Lawpsyc weekend brief

Not really much to report in the Casey Anthony case since Thursday.  Here’s what happened in a nutshell:  Friday wasn’t the “bombshell” day that Thursday was.  Casey’s mother Cindy testified some more, and this time, it was mainly about Caylee’s size and abilities at the time of her death.  Cindy said Caylee’s access to the backyard pool was well-controlled and that Caylee couldn’t open the gate leading into the backyard.  Casey’s brother Lee testified, as did Cindy, about some stains being in the trunk of Casey’s car back when the Anthonys originally purchased the car for Lee and also about not being told of Casey’s pregnancy until just before deliver (it was tough to tell what the relevance of that latter part was supposed to be, but apparently the defense was trying to show that the Anthonys are just generally a dysfunctional, secretive family).  A few more law enforcement officers testified — one about why Casey was handcuffed at one point (because she was a check-fraud suspect); one, entirely outside of the jury’s presence, about whether he had spoken to a woman named Linda Tinelli; and one, a repeat, about investigative procedures, such as obtaining Casey’s cell phone records (the apparent defense point, reminiscent of O.J. trial #1, was that the officer hadn’t investigated others, like George Anthony, to the same degree that he investigated Casey), and also about getting reports of the location of Caylee’s body from utility worker Roy Kronk (the defense claims that Kronk moved the body, maybe even applied the duct tape to the skull, and that the cops didn’t investigate Kronk and his reports properly).  This Linda Tinelli woman also testified, about volunteering during the search for Caylee and witnessing duct tape being used to post signs and to keep tablecloths from blowing away in the wind (once again, not clear exactly what reasonable doubt that testimony was supposed to raise).  Then on Saturday, instead of the full day of testimony that the judge had advised us to expect earlier in the week, court recessed for the day without a single witness testifying and without the jury even entering the courtroom.  So basically, if you left town this weekend like I did, you didn’t miss much, and you’re ready for Monday morning’s action.

People are asking me whether I think Cindy will be prosecuted for perjury if there’s evidence that she lied about not being at work on the day she supposedly did Internet searches for chloroform from the computer in her home.  I don’t think so.  I think she’s a sympathetic enough individual in a horrible enough bind that she’ll probably get a pass.  People are also asking me whether I think there’s probably reasonable doubt in jurors’ minds at this point.  And my answer is…yes.  But wait.  I think there’s probably reasonable doubt as to whether Casey killed Caylee intentionally.  I don’t think there’s probably reasonable doubt as to whether Casey did something heinous that resulted in Caylee’s death.  So, what does that mean?  I think it probably means at most a conviction of felony murder with a life sentence but no death penalty and at least a conviction of manslaughter with a lengthy sentence but not life.  The defense may rest this week, and then we’ll get some rebuttal testimony from prosecution witnesses, closing arguments from the lawyers, and jury instructions from the judge.  The jury instructions will be key because they’ll frame the questions that the jury will then answer based on their understanding of the evidence (and keep in mind, they’ve just been listening to the evidence; they haven’t also been listening to us lawyers and shrinks and pundits critiquing every little facet of the case on television day after day after day, so they’ll be analyzing the evidence in more circumscribed way).

In other Lawpsyc news, an 81-year-old registered sex offender was arrested in California over the weekend for allegedly attempting to lure a 12-year-old girl into his car, which illustrates, as I’ve opined many times, that sex offenders do not necessarily become harmless with even advanced age.  Believe it or not, even older, castrated offenders have re-offended.  And even if you think we have to give these people second chances eventually, it’s not like this guy committed one offense and then spent the next 25 years in prison.  No, this guy reportedly has been convicted of a similar crime — twice — since 2009!  That’s right, he’s done it twice in the past couple of years, and somebody in California still apparently thought that somehow his advanced age would keep him from doing it again.  I would think that a third offense ought to settle this issue for just about everyone out there, but then again, I would’ve thought that the first offense, let alone the second and third, were enough to lock him up for a good long time, regardless of his age.  And in case you’re wondering whether he might just be senile/demented in a perverted sort of way, his car reportedly had kidnapping paraphernalia in it.  Cops aren’t saying exactly what, but that usually means the perpetrator was prepared to restrain someone in the vehicle.

Stay tuned for more Casey Anthony developments this week!

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