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    « Moving On... From Psychos to Psychics | Main | Revolving Doors »
    Saturday
    Nov062010

    Nunc pro tunc no slam dunk

    In Latin, nunc pro tunc literally translates into “now for then.” In other words, retroactive. Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. listened to several matters brought up at the hearing held on October 29, including issues over funding that dated back to May, hence, nunc pro tunc. Four days later, on November 2, the judge delivered his ORDER ADDRESSING RETAINMENT AND PAYMENT OF EXPERTS, INVESTIGATORS, MITIGATION SPECIALIST, AND OTHER COSTS. Written in chambers, without bravado and with his usual brevity, it addresses three separate motions filed earlier by Casey Anthony’s defense.

    MOTION ONE

    On September 30, Ann Finnell filed the Motion to Determine Reasonable Budget for Due Process Costs in a Capital Case and Motion to Incur Certain Specified Costs. A long-winded title, indeed, that came with a short reply from the judge on each specific element. Casey had requested authorization for anticipated costs for the penalty phase, if this case ever truly reaches that stage, plus mitigation costs addressed previously in an order dated May 12, 2010 nunc pro tunc to May 6, 2010.

    Private Investigator

    The defense asked for the authorization of a $5,000 cap on the use of a private investigator “to provide services for the penalty phase such as locating and interviewing mitigation witnesses, documents, and other relevant evidence.” Judge Perry reserved judgment and told the defense to submit an itemized list, by November 5, of the investigative services needed to support the request. It sounds reasonable enough. After all, one of the key points the judge made at the hearing was that he was not going to write an open check.

    Psychiatrist or Psychologist

    Here, Casey’s defense asked for the authorization of a $7,500 cap “for services by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist to examine and conduct forensic testing on Defendant, to render an opinion regarding cross-examination of any State expert, and if needed, to testify at the penalty phase.” The court granted this part of the motion, but set the cap at $2,500 for pre-trial services at JAC rates. Please note that this is pre-trial work and not money going to a possible penalty phase. That money will be addressed at a later date the judge left unclear. I also get the feeling the defense may be able to ask for more if needed, although there was no mention in his order.

    Copying Costs

    The defense asked for a $1,000 cap to cover copying costs during the penalty phase. Think Xerox. The judge gave them $500 at the approved JAC rate. When the judge asked Ms. Finnell whether that amount would work, she said it most likely would. She didn’t sigh, in other words, or beg for more.

    Mitigation Specialist

    Casey wanted the court to authorize an additional 100 hours for services of the mitigation specialist, Jeanene Barrett. The court granted her request in full - 100 hours to be provided by Ms. Barrett or another in-state investigator at the JAC rate of $40 per hour. That gives her $4,000 to work with at the full rate. Can she request more? Probably, but the judge wants everything to be itemized and explained.

    Attorney Travel Expenses

    Ann Finnell wanted a $4,000 cap for expenses she expects to incur as she travels back and forth between her office in Jacksonville and Orlando. The amount covered anticipated trips to and from Ft. Myers. George has family there. Despite public arguments over whether Jeanene Barrett has already been there, done that, it’s moot and nothing more. The judge denied the request because of JAC policies and procedures, and the earlier court ruling entered May 12, 2010 nunc pro dunc to May 6, 2010. This means the order is retroactive to May 6. No money, honey.

    Travel Expenses for Investigator or Mitigation Specialist

    Casey requested the authorization of a $1,500 cap on travel expenses for one investigator or one mitigation specialist to journey to Ohio to obtain records and interview potential witnesses. At the hearing, Judge Perry said to use the telephone wherever possible, and/or to try to hire someone within the state of Ohio who will work at JAC rates. That would save Florida a lot of money on round-trip airline tickets. Here, he reserved any ruling until the defense can offer reasons in support of their initial request. Explore the options first. Whatever the defense can figure out, the judge will meet with them in camera in order to shield the strategy from the prosecution.

    Attorney Travel Expenses for Trial

    The defendant asked the court to authorize payment of Ann Finnell’s anticipated travel expenses to attend the trial commencing in May of 2011. The judge had no choice but to deny the request because of JAC guidelines and the earlier order entered May 12, 2010 nunc pro tunc to May 6, 2010.

