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article imageOp-Ed: Casey Anthony trial – the State’s closing speech

By Alexander Baron     Jul 3, 2011 in Crime
Orlando - Today is Sunday, and tomorrow is Independence Day; in this already unique murder trial, the jurors have been listening to closing arguments, and tomorrow they should begin their deliberations.
The court met early today, and lead defense attorney Jose Baez was rebuffed by Judge Belvin Perry when he tried to have his non-evidence of sexual abuse admitted to his closing speech.
In case you are not one of the 110,000+ bloggers, or 2 million lurkers on the WFTV site, or if you have been living on another planet, Casey Anthony is accused of the first degree murder of her young daughter, Caylee. Casey claimed she had been kidnapped by a non-existent nanny, although she didn’t report her missing for thirty-one days, and then only under pressure from her mother. The child’s skeletonised body was found on swampy ground six months after she disappeared, and in his opening statement, Mr Baez claimed Caylee had died in an accidental drowning, and that Casey’s father had covered it up. And Casey had gone along with this because...she had learned to lie from an early age, when her father had sexually abused her, including submitting her to oral rape. And her own brother, Lee, had also sexually abused her.
Mr Baez even had the temerity to put those allegations and more to George Anthony, although he didn’t dare put his client on the stand. George, Casey’s father, was eventually reduced to tears, not by Mr Baez, but by lead State prosecutor Jeff Ashton.
Today, after Judge Perry had told Mr Baez what he could not say, Mr Ashton made the closing speech for the State of Florida, a speech which according to Perry lasted for 77 minutes 8 seconds. He began this speech by thanking the jury for their sacrifice, and started with a family video of Casey playing with her daughter; it’s easy when kids are fun, he said, but they also require sacrifice. Casey Anthony had been faced with a choice, she could choose on the one hand between the fun life she had been leading, which included stealing money from her family and her friend Amy Huizenga, and on the other hand between being a mother to her child. She chose the former, and sacrificed Caylee.
Both before and after murdering her daughter she had lied and lied, and when one lie was exposed, she came up with another, and then another.
He suggested that when Casey borrowed a shovel off a neighbour she had intended to bury her daughter in the back garden, but this was too much work for her, so instead she had dumped her body on a piece of semi-swampy ground not far from the family home. And continued both to lie and party. As Mr Ashton said in reference to the lies she had told about working at Universal Studios where she had confidently led the police and bluffed her way in before admitting that she didn’t actually work there, “if it weren’t true, you couldn’t write it this good”.
He alluded too to the tape with which Caylee’s mouth had been bound, what the State alleges was the murder weapon; he produced some of that tape in court along with other exhibits; it was an unusual or rare type of tape; it hadn’t been sold since 2007.
The same tape was used unwittingly by George Anthony to stick up posters appealing for the return of Caylee at a time when he and his wife Cindy, Casey’s mother, had believed however reluctantly, that Casey had been telling the truth about Zanny the non-existent nanny.
He covered the opening speech of Jose Baez as to how the young girl’s body was found; at this point Casey was crying, and for once, her tears may have been genuine.
At this point, Mr Baez interjected “Burden shifting – move to strike” to which Judge Perry said simply “Over-ruled”. A later objection was also over-ruled.
The defense was not content to adduce one villain, said Mr Ashton, it had attempted to adduce another, the person who found the body, Roy Kronk, the man to whom Mr Baez alluded as morally bankrupt as well as claiming he hid the body in order to claim a reward at a later date. Which means that either George Anthony or Roy Kronk put the tape on the skull. The defense can’t have it both ways, said Mr Ashton.
To acquit the defendant you would have to suspend your common sense. He made an allusion to Alice-In-Wonderland which some jurors may have missed.
The use of the duct tape was proof beyond a reasonable doubt that murder was intended; there was no other reason to put duct tape on the face of a child, living or dead. At this point there were more than 50,000 bloggers on the site, one of whom commentator Greg Warmoth said had written: “I don’t believe in the death penalty, but now I do”.
The case continues, but not for much longer.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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