Five Questions to Ask Yourself about the Casey Anthony Case

1. In your jurisdiction, if you are charged with a state crime, will the state's discovery in your case be accessible as a public record, like the "document dumps" made famous in the Casey Anthony case?

2. In your jurisdiction, if you or a family member is charged with a state crime, what are your protections against people going through your trash and demonstrating in front of your home 24/7, as occurred at the Anthony family home after Casey Anthony was arrested on charges of filicide?

3. If you are interviewed by the local authorities, are you being videotaped? Is that videotape available to the media? In the Anthony case, interviews were videotaped and those videotapes have been provided to the media.

4. If you visit a loved one in jail, is everything you say to them being recorded? Do visitors to jails in your locality have any expectation of privacy? In the Anthony case, everything that has been said between any family member and the prisoner has been recorded.

5. If you are charged with a crime, do you presume that everyone will respect that you are to be treated as innocent - until the government meets its burden of proof to demonstrate to a fact finder that you are guilty as charged? Is it okay with you for the public to assume you - or a loved one -- are guilty when you're charged with a crime? Many members of the public have already judged Casey Anthony, even though there has been no trial.

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Comments (19) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
americanjustice37 - April 7, 2009 11:20 AM

provoking questions?

When going to trial, no one in this country should ever expect to be presumed innocent with the media outlet we have today. Unfortunately, people are presumed guilty and have to prove otherwise.

Even if innocent - A very high % of people allow human reaction/emotion to override impartial judgement, therefore they assume guilt. (This of course could be reflective as to why there are a % of innocent people in prison)

sloother - April 7, 2009 4:04 PM

If there were not a trial by the media you would not be on that case, because it is all about the$$$$$$$$$$. You know in your heart she is guilty and you also know that you are not doing a favor to your client when in the end she still will get life and you and Baez and the rest of the crew is just prolonging the costs. Without the media she would only have a public defender and you all could not be paid, so turn your questions around.
Would you represent the Anthony if it were not publicized?
Would you represent a knowing thief that had no money without the media?
Would you represent a murderer that has no money without the media being involved?
Would you represent a known liar that has no money without the media being involved?
Would you represent anyone without money unless you know the media will bring in the $$$ ?

Paul - April 7, 2009 4:14 PM

1.) Yes. I live in Florida and am glad of the Sunshine laws. Eventually most of this information get to the public record in all jurisdictions anway.
2.) The same as any other citizen-- no more, no less. Among many other charges, Casey Anthony is charged with First Degree Murder-- not filicide. Filicide is fancy social scientist and defense attorney speak for child murderer.
3.) Generally yes. At traffic stops and so on, I expect to be videotaped. We've all seen enough shows like COPS and Car Chases Gone Wild etc, to expect that if I do something that attracts the police's attention and the public is interested-- it will end up in the media somehow.
4.) Yes, I have visited loved ones in jail and expected any and all communication to be monitored, and possibly publicly released. Same goes for mail correspondence. I expected no privacy at all.
5.) No. Public opinion is moot. What matters as far as guilt or innocence is the evidence and the judge's and jury's opinions. Beyond that, people are entitled to their opinions and judgements.

r hughes - April 7, 2009 4:43 PM

Hello Mr. Lenamon, you live in Florida, you know what the deal is. I would suggest that you practice elsewhere if you don't like how it's done here. It is what it is.

breeze - April 7, 2009 6:48 PM

you raise good points with your questions. this case has taken on a life of its own from the very beginning.

Tracey - April 7, 2009 8:35 PM

I believe in our system. I really think these are good questions to know the answers to..........


IF YOU'RE A CRIMINAL AND PLAN TO COMMIT CRIMES!!!!!

Geez, come on, Mr. Lenamon, you supposedly work for our system. If there is one thing I believe in our great system here in the United States, it is the jury system. Most jurors take their civic duty and responsibilities as jurors VERY serious. KC will be convicted ONLY if the state has the evidence. Sure there is a human aspect in a jury system, because they ARE, in fact, HUMANS. This is WHY they are jurors. She can get a fair trial right in her own back yard of Orlando, just as well as all the way to California!

Helen - April 7, 2009 8:43 PM

I really feel that Florida Sunshine laws are detrimental to a fair trial. I watch this from another state and cannot believe the lack of fairness. There was no protection for the family of the accused, they were tormented day and night by people screaming their opinions. It looked like some third world country.
I doubt they can find a jury in Florida that will be impartial, the are inundated with every court document known to man everyday in the press and on TV. Makes me wish we had the Canadian or British laws.. nothing said until a trial. No leaks, no nothing.
I don't know if the mother is guilty or not. I only hope there will honest and fair justice for little Caylee.