    MOTION TWO

    Motion for Additional Hours of Investigation (guilt phase)

    On October 25, Jose Baez filed a motion on behalf of his client. He asked the court to authorize an additional 300 hours for in-state investigative services in order to “continue investigating the evidence alleged in the State’s on-going discovery.” Of course, this request was above and beyond the hourly cap addressed during the May 12 nunc pro tunc to May 6 approval. What he ended up with this time is not what he asked for, though. The judge granted an additional 60 hours to the tune of JAC’s $40 per hour rate. Instead of $12,000, he ended up with $2,400. For now. Although not stated in the order, the judge did leave the door open for additional funds later on, if the need arises and the defense can account for every single dime.

    MOTION THREE

    Motion for Clarification of the May 12th Order regarding both Travel Time and Reimbursement for Travel Expenses and Mileage of Out-of-State Experts, Mitigation Specialist, Investigators, and State Experts

    This is in response to a motion filed by Jose Baez on October 25 “because the order entered on May 12, 2010 nunc pro dunc to May 6, 2010 did not specifically address the travel time and expenses incurred or anticipated for these persons. Accordingly, clarification is needed as to the authorization for payment of such costs” according to the order. The court granted this motion, nunc pro tunc to May 6, 2010, and authorized “the payment for travel time and reimbursement for travel expenses and mileage of out-of-state experts, the mitigation specialist, investigators, and state experts at the JAC approved rates and in compliance with JAC’s policies and procedures in this motion and its attachments.” In the May 12 order, ORDERS ADDRESSING MOTION TO SEAL RECORDS RELATED TO THE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATIVE COMMISSION/RETAINMENT AND PAYMENT OF EXPERTS, INVESTIGATORS, MITIGATION SPECIALIST, AND OTHER COSTS/RECONSIDERATION OF DEFENDANT’S REQUEST TO WAIVE APPEARANCE AT CERTAIN HEARINGS/PROCEDURES FOR FUTURE MOTIONS… hold on, I need to catch my breath after that one… the judge addressed many areas of the defense’s earlier motion. I’m not going to go over every aspect of it. This is merely to sort out the reason Judge Perry had to take another look at his order and why he decided to respond now. In essence, the earlier order listed the approval and caps for each individual he cited, but omitted travel expenses:

    • Dr. Henry Lee - Criminologist Expert: A cap of 8 hours for in-court services and a cap of 25 hours for out services.
    • Jeanene Barrett - Mitigation Specialist: 384 hours for services.
    • One investigator (in-state): 300 hours for in-state services.
    • One Investigator (out-of-state): 100 hours for out-of-state services.
    • One K-9 Expert (out-of-state): 20 hours for services.
    • One postmortem hair banding expert: 20 hours
    For the following experts, caps as to the number of hours to be incurred has not been determined. Therefore, the judge ruled that they shall be approved by subsequent order:
    • One forensic entomologist (out-of-state)
    • One forensic anthropologist
    • One forensic botanist (out-of-state)
    • One forensic pathologist (out-of-state)
    • One digital computer forensic expert (out-of-state)
    • One DNA expert (out-of-state)
    • One forensic chemist (in-state)
    • One forensic chemist (out-of-state)

    Also in that order, he found that the following experts were not relevant and necessary to provide Casey with adequate representation:

    • Jury consultant (denied with prejudice)

    I recall the judge saying at the motion hearing that Cheney Mason is a qualified jury consultant and that was enough. This was also before Ann Finnell came along.

    • One additional DNA expert (denied with prejudice)
    • One additional forensic botanist for consulting only (denied with prejudice)
    • One additional forensic Biologist for consulting only.
    • One trace evidence expert (denied without prejudice)

    With prejudice is another way of saying forget about it. It’s a done deal. Without prejudice means a motion can be re-addressed later by taking on a different tack, or by rewriting an incorrect motion, or because - as is the case here - the defense needs an opportunity to decide whether Dr. Lee can provide the trace evidence services. If not, counsel could then request approval from the court for someone else.

    • One taphonomy expert (denied without prejudice) to allow defense counsel to request a Rogers hearing.

    In my unqualified opinion, a Rogers hearing (in this instance) may be requested if the defense’s expert opinion testimony is incomplete. Taphonomy, from the Greek taphos (death), is concerned with the processes responsible for any organism becoming part of the fossil record and how these processes influence information in the fossil record. Many taphonomic processes must be considered when trying to understand fossilization. See: Taphonomy

    • One cell phone expert (denied without prejudice - to determine whether this expert is needed after the state’s expert is deposed.)

