http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/308707

Op-Ed: Casey Anthony trial – Jose’s finest hour

Posted Jul 3, 2011 by Alexander Baron
After having relied on innuendo, insults and absurd conspiracy theories to pour scorn on the charge that his client murdered her young daughter, Jose Baez delivered a closing speech of epic proportions.
Casey Anthony.
Casey Anthony.
An edit of the photo at the url below
Throughout this trial, the enthusiasm exhibited by Jose Baez far exceeded his ability; the same could not honestly be said of his closing speech, which was truly masterful, but even Perry Mason would have thrown in the towel on this one; it wasn’t only that he had to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, it is simply that the evidence against Casey Anthony is so overwhelming. Having said that, in addition to his impressive rhetoric, Mr Baez couldn’t resist impugning the motives of expert witnesses in addition to pointing out possible shortcomings in their evidence. During his address, several objections and moves to strike from Linda Drane Burdick were sustained.
When legal pundit Bill Sheaffer commentating for WFTV said there is no quit in Baez; he keeps getting knocked down and gets up, he wasn’t joking.
Prior to the State’s closing speech, Judge Perry made it clear he could not raise the issue of the alleged sexual abuse Casey had suffered at the hands of her father and brother. The relevance of this assertion is that in his opening speech, Mr Baez claimed it was because of this abuse that Casey had gone along with her father’s plan to dispose of her daughter’s body. The problem with this claim, both these claims, is that there is absolutely no evidence for either of them.
The judge also refused to allow him to show the jury a particular photograph of Casey because “it distorts reality”.
Mr Baez complained the State’s case was based on emotion; it had painted Casey Anthony as a slut, a party girl, and someone who lies. It would not be fair to say that Casey has been portrayed as a slut, nor that she was one, but clearly her behaviour in the wake of the death of her daughter was bizarre in the extreme, as were her incessant lies.
He made one very good point that there was no evidence of child abuse, apart from the actual killing of course, but his finest hour came when he was well into his speech and saw Jeff Ashton smirking at his elaborate conspiracy theory. This caused him to allude to “this laughing guy right here”, and resulted in Judge Perry calling a halt to the proceedings until he could view the replay. When they were back in the courtroom and Perry asked Baez what action he wanted taken, Baez very graciously said he wanted to draw a line under it. He has never before shown the slightest magnanimity in these proceedings, and if by some miracle the jury does return anything less than first degree murder on the main charge, it will be down solely to this incident and the response of Jose Baez to it.
Afterwards, without mentioning the non-existent sexual abuse, he moved from painting the police and expert witnesses as idiots, to George Anthony as a latter day Machiavelli. And poor Roy Kronk was reeled out again and abused one more time.
After Jose Baez, Cheney Mason gave a speech that was very impressive as a philosophical document. Then, perhaps surprisingly, he alluded to what he called the elephant in the room, Casey’s decision not to testify.
His address finished at 11.15pm London time. It looked as though the State’s rebuttal would be heard tonight, but after a twenty minute recess Perry said he was making “an executive decision” became some of them were tired. After the jury had been dismissed for an 8.30am start, he dealt with some technical matters.
Meanwhile, the police had erected over fifty no parking signs around the Anthony family home, though even if by some miracle she walks free after the jury’s deliberations, Casey won’t be returning there, ever.