Trapshooter - April 7, 2009 9:11 PM

I would assume that all conversations within the confines of a jail are being recorded and videotaped. I would be stupid to assume otherwise. I am positive my state does not allow records or document dumps for public viewing. People are free to demonstrate in front of my home. If I am innocent, why would I care? If I had been as blatant a liar as Casey Anthony, I would EXPECT the court of public opinion to presume me guilty! Casey Anthony and her family have expected special treatment from day one of this circus and their behavior proves their actions of protecting Casey and forgetting about Caylee!

SoCalGal - April 7, 2009 9:13 PM

As to numbers 1-4, what is your point? We live in a democratic country with public access to the courts and law enforcement investigations. Better than living in any other country, in my opinion. No, there is no right to privacy during jail visits, jail telephone calls, or jail mail, here in SoCal either. There are legitimate reasons for this, as you know, since you are a lawyer. Yet, you fail to mention them. Yes, LE interviews are videotaped here as well. That is to have a record of what was said and done and what was not said and not done--for the benefit and protection of the one interviewed as well as LE. As to number five--yes, one is presumed innocent by the media in this country. No, the media and people are not assuming she is guilty. People are looking at the evidence disclosed publicly in this case, listening to Casey Anthony's family on media appearances, listening to Casey Anthony's attorneys' media appearances and are making informed opinions as to her guilt or innocence. Perhaps if her attorneys had not fought so hard against a gag order, you wouldn't have needed to write your post.

NatKat - April 7, 2009 9:26 PM

Is it fair to allow a defense team to continually make false or unverifiable comments and accusations on national media outlets but the State does not have the same privilege?

Jamie - April 8, 2009 1:54 AM

The simple truth is, it does not matter. Nobody involved in the prosecution did anything wrong, gossiped, or "leaked" anything. (Well, besides the error in this last document dump) It is the LAW in Florida. (Sunshine Law) So if anyone has some big issue with how open the law is, I suggest you take a look into your own state's laws, before you commit a crime... (OR, you could just not commit the crime.)

Dolce - April 8, 2009 7:26 AM

If you live in Florida and are under the laws of the Sunshine Law most definantly! Just because the media has exercised their rights to this information and published it does not mean they could not have with other cases as well.
For a person who claims that the media is using this as their cash cow, you sure jumped on the band wagon to cash in yourself by signing on to this case, writing about this case, and involving yourself now just as the media has done. If you want to talk about the media cashing in you sure as hell better mention Baez cashing in and his need to bring in headlining attorneys to do his work for him since Judge Strickland no longer is allowing him to leach off the prosecution.
You are a typical defense attorney - lower than scum, but as long as you make your money you are able to sleep at night.
Did Caylee Anthony have a fair trial prior to her life being taken? Was it justified for her to die? How come the only Judge and Jury she received was the swift hand of Casey Anthony?
That is what is WRONG with this case.
Caylee Anthony is the victim, yet all you jerks care about is the damn person who murdered her! Justice for Caylee.

38special - April 8, 2009 8:37 AM

The idea that the Case Anthony case is typical or representative of the mauling of our rights is a slightly skewed in my opinion. The law in Florida allows the dissemenation of pertinent information to the public, good or bad, whether it's beneficial for prosecution or defense. As for expecting privacy in jail, I wouldn't expect any and personally believe none is deserved.

The trouble with posing these questions with regard to this case is that the entire Anthony family has promoted and instigated their own intensive invasion of privacy. The bigger than life lies, lies that seemed to be replaced with more lies, An alliance with KFN, headed by a con man, mud slinging toward the law enforcement agents, bondsmen,volunteers (TES), media stints with major networks, thousands of photos, both of the victim and accused. The nature of the crime and the intriguing backdrop of drugs and dysfunction. This family has garnered much of the invasive attention by their antics, but all the while yelling,"foul"

The Sunshine Laws in Fl. are in place, the right to be presumed innocent is stll in place, but as citizens with intellect and free will, we are free to read the information and form an opinion, I think it would be naive to think that most high profile cases have jurys of folks that have no opinion, rather, they are able to use their powers of reasoning and impartially make a decision.

lin - April 8, 2009 2:57 PM

Actually, as a Florida resident, all of the things you mention would apply to me, just as they apply to her and every other criminally accused person in this state. Perhaps better questions would be:

1. If you repeatedly lie to law enforcement would that cause them to become suspicious of you?

2. If you refuse to cooperate with anyone trying to find your missing child, could that lead to a reasonable suspicion of criminal involvement in the disappearance?

