The sniff test

If Monday’s testimony in the Casey Anthony trial involved the “smell test,” Tuesday’s (day 12’s) testimony involved the “sniff test” — a dog’s sniff, that is.

On Tuesday, the jury heard from:  a crime scene investigator who testified about the trash found in Casey’s car (mostly empty containers, he said, so probably not the source of the stench that multiple witness have associated with human decomposition), the air-sample expert who testified on Monday (he briefly returned to the witness stand to correct a mistake in Monday’s testimony about which sample container was which), an FBI chemist who tested a fiber sample from the trunk of the car (he, too, found chloroform in this sample, not in the same remarkable quantities as the previous expert, but still significant in that he said the original quantity of chloroform, if naturally-occurring, should’ve been negligible and should’ve completely evaporated prior to his receiving the sample), and finally, the day’s “star” witness, a local sheriff’s department dog handler (he testified about how his dog, specially trained to locate dead bodies, signaled the scent of a dead body in the trunk of the car and in the Anthony’s backyard).  As I predicted, the defense asked the FBI expert whether chloroform in the fiber sample could’ve been produced by evaporating chlorinated water, and the expert admitted he didn’t know whether that was theoretically possible.  And as I also predicted, the defense questioned the reliability of dogs in the detection/differentiation of decomposition.

Now, I’ve waited several days to write about this because I wanted to make sure that what I was seeing was a pattern and not just a one-day phenomenon.  It’s clearly a pattern at this point, and here it is:  I don’t know who’s getting Casey ready to present herself in the courtroom each day, but to do much worse for this particular occasion, they’d have to bring in the stylist from “Black Swan.”  Seriously, have you paid attention to how Casey looks in court?  She looks creepy, cold, and almost dissociated (disconnected) at times from what’s going on.  In other words, she looks like a woman capable of killing her child.  Of course that proves nothing, and I don’t expect jurors to consciously factor it in, but it just seems gratuitously risky to let her look that way day after day.  If you were her attorney, you’d want the jury to look at Casey and maybe see a liar but have a hard time seeing a murderess, so you’d want to soften her up.  So far, I think jurors are probably finding it fairly easy to picture the murderess, and that’s not looking good for the defense.

That’s all for now.  Stay tuned for more dog testimony on Wednesday!

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