I have not attended any portion of the trial. There has been excellent coverage by legal media consultants as to each day's events. Their outstanding detailed work says it all re development of evidence, the positions of both sides and "right there" descriptions of what happened at trial. Kudos to them. I cannot match their hard work
The first media coverage I have looked at, took place 3 hours ago, July 5, at 1 a.m. Three things jumped out at me.
1) During the latter part of the trial, defense counsel asked that the defendant be examined for competency (or lack thereof) to stand trial. The Judge granted their request, apparently agreeing that the defendant's trial behavior warranted a resolution of this issue. The test must be whether the defendant has sufficient present ability to consult with her lawyers with a reasonable degree of rational understanding, and whether she has a rational as well as a factual understanding of the proceedings against her.
It was concluded that she was, indeed, in possession of these required faculties, and the trial continued. The jury has not, and will not be made aware of this.
But, I wonder: with all the evidence of her inconsistent and inappropriate conduct between the time of her daughter's disappearance and the body being found, should not the availability of an insanity defense at least have been explored?
Not in this case, for such a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity admits that the crime was committed, but that Casey's mental state was such that she could not distinguish right from wrong, or, if she could, she was unable to adhere to the right. Her story, as put forth by counsel, was that Caylee's death was an accident, in effect, a complete denial of wrongdoing.
So, why this late, curious suggestion of incompetency? Was Casey acting weird? Was she falling apart? Was she reacting to the weight of the evidence unfolding before her very eyes"
One thing is for sure: something was going on that made defense counsel want to cover their asses, on the record?
There's trouble in River City.
2) In his opening statement (wherein a lawyer tells the jury what the evidence will show), defense counsel alleged that Casey had been sexually assaulted by her father since she was eight years old and that her brother had made sexual advances towards her. The jury will never know the relevance of these allegations because they were never proved. Accordingly, defense counsel could make no mention of these claims in his closing argument. A BIG NO-NO. The jurors may have been waiting for such evidence, since their attention had been called to it in the opening. When it wasn't presented, the lawyer in question is looked upon as one who speaks with forked tongue. A Law school student mistake. Promise only what you can deliver. Any doubt, omit it from the opening.
3) In closing, defense counsel maintained that Baby Caylee drowned, accidentally, in the family pool. Casey panicked, whereupon her father, a former cop, decided to make the death look like a homicide by placing duct tape over the child's mouth and dumping the body in some nearby woods.
This "frequently happens" scenario was denied by the father.
Moreover. the prosecutor, in his closing, proclaimed that "no one makes an innocent accident look like a murder." Jersey Joe Walcott has just been punched by Rocky Marciano.
9, 10 AND OUT! Everybody go home. The fight is over.
The jury begins their second day of deliberation in a few hours.
Mention has been made of a similarity between this case and the O.J. Simpson trial. I know of only one.
During the Simpson case. many people whom I had looked upon as semi-intelligent, would come up to me, look me straight in the eye and, breathlessly ask, in a whisper,"Do you think he really did it?"
As I looked at the questioner, my brain would taunt me to reply, "You really can't be that big a freakin' a--hole, can ya?"
In the Casey Anthony case, the same question will get you the same answer.