now hanging down loose.
My trial watching friend, LinZbee tells me Juror #3, Ms. Ford spoke on Nightline last night. (I haven't watched the show yet.) Ms. Ford felt that one could not convict if you didn't know how someone died or the motive.
I totally disagree. You don't need to know a motive. You don't need to know how someone died. It's my opinion that often times people don't realize that behavior is evidence, powerful evidence.
On WESH, there are some talking heads discussing the “courage” of these jurors. I'm personally sick of hearing talking heads say these types of things.
Judge Perry takes the bench. The case is called by the clerk.
JP: Let the record reflect the defendant is present along with her counsel and states attorneys. (snip) Are both sides ready to proceed? (snip) Mr. Mason before we proceed, you had asked me to rule on a motion for mistrial?
The defense withdrawals their motion for mistrial.
JP: The defendant is before the court for counts four, five, and six, and legal cause not to proceed with sentencing?
(I think JP at this point, is corrected by the defense that there is also a count seven.)
Only legal cause... (I miss this.) ... no legal cause not to proceed with sentencing.
JP: Would the state care to present any manners relative to aggravation..
LDB: No not on that issue your honor.
JP: Any issue concerning any other matters?
LDB: Your honor, yesterday, day I filed a motion to tax special costs of investigation and prosecution....
Crap. My feed went bad just as LDB started talking. It’s taking me forever to get a feed.
When my feed comes back, Drane Burdick is gone and defense attorney Lisabeth Fryer is arguing prior cases for sentencing.
LF: It’s our assertion that the Hammel (sp?) case is temporal....
Judge Perry asks Ms. Fryer about count number four, lying about her employment. Fryer is arguing that all four instances were part of a single act, so she should be charged for only one act. Judge Perry reviews the case law the defense provided.
Many legal pundits think she will only be sentenced as a single act and will walk free from court today.
JP: One last question. Are you saying that, Ms. Anthony did not have time to pause, reflect, and form a new criminal intent for each one of those four separate acts?
LF: Yes. your honor. That under Hammell there has to be a separation of time, place, or interview.
JP: Response from the State of Florida?
Only provided... LDB, cites other case law.
LDB: It is the states position there is a temporal break between each lies. (snip) During the course over three separate statements. (snip) 1 am 4 am and 1 pm. (snip) Each of the lies are mater to the issue investigated. (snip) each were intended to mislead law enforcement. (To give an example, LDB says) We see this with separate sex acts acted upon a child at the same time, are charged separately.
LDB: Given the fact that there were multiple statements over 12 hours, it is the position of the State that these separate acts do not violate separate double jeopardy.
Drane Burdick brings up another case to the judge.
JP: Does your client wish to say anything before imposing sentence?
CM: No your honor.
JP: The court will make the following finding concerning the defense motion, to bar imposition of sentence, these four state counts as to violating double jeopardy..
JP: Count four. Basically dealt with the following conduct. It is alleged that the defendant was employed at Universal Studios to 2008. This information was given pursuant to the investigation to a missing person’s report. That information caused law enforcement to go to Universal Studios to expend law enforcement resources to determine that in fact Ms. Anthony did not in fact work at Universal.
JP: Count five is, Ms. Anthony informed authorities that she had left her child Caylee Marie Anthoy, at the the Sawgrass apartments with a babysitter. Which caused law enforcement again, as a result of a missing person report, to develop and follow varous leads trying to locate this babysitter commonly known as “Zanny."
JP: Count 6 again, dealt with the fact that she had informed two employees of Universal Studios "Jeff Hopkins" and "Juliet Lewis" of the disappearance of Caylee Marie Anthony.
JP: Count 7, (she) indicated to law enforcement that she had received a call and spoke to Caylee Marie Anthony on July 15th, 2008, at approximately 12 pm, thus causing law enforcement to devote extensive resources.
JP: As a result of those four separate and distinct lies, law enforcement expended a great deal of time, energy and manpower looking for young Caylee Marie Anthony. This search for her went on from July through December, over several months trying to find Caylee Marie Anthony.
JP: Four distinct separate lies. Just as the jury spoke loud and clear on counts one, two and three, they also spoke on loud and clear on counts four, five, six and seven. There being no legal cause shown (that the court) should not impose sentence, and the court having previously judge you to be guilty in the counts four, five, six, seven, I will sentence you to one year in Orange County jail, (for each count) imposing $1,000 fine on each count. All for counts to run consecutively. (snip) Consecutive to each other, giving credit for the time previously served. Mr. Baez, Mr. Mason, we are going to spend some time this morning figuring out her time for credit served, and it’s going to take us probably about an hour to sort it out. (snip) ...because of the previous sentences she has been given.
JP: With the good time and gain time, depending on the preliminary figures, sometime early August, Maybe late July, but I can’t say that until I first determine time served, and the jail applies their good time and gain time. So if you want to wait around, or we can communicate that with you, or if you have a different figure.
JP: I will reserve jurisdiction for 60 days, to determine cost of prosecution and investigation.
So, Casey Anthony gets four years for the four guilty counts.
LDB: I have advised a minimum of 30, so any time after that.
(I can’t hear him.)
JP: I’m trying to give you a date now. The week of August 15th, I will not be around. The week of the 22nd, I’m involved in an evidentiary hearing. I have time on the 25th an 26th. Depending on how long, I can fit you in on the week of the 29th, but I’ll have to fit you in. but I’m going to take over Judge Adams division since he’s leaving at the end of the month. I have a week or August 1st, but would have to fit you into that division's regular work.
They are still trying to figure out a return date.
JP: So when would you like the hearing folks?
LDB: Any of those dates would be acceptable.
I'm not clear, but I think they settled on Thursday the 25th of August.