    In his May 12 order, the judge granted a cap of $3,500 for the costs of public records requests and denied all travel costs incurred by defense counsel, meaning attorneys only, but it didn’t address travel costs for experts. What the judge needed to clarify to both the defense and the JAC is what JAC will be held responsible for paying. In its own response to the defense motion, JAC did not make that clear. At the same time, the official JAC Expert Billing manual states that:

    “Experts may not bill for time spent traveling on a case unless an hourly rate has been established by law or a court order for the travel time. Generally, travel time is not reimburseable.”

    In this case, the judge did not establish an hourly rate, but the JAC manual does address a mileage rate for reimbursement of $.0445 per mile when out-of-county experts travel more than 50 miles. Will the judge set an hourly rate for the experts’ travel time? The order did cite attachments, which were not released to the public as far as I know. The answer may be in those documents.

    Personally, I can’t imagine a better judge when it comes to knowing law. And I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were the defense, expecting him to flub somewhere down the pike. As much respect as I have for Judge Strickland, Judge Perry has a clear docket, and that translates into one important thing: He’s got more time on his hands to make sure this case is handled by the book. That means less things to consider upon appeal. Of course, that’s only if Casey is convicted. Meanwhile, stare decisis et non quieta movere.  The defense must maintain what has been decided. In other words, it cannot alter the legal principle under which judges are obligated to follow the precedents established in prior decisions. That’s why the judge denied the defense counsel’s Motion for Reconsideration that dealt with the previously rendered denial of its motion to seal jail logs, including commissary records and telephone and visitation logs. Oh, I could go on, but that one’s for another day.

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    Reader Comments (50)

    Thanks for this informative post Dave ...Is it good to see your tax dollars at work?

    November 6, 2010 | Registered Commenterecossie possie

    Thanks, ecossie possie. Now, I'm off to bed. I'm going to try to go to sleep before visions of tax money going to waste start jumping out in front of me. I'd rather count sheep.

    November 6, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Dave,
    it is amazing the amount of research you do when you write your posts! No ranting about your opinions, or your ideas. No way.......you give us the unvarnished facts all backed up with research. That is what makes you "da man" among all the blogs! To read the truthful accounts of this whole horrible case is what keeps me coming back for more.

    I wonder if writing this takes a toll on you?? Does it work on your mind to dig thru all this "stuff"? I know that every once in a while I have to take a break from it all and clear my mind. If I didn't take a break I would blow my top now and then and my poor husband would not like that too much......and my poor dog would run away with the neighbor's cat.

    We are all greatful for your dedication to this blog and every time I get an email that there is a new post it is a real treat and everything else has to wait till I read it all!

    Thanks again Dave........you rock!!!!

    November 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarole

    Good money - keeping [*****] from an appeal. We will take the hit now to fry [*****] later. Easy to say from the west coast however. If she was costing me money it would be very wack. Caylee baby, justice is coming sweetheart and I think you know that.

    Uncle sedgwick

    November 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter1520 Sedgwick

    Dave,
    You are an absolute great informant. We need not watch Court TV, just kidding, but you are amazing the info you give us. Your writings are fabulous. Sad how the Floridians are paying for this Monster. Blood money for Baby Caylee went into who's pockets? Now the taxpayers are stuck paying for this evil person to sit and waste in a court cell, at their expense. Don't need to be harsh, but it is the truth. Everyday, there's another innocent child been torn away from the world. When does it end? Love your reporting, always!!!!

    November 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersimba

    AMAZING! Great post. I think the Judge has been more than fair although I am sure the Defense and the Anthony's will not agree. I do have a question.... After the trial if Casey is found guilty do the A's then accept it or do they think the jury was flawed? They did not agree with JS or the prosecution so I am wondering if they are going to believe Casey still? I ask because I appreciate your opinions.

    November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTony

    Hi, Carole - Yup, I did some extensive research on this one, and for the most part, it's just straightforward reporting.

    Does this writing take its toll on me" Nah, not really. I've kinda settled in now and, although it will never be routine, I enjoy learning about this case like everyone else. I hust like to write about it, too.

    Thank you for appreciating this. It's very special to me that you try to drop what you're doing to read my new posts. It's amazing because I don't think of myself as worthy of that. That's just fantastic and I'm humbled.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    1520 Sedgwick - I censored two of your adjectives because I really don't like the use of insulting names on the blog. I understand how you feel, but I just don't want it to stoop to that level. You're free to comment, of course, and I'm not admonishing you at all. It's just that the people who used to call the Anthonys every vulgar name in the book were censored in order to keep this site above an elementary school level. There's a blog specifically designed to allow insults and name calling, but I'm not going to give you the address. No one deserves that hell hole.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Gee, thank you, simba. I truly appreciate your compliment. There's no doubt I enjoy writing tremendously and I sure do hope it shows.