3. If you go to the media, should you have a reasonable expectation that they will believe everything you say, no matter how far fetched, and report only information favorable to you?

4. After involving the media and the public and thereby causing the public release of overwhelming information pointing toward your guilt, should you have a reasonable expectation of the presumption of innocence from anyone not seated on the jury empaneled in your case?

5. After using the media and the public for your own ends, and continuing to expect the media to publicize your latest "donation" gathering ventures while being generally at your beck and call, how long should one expect "extra special grief" to be believed and how many special considerations are required for "extra special grief?"

Old Guy - April 14, 2009 12:18 PM

Many of the above responses seem to be based on an assumption of guilt. This assumption is based on pictures of a spoiled young woman partying, pictures of her using a friends credit card, refusing to cooperate with law enforcement, giving false testimony to said law enforcement authorities and stories of major thefts from her parents. Most of the responses indicate the guilty have no rights to privacy overlooking one small factor, there has been no trial and the last time I checked we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a resonable doubt. I have grand daughters and am not forgetting the victim. I don't know if Casey is guilty of murder, she is surely guilty of stupidity and if we start executing for stupidity in Florida we'll lose much of our population. I don't see how an unbaised jury can be found due to the extreme coverage of this story.

helenhudson - April 15, 2009 10:29 PM

Cry me a river. These complaints in large part hinge on the liberal Florida Sunshine Laws. Those who object should do some legislative lobbying. And criminals who object should commit their( heinous atrocious and cruel) acts elsewhere.

Tracey - April 18, 2009 4:49 AM

sloother says:
April 7, 2009 at 11:04 pm

If there were not a trial by the media you would not be on that case, because it is all about the$$$$$$$$$$. You know in your heart she is guilty and you also know that you are not doing a favor to your client when in the end she still will get life and you and Baez and the rest of the crew is just prolonging the costs. Without the media she would only have a public defender and you all could not be paid, so turn your questions around.
Would you represent the Anthony if it were not publicized?
Would you represent a knowing thief that had no money without the media?
Would you represent a murderer that has no money without the media being involved?
Would you represent a known liar that has no money without the media being involved?
Would you represent anyone without money unless you know the media will bring in the $$$ ?


Mr. Lenamon,

I would really LOVE to see your response to these questions. I have a very strong suspicion, the answer you would have to all would be a resounding NO!

Lab - May 14, 2009 1:41 PM

If I had it in me to be the kind of person who commits crimes or kills their own child, I would consider the way the Anthony case has been handled, and I WOULD DEFINITELY RE-THINK MY PLAN BECAUSE I WOULD BE SO EMBARRASSED AND FRUSTRATED HAVING MY LIFE (and all the evidence against me) PUT ON DISPLAY FOR THE WORLD TO SEE!! So, my point is this... it would be an extremely effective crime deterant. It's just too bad we don't have Sunshine Laws in my state or in ALL states! (Maybe this case will motivate other states to get on board!)

finnperkins - May 18, 2009 6:10 PM

I think Mr. Lenamon; a good amount of your information has been ignored by the very people that you had in mind when posting this list.

I live in Orlando, and I know that there were 123 murders in Orlando last year and 27 as of this day, for this year. I do not recall seeing any coverage on any of the family members of the defendants in the other two Filicide (Maternal) cases here in Orange co.

1]. "access to public records,"- anyone can get them, but is it fair for the TV stations to air them, and post them on the websites?

2]. family of the defendant -"did not waive their right to privacy " I guess the Anthony's think that since the TV will do their own coverage, they might as well try to control it with their own form of appearances.

3].interviewed by the local authorities - If you are just a witness, your information should be with held, it is not until the trial is finished that is known whether or not you will be call up to testify, any release of your deposition will taint the witness pool. See the Skipper case.

4]. visit a loved one in jail - yes everything is recorded, but the media along with the FDLE chose to release these videos. Why, it is unclear to me, as there are over 48K inmates, where are their visitation videos?

5].government meets its burden of proof - because of our Florida open records laws are broad, and the state attorneys office usually does not win their motion for a gag order due to WFTV and other media outlets.

-IMO
I have been blogging about the "Due Process" issue from day one. I have seen Kathi Belich in person run down a attorney at the courthouse, as if they, the attorney just walk off the curb into a lymo bus on Livingston, she is not the only one to do this but her stations tabloid tactic are infamous, yet when their (wftv's), lead anchor person's daughter was up on charges (involved in a thief ring, taken down by the FBI), the website did 2 shot posts, and one on air segment. The 2nd of the 2 web post were removed.

Very informative blog. The viewers who feel Casey is guilty will not stay here for long as they know your are smarter than the average blogger.

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