Judge Perry rules she can waive her appearance. Mason waves her appearance. Will impose statutory court costs.
Judge Perry addresses Anthony.
JP: You have a right to appeal the judgement and sentence provided you file a notice with the court. If you can’t afford an attorney to assist in your appeal, (snip) ...do you wish to appeal?
JB: If we could have a moment your honor. (So he can confer to see what Anthony wants to do.)
JP: You may.
JB: We would like to reserve our right to make our decision at a later time.
JP: Does she have the financial where with all, if she decides to appeal to pay for appellate counsel?
I miss the full extent of this answer.
JP: If she decided to do that, make sure she fills out insolvency with the court and bring that, so counsel can be appointed. (snip) If she does not file a timely notice of appeal then she forfeits a right for appeal, but it will be YOUR responsibility to file appropriate appellate paperwork (more that I miss.) with the court.
JP: It will be your responsibility before you are relieved of your responsibility of this case to have those documents filed. Are the any other matters on behalf....any other matters behalf of the state? On behalf of the defense?
Both sides answer no.
JP: Okay. Court will be in recess.
She could be released later this month or early in August.But today is not the day that she walks out of the courtroom.
CNN's blog reported: "Anthony has remained stoic during this portion of the court hearing. She is conferring with her other attorneys as the judge hands down the sentence. But as she prepared to exit the courtroom Casey Anthony let out a tiny smile."
Later, a court representative came out and addressed the media. Her time served had been calculated and Casey Anthony will be released from jail on July 13th, 2011.
July 13th, almost 2 years to the day from the time that the world became aware that little Caylee had already been missing a month.
A Reflection on the Jury Verdict by Sprocket
I was in shock like everyone else when the verdicts were read. The jury obviously did not see the case as the prosecution presented it. But what did they really think?
We finally got to hear from one of the jurors, Juror #3, Jennifer Ford who spoke on Nightline. If you listen to Jennifer, she states that you cannot convict someone of murder if you don't know the cause of death or have a motive for the murder. She stated that the prosecution did not provide the jury with those facts. She also stated that she did not believe the defense case. On the Nightline show, she completely sidestepped the evidence of the duct tape on Caylee's skull. She never addressed it. She also stated she didn't know what to think about the chloroform. She basically didn't know about that.
After hearing a short clip of Jennifer speak, here are my thoughts.
Like lie detection expert EYES FOR LIES, I was blown away that the jury totally discounted the defense case. That even though the defense in their opening statement presented to the jury that this was an accident, that the defendant was at the home and involved in an accident with her daughter, they totally discounted that when considering a verdict.
I think this jury was totally taken in by the CSI effect. They were unable to make any type of conclusion about Casey Anthony's post-incident behavior and wanted all the evidence tied up for them in a neat package. In my opinion, that's what the CSI effect is. They wanted to know when she died, where she died and how she died before they were willing to convict. It shows us a jury that is unable to analyze evidentiary behavior critically, and come to a conclusion about it. This jury also rejected the prosecution's motive that was presented to them. I believe they rejected it because they didn't understand it.
Even though Casey Anthony lied to every person in her immediate orbit, law enforcement officers, the general public and beyond about having a job, where she was doing what when, having a "Zanny the nanny" and a kidnapping, that behavior by Casey Anthony was rejected by the jury as having any weight as evidence that a crime had been committed. They basically said, Casey Anthony's post incident behavior means nothing without a motive or cause of death.
Even though the prosecution presented strong evidence that there was a dead body and high traces of chloroform in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car, they still could not come to the conclusion that a dead body had been placed inside it. Even though the prosecution presented powerful evidence that three pieces of duct tape were attached to the child's skull, mandible and hair, the jury did not see that as evidence that a crime had taken place. Many of us are wondering what person in their right mind could think that how and where little Caylee ended up, in plastic bags, in a swam, with duct tape wrapped around her head was the result of an "accident?" To me, this tells me that this juror, and most likely the rest of the jurors were unable to connect the dots and put the pieces of evidence together.
When you have jurors that are unable to make reasonable conclusions about post-incident behavior and powerful scientific evidence this is the type of verdict you get.
I also believe that some of the blame has to rest on the shoulders of the prosecutors, who I do think did an excellent job presenting the evidence. Is it possible that the prosecution team, so sure of their understanding of the evidence and what it would prove, had a bit of tunnel vision that the evidence could only be interpreted one way? Because I did not see all of the prosecution's closing arguments I do not know if the prosecution spent any time addressing the "unknown" issues to the jury, or presented compelling arguments refuting the defense theory of an accident.
I'm reminded of the OJ Simpson case. The defense theory proposed that OJ Simpson was framed by the LAPD. There was absolutely no evidence to support that, but they hammered home that possibility. According to former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi in his book Outrage, stated that in closing arguments Marsha Clark spent about two sentences in her entire closing argument on the defense theory of a frame up. That's it. The prosecution was so certain of their evidence proving guilt, they didn't think it was necessary to spend any time refuting in arguments the defense theory.
As like ritanita said in her last entry, I don't think I wasted any of my time following this case. With every case we follow, there is something to be learned from the experience. I've learned quite a bit about Florida law during this case thank's to the open courtrooms and Florida's "Sunshine Laws." This case also reaffirmed my belief that, regardless of what evidence is presented, you can never predict was a jury will do (or an appellate court for that matter), because juries will surprise you. This jury certainly did.
Postscript. I highly recommend reading an excellent analysis of Casey Anthony's behavior over at or fellow blogger Valhall's site, The Hinky Meter. Although it was written over a year ago, it's spot on in identifying Casey as an "Eraser" killer, like author Marilee Strong outlines in her book, Erased.
Did the CSI effect sway this jury?