    Yes, it's sad we have to pay, but we have to pay for everyone who is incarcerated. Time catches up, though, and time will eventually catch up with Casey. Meanwhile, I will do my best to keep reporting on this story.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    The judge has been extremely fair, Tony, and that will damper any strategy for an appeal if it comes to that.

    If Casey is found guilty, the Anthonys will probably still believe she is guilty of lying and nothing more. Her mother refuses to believe she did it, and the defense attorneys keep telling her their daughter didn't do it. Do I think they will still be supportive if she's convicted? Yes, and probably more so because there will be nothing standing in their way. Will the public listen? No, and eventually, their star power will fade, just like everyone else's involved in this case. It will be time to move on.

    Thank you, Tony. That's very kind of you, and I'm glad you appreciate my opinions.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Dave, thanks for this post and explaining what each of his orders were. I know I didn't hear about any of this other than here, so a big thanks for that. It is nice to have someone explain what each of his orders mean. You go into such detail so that we are able to understand it all. I remember JP telling Cheney Mason that he could be the jury consultant for the defense. IIRC I think Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane Burdick will be the jury consultants for the state. If I am wrong someone please let me know. Dave, do you know if there are any remaining motions to be heard or for JP to rule on yet? Thanks again for all your hard work and keeping us up to date.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterMary Jo

    Great post once again and so much research. Thanks Dave

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterMarsha from NY

    And thanks for enjoying it, Mary Jo. I'm surprised no one else wrote about it, but some of the motions, replies and orders aren't publicized all that much. I try to stay on top of the court and what goes on. Some is boring, most is not.

    I guess when you think about it, there's no need for a jury consultant with Mason and (now) Ann Finnell on the team. Anything to save taxpayers money. Yes, if my memory serves me, it will be Burdick, Ashton, and maybe, George, for the state. They are all seasoned pros, on both sides.

    I am going to guess that there may be a few motions the judge hasn't heard, although he did rule on 33 on 9/27, which can be found here:

    State v. Casey Anthony

    This week, I'll try to find out how many motions are outstanding, if any.

    Thanks again, Mary Jo.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Hi, Marsha... Yes, this one took some research. Thank you very much. I hope you are staying warm up there!

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Great reporting Dave and explaining all the motions where we can fully understand them. While I hate so much of the Florida taxpayer money is being spent I do not want them to be able to appeal later.even though I know they will try. I just wonder how many more appeals will still have to be heard before the trial. It seems to me if they keep all this up will they have enough time for a trial strategy and work on a defense. They seem so concerned with things like TES that they are wasting a lot of time. Oh well we will soon find out. I really think they feel they can get a trial delay.
    Go Gators!

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterNika1

    Thank you, Nika1. I tried to explain it so everyone would understand. I know there was a lot packed in there, but to me, it was important information. There will be no appeals until after (and if) Casey is convicted and sentenced. The less ammunition the court gives her, the less her chances of it being overturned, and trust me, this judge knows how to git 'er done, whether it works in the state's favor or not. It's good to know it won't be because of improper rulings, and that was true with Judge Strickland, too. Yes, it seems like the defense is wasting time and money, but to be fair and honest, capital cases are a lot more complicated.

    Boy, the Gators really whooped up on Vandie. Good, they needed it to help them against S. Carolina this coming Saturday. That one should be a great game, what with Spurrier in the house and the very similar records, 7-3 and 6=3, respectively. Anyway, thank you very much, and...

    GO GATORS! I know what I'll be doing Saturday night!

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Dave~~Iffin you all don't mind, I will leave the Latin to you and stick with retroactive. You certainly did alot of homework to get a post up of that caliber.

    I would like to know if the $275,000 that the Baez Law Firm held in Casey's account was considered attorney/client privilege when it came to disbursements of said monies. Did the JAC accountant demand an audit be performed before Judge Strickland declared Casey indigent? Why would this be kept under seal, if there was an audit, since the taxpayer is footing the bills now and I believe they had a right to see a financial statement of the Income and Expenses of every cent of the $275,000.

