Casey Anthony Case Continues to Teach Public on Indigent Death Penalty Defense Costs - Public Hearing on May 6

There's a new judge in the Casey Anthony case -- Judge Belvin Perry -- and he looks to be running a tight ship.  Despite defense counsel requests that hearings on defense costs be private, Judge Perry has ordered that an upcoming hearing on how Casey Anthony's defense will be funded is to be a public hearing.

May 6, 2010, Hearing on Indigent Defense Costs for Casey Anthony Will Be Public

That's right:  anyone interested in hearing the details on how the defense of Casey Anthony in the trial of whether or not she murdered her daughter, and whether or not the State of Florida should execute her for that crime (if found guilty) will be PUBLIC

Which, given the media coverage of the Casey Anthony case, means there will be countless news reports giving the financial details of this death penalty defense.

What Is Expected to Happen at the Casey Anthony Budget Hearing

At Thursday's budget hearing, Judge Perry expects to hear an estimate from the defense team on the number of hours their experts will need.  The Judge has also stated that he will want to know if the experts are willing to work under the fee schedule set by Florida's Justice Administrative Commission.  (Read the Scheduling Order here.)

The public will soon glimpse into the practicalities of defending someone who's facing the death penalty in Florida.  Experts -- and their hourly rates -- will be revealed, and discussed from a budgetary standpoint. 

The JAC Fee Schedule Will Be Discussed - Hopefully, Part of the Indigent Defense Crisis Will Be Seen

The JAC fee schedule will be a subject of discussion, too.  Perhaps Judge Perry should review JAC v. Lenamon before the hearing on Thursday -- because the JAC has proven itself all too willing to appeal the decisions of trial judges that seek to be fair and reasonable in this area. 

The experts needed for both the guilt phase and the penalty phase of any death penalty defense case are varied in their special knowledge and expertise and far from inexpensive due to their education and experience.  Their standard hourly rates will not jive with the JAC schedule. 

With the hearing on May 6th, hopefully more people will become aware of the practical realities of indigent defense representation Florida and elsewhere.  Will the experts work for less than their standard rate?  How low does the State of Florida (through the JAC) expect doctors, psychiatrists, forensic specialists, etc., to charge?   Hopefully, the public will see some of these questions answered this week. 

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Comments (4) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Parker - May 4, 2010 2:07 PM

Considering that many of Casey's experts and her multitude of attorneys agreed to provide their services pro bono, I disagree that the public will now see the real picture of the truly indigent defendent's quandry regarding funding their defense.

According to Baez's sworn testimony Casey's defense team has blown through approx. $300,000 (70,000 - Macaluso; 70,000 - Du Paul Univ; 200,000 - ABC; 5,000 - unnamed donor) and they have barely started to prepare for the guilt phase, never mind the penalty phase.

Did you work pro bono? How about Mr. Walsh, your ex-partner? Casey has had so many attorneys I can't keep the names straight. I'm not suggesting you or anyone else should be expected to work for free, but perhaps if the money she earned from selling images of the victim, her murdered child, had been spent more wisely she wouldn't need to be dealing with the JAC this early in the game. I mean couldn't a few of the experts and many more of the depos have been paid for with some of that money?

Easy come, easy go. Casey is now officially indigent, but IMO the JAC should rightfully control the purse strings. It's tax payers money and the judge and JAC are accountable to ensure fiscal responsibility.

Casey's case is a bad example if you're hoping to highlight any kind of unfairness in the dispersement of JAC funding and the disparity between the state's access to resources, IMO.

Obviously no one pays attention if your average (truly indigent) defendent were to complain and yet they're the ones who are probably being shafted and treated unfairly by the system. Using Casey as a poster child for your cause will back fire because of the underhandedness and immoral and questionable ethical behavior surrounding most of the parties involved.

I see you've provided a link above JAC vs Lenamon which I'll read now.

denise helgoe - May 4, 2010 10:46 PM

Lets abolish the death penalty altogether. In this country and around the world!! Did you know people in other countries mostly women, are stoned to death. Very barbaric! What good does it do but cause more pain. Easy to think it is all right,but just wait till it is someone close to you.Even though it is by lethal injection which seems softer, it still is wrong. It simply does no good!!!

Theresa - May 5, 2010 9:10 AM

The defense has already blown through 250K. Maybe it's Baez that should be brought to task not the poor taxpayers. When is enough enough? Baez knew Casey was indigent from the get go.

Oakley Sunglasses - July 8, 2011 10:38 AM

This is the most bizarre and heartbreaking story and trial! I haven’t kept up with it much, but found the link in your post interesting – thanks. When will the whole trial wrap up?

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