    This is why I get a bit confused about the JAC system, the judges decision and why the defense did very little and only started to diligently make a bit of progress on this case when JAC started footing the bills. How do we know that the PIs are not billing for hours they worked prior to Casey being declared indigent? While the defense were pussy footing around, a big part of that $275,000 was being squandered; Marti McKenzie, PR person, $10,000, Andre Lyon, $22,000 +. Now that she is gone, is anyone referring to her notes or are they starting anew in their investigation. How much did Baez pocket for handling the check/fraud case? Was the $89,000 he took for his fee separate from the fee he charged for the check/fraud? Did Baez settle all Casey's liabilities that were outstanding before she became indigent? By my calculations, there should have been money left over!! I wonder if Baez ever settled up with Dominic Casey and was Laura Buchanan, on payroll or a volunteer?

    Another thing I could not understand. Jeanine Barrett was given 384 hrs @$40 and Judge Perry has given her 100 more. Ann Finnell said that Barrett had only worked approx 1/3 to 1/2 of her allotted time that had been granted by the judge. That is one heck of a pile of mitigating allotted and Casey has the privalege of having two mitigating specalists and also, if I might add, 2 death qualified attorneys.

    Thanks for the excellent article. Take the first five letters of excellent and you get EXCEL and you certainly did that.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    I believe one Motion outstanding is the one where the defense wants Roy Kronk's past bad acts admitted into evidence.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Baez' daughter, Chrisine, worked for his law firm. Was she paid a salary?

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Dang- Barrett makes that much $ to be somebody's confidante, someone who might go to Death Row?! We're in the wrong lines of work!

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterKaren C.

    Nov 2009 – motion for the court to allow the jury to hear about Kronk’s alleged past wrongdoings


    Karen C, I just ran across a motion where the defense wanted to purchase 2 Pontiac Sunfires. I am surprised they didn't ask to purchase 2 slices of pizza as well. LOL

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    According to the judge's order, the Costs to Conduct Tests as to Evidence in Defendant's Automobile: These costs include materials and two Pontiac Sunbirds, similar to Defendants automobile: DENIED without prejudice to allow Defense counsel to request a Rogers hearing.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Snoopy - The only thing I remember is that Judge Strickland was satisfied with how the money was spent. At that point, JAC had no say in the matter because they had no control over that money and no say until after she was declared indigent. Past money was none of their business. Wherever it went, it must have been legitimately spent or Judge Strickland wouldn't have sealed the info and granted the motion.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Snoopy - The pizzas would be for one car and now we need a volunteer dead body for the 2nd car. LOL

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterNika1

    Dave~ ~ well a judge is not an accountant. Maybe JAC's accountant was privy to whatever was shown to Judge Strickland. Unless you have a darn good auditor, it is so easy to pad the books, so to speak. I believe that a motion was filed so the public would not see how JAC was funding Casey's defense and that was denied. Well we are getting a chance to see how a defense can rip off the tax payers in the state of Florida. The defense felt it would give away their strategy, if we found out who was being paid. I think all the members of the defense should go out before the media with brown paper bags over their heads. Maybe they should play pin the tail on the jackasses who are funding this case. I expect, if Casey had been paid a half million by ABC, she still would have been declared indigent to avoid an appeal. I find the finance sytem re this case very lax.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Nika1~~gee, after Dave reads my last comment, maybe they would like my body. LOL

    I do not know why the tax payers do not demand more answers and insist on knowing where ya many dollars went before taking on a charity case such as Casey. Did the Anthony's ever file a public financial statement for the end of their fiscal re The Caylee Marie Anthony Foundation? So much is slid under the rocks or goes by the wayside and is never questioned.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Good evening Dave, I am sorry I have not been around more but I do want to say that this latest post of yours is just amazing. The research you have to to do to put something like this up just does not happen over night and because of that, your article shows how much you love to write and let us know what is going on. I did not know that Judge Perry did not have any other cases. With a case as huge as this one is, I can not imagine him wanting to do anything else.

    I have never understood how Judge Perry keeps his cool through these hearings. With the Defense having to ask money for everything, I would think that they would ask for less instead of asking for so much. Of course if you do not ask, you will not get LOL. I can not even imagine how much this case is costing the Florida tax payers. Does the JAC have a cap where no more money can be paid out or is this likely to be on going even when/if Casey is convicted?

    Thank you again for this great post, it truly is remarkable how you put everything together they way you do. It is an amazing post and you should be very proud of your journalistic abilities.

    November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterPeggy222

    Dave~~I did a bit of sleuthing as I was kind of curious as to how much JAC would pay out on the AVERAGE for a indigent person charged with murder one. I realize no two cases are the same. The person would start out with a public defender. I got a bit side tracked but still would love to know the average cost to the state of Florida so we can try and compare it with what the state will end up forking out for Casey Anthony. Anyhoo I found the following and it may be of interest to some. If not, just delete it or ignore it.

    Florida Spends Millions Extra per Year on Death Penalty
    Florida would save $51 million each year by punishing all first-degree murderers with life in prison without parole, according to estimates by the Palm Beach Post. Based on the 44 executions Florida has carried out since 1976, that amounts to an approximate cost of $24 million for each execution. This finding takes into account the relatively few inmates who are actually executed, as well as the time and effort expended on capital defendants who are tried but convicted of a lesser murder charge, and those whose death sentences are overturned on appeal. ("The High Price of Killing Killers," Palm Beach Post, January 4, 2000)

    Source~~ where you can read more...

    Costs of a Death Penalty Case-Florida

    Just my ad lib...
    It costs 6 times more in the state of Florida to execute a criminal than if they were given LWOP. I guess this takes into account all the appeals and how long the prisoner sits on death row.

    November 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Snoopy - AHA! A judge is not an accountant. You are correct, but for that matter, an accountant is not a judge, and the judge trumps the accountant. I do not believe the JAC got to see anything on any matter that came before the judge up to the declaration of indigence. From then on, yes, but not before. As long as the judge is satisfied, that's the final word.

    As for the cost to taxpayers to execute someone, yes, it's a ridiculously high amount, and that's one of the reasons why I am against the DP. Not the main reason, mind you, but certainly one of them.

    November 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Hi, Peggy - Sorry I'm so late getting back to you, but was asleep when you came in last night and I've been busy filling out paperwork this morning.

    So, my post is amazing? Oh, I wouldn't go that far, but I did spend some time researching it. Judge Perry has an empty docket and that affords him more time than all of the circuit court judges, but as the chief judge, he does have plenty of other work to do. He does hear other cases, too, such as the one I wrote about - John Huggins. As far as I know, those are the only two at the moment, but don't quote me on it. To use as a guide, a lot of the circuit judges have thousands of cases on their dockets. Yes, that's thousands, and it pertains to each one. As far as a JAC cap, there isn't one. Each judge controls what is allowed and what isn't. If Casey is convicted, I don't know how payment is handled for an appeal. I'll worry more about that as we approach the trial date.

    I sure do appreciate your confidence in my writing. Thank you for that. Remember to keep me on my toes!

    November 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Hi Dave. Great article. It's very professionally written and yet it is easy to understand. I have a question for you regarding the FBI documents. Can someone request that info under the freedom of information act? Thank you for all you do. Take care.

    November 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterCarmen

    Hello and thank you, Carmen!

    Yes, someone can request documents, but the act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures and grants nine exemptions to the statute, and it allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States Government. According to the Dept. of Justice Web site, the FOIA applies only to federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Each state has its own public access laws that should be consulted for access to state and local records.

    Take a look here if you ever want to bore yourself:

    The Freedom of Information Act, amended 2007

    Great to hear from you!

    November 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Hi, Carmen!

    Yup, Dave, FOIA dead boring stuff but look at the oodles of info it has given researchers, biographers, historians and investigators over the years- 3 cheers for FOIA! Honestly, we'd be walking around clueless as to what our various governmental agencies were up to w/o it...

    November 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterKaren C.

    Hi, Karen - Actually, the original act was signed by LBJ way back in the 60s, but it's been amended several times, the last one being in 2007. It's great that we can live in such an open country. Hurray for the FOIA!

    November 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Just a brief off topic here to convey my prayers for her sons major surgery as "Margaret" asks for on Open Forum. OF is no longer available to me, although I have posts there from before. Please extend my thought and prayer for all to be completely successful. Margaret, you must be ecstatic after all the years that your son now has this procedure available to him to be relieved of all the many medications May God be with you! .

    November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNew Puppy

    Hi Dave, I read here everyday but have never commented. I think your posts are so well written and very informative. I appreciate that you are able to stay fair and balanced and show both sides of this crazy case. I was reading this morning on another site and they had Caseys visitation log. She spends most of her time with death penalty mitigation people. My question is.....is that normal? Is it normal to focus so heavily on the death penalty when she hasn't even been convicted (yet)? I do think she will be convicted and Caylee will finally get her justice. Thanks Dave, look forward to your next post.

    November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura from Indiana

    Hi, Laura from Indiana - There is another Laura who also lives in Indiana, but she doesn't go by the "Laura from Indiana" name. She'll be happy to know that there's more than one Laura in Indiana, I'm sure.

    I think that the nature of the beast - that being a capital murder case with the death penalty as an option if she's found guilty - means that the defense must be prepared for that type of sentence. There are no guarantees the jury will find her not guilty and it's best to be prepared with mitigating evidence early on, like ASAP. The more the mitigating expert can learn, the better the chances of reducing a sentence to LWOP.

    Thank you for reading here every day. It's been rather slow lately, but I should have something up soon, although it might not be about the Anthony case. Please don't ever be afraid to comment and join in when the discussions roll.

    Dave

    November 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Knechel

    Oh man I think my brain just froze! First I downloaded Firefox so my old brain had to remember the name Dave gave me to sign in with! Then reading that long post! Wow!

    I want to thank you for once again putting everything into perspective and in such a way that I can understand. I appreciate that big time! I'm with Snoopy on wondering what Baez did with all of the money given him by Casey. All I can remember is the business of finding Roy Kronk's past bad deeds. That's when it seemed the money ran out. It took him a really long time just to get started it seems. I'm glad the state wants it's money accounted for! I'm just a lay person but it seems they are asking the state to pay double for some things. For instance did Ann Finnel take into account the time left on the other mitigation expert's account before submitting her own budget or is all that extra? I had also thought the out of state investigators had already gone over the evidence in the case, but then they brought them here to do it??? Henry Lee was here once before and all he looked at was the car, so why not look at the other stuff then? Made no sense.

    I'm glad they have Judge Perry. I know you like Judge Strickland and he did get a raw deal, but Perry isn't as busy and I have a feeling they might have gotten past Strickland on one or two things that Perry will catch and deny only because he's not as busy. He's going to make sure this case doesn't get overturned on appeals.

    BTW when I first saw the article above I thought of these words a call receiver once said after getting a long long sermon from his caller (while I was a relay operator). His words were "well now wasn't that a mouthful" lol.

    November 9, 2010 | Registered Commenterconniefl

    Hi Dave-
    Judge Perry granted the defense additional PI hours (60, I believe), He also spoke with the defense regarding fishing expeditions, and looking for oil when clearly there is none.
    Should the defense squander these additional hours on TES searchers, do you think Judge Perry would be so inclined to grant them additional hours at the taxpayer expense?
    Unfortunately, we who sit on the other side of the live stream aren't able to view all the body language, nor the facial expressions of the participants. Typically the camera is focused on Casey, and that gives little insight to how the SAO, or the Judge are reacting to the arguments presented by the defense.
    Also, I wondered if Cheney Mason is always as arrogant as he appears at the hearings. He often( in court) appears as if the court should revere him instead of the other way around.
    It appears that the Anthony's latest attorneys seem to be able to keep them in check. Are they that beaten down, or are these attorneys better able to reach them?
    Casey also seems to have a demeanor change.
    As I stated on this side of livestream, it's hard to tell.
    Thanks for your reseach and your insights.
    (sidenote: wasn't Baez supposed to present something in a phone hearing, last week or this week? Did it pertain to the PI hours? I can't remember, Thnx)
    Regards-
    K

    November 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKara Zor-El

    This is off topic but interesting......

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- A single document released by the prosecution in the Casey Anthony murder case shows the state is looking to Europe for help in supporting its theory of premeditation.


    Prosecutors want to eliminate any possibility that their own investigators could have introduced chloroform into Anthony's car while processing it for evidence.

    One of Anthony's defense attorneys, Cheney Mason, has told WESH 2 News numerous times that the state cannot prove Caylee Anthony was murdered, let alone that her death was premeditated.

    Read more here at the Source...

    WESH

    November 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Wow Snoopy - I thought the chloroform might be a possibility at first but then I kind of shifted away from it. They must have some pretty good evidence that this happened.
    Mason is such a joke - I guess Drew Peterson's wife just jumped in the lake also.
    I think they will be able to prove premeditation with everything that happened and the fact Casey doesn't seem to care what happened.

    November 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterNika1

    Nika1~~ this certainly helps reinforce that there were higher than normal levels of chloroform in the trunk of the car. The defense will probably come back and say that the Fabreeze that Cindy used to spray the trunk contained chloroform. In actual fact , alot of cleaning products contain it. This was a stroke of luck for the state. Just going to the garage to get the duct tape is premeditation. Premed can take place during the commission of the crime.

    November 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    It goes to show just how good this prosecution team is that they would forsee something like this happening. I thought she had tried to put her to sleep with homemade chloroform in the beginning but the tests kept saying the levels were low so I didn't know what to think. I still can't believe Cindy cleared out all the stuff that was in that car especially since her husband used to be a cop. Even if it were an abduction, that car could still be a crime scene.

    Mason said they can't prove Caylee was murdered because JG has no cause of death but that's what they all say isn't it? The child's remains (not even body) is found tossed in with the garbage in the woods near their home and it's not murder and the only person who actually had issues with the poor little girl was her mother and we're supposed to think she's innocent? Most people in this world don't fall off of turnip trucks.

    November 9, 2010 | Registered Commenterconniefl

    Dave-nuff said!!=D

    Here is an opinion piece that I wrote many months ago. Essentially when I read blogs I will write/type my thoughts on a subject and if it becomes relevant cool if not at least I wrote what I thought at the time, right or wrong. I hope it goes over well and doesn’t offend anyone. But before you read please note that when it comes to grammer I am not the best =D

    It is definitely an on-going argument, the Death Penalty, and whether it is right or wrong. Is it simply an “eye of an eye” mentality, a revenge tactic or a decision that has been pondered to the ultimate punishment? Where do “We the People” come together and pass down the ultimate decision? We can go back through history books and read first hand what amounted to the DP; denouncement of GOD, witchcraft, stealing livestock just to name a few. Most of these have gone down in history; we know that the Salem Witch Trials were a farce, stealing no longer warrants the DP but nowadays you’ll find it reserved for the most heinous of crimes…MURDER!! There are different circumstances on how murder is sub-grouped. Money or feeding a narcissistic serial desire but all forms are heinous, I believe most of us will agree to that. But lets expand a bit; take for instance Albert Fish who lured dozens (15) of children to their deaths (he later claims to have killed/mutilated over 100 children); mind you he sexually abused most of them and did it right under the noses of adults or John Wayne Gacey who killed a dozen teenage boys to feed his homosexual desires and buried them in a crawl space or Teresa Lewis who had her husband and stepson killed for money. In the waiting; Casey Marie Anthony whom, on the outside, seemed to be a normal mother struggling to make it through life with a child born out of wedlock (not that it matters) later to find that her daughter disappeared and she admits to law enforcement Caylee had been missing for 31 days!! Her poor little body was discovered just before Christmas 2008 and it has been ruled a homicide. On the outside you may be saying you are comparing apples and oranges for some of these people were sadistic. But my point is not the crimes themselves as much as the person. Mr. Fish was a kind looking old man who was friendly and gentle, Gacey worked with the local police department and spent many birthday parties dressed up as a clown, Dahmer was polite and by no means looked like a danger to society, Anthony was a mother who seemed to be devoted to her child. But could you agree these people are viewed as “people in the position of trust?” One could argue Dahmer but the fact that he lured his victims could be argued as position of trust…couldn’t it?

    It is, however, unfair, in some respects, to list both women as there were no reports of sexual violence but they were possibly motivated by sex. Lewis had no problems offering up her body to the two gentlemen whom would later kill both the husband and the stepson. Ms. Anthony, through photos and interviews, had several sexual partners up to the day her daughter would come-up missing and continued a relationship during the 31 days her daughter was missing and never said anything to anyone.

    No matter, when a life is taken, especially children, we scream for justice for the victims. Discussion boards all over pop-up to discuss scenarios a life size version of Clue begins to play-out. We, at least those who read these blogs (such as myself), are guilty of jumping to conclusions but when all the evidence has been compiled and served for all to see and ingest it is difficult not to conclude a verdict. Society views prison as a place in which criminals can be rehabilitated and re-introduced into society with the expectations that they will live a long and prosperous life. Lets forget about the misdemeanors; such as petty crime, DUI’s, smoking dope but ask yourself, in the interest of murder; can you honestly tell yourself that there is hope for all? Can they be rehabilitated to join the likes of you and me; well for the most part probably not? People do not change they just find new ways to manipulate the situation so that you will sympathize with their cause in hope of getting out. Case in point; there was an outcry for 2 female assailants who were with Manson when the atrocious murders occurred in California and both received the death penalty. Later their sentence was commuted to life but in the last couple years they pleaded to get out, to have some sense of freedom(Here’s a thought-if they received the DP what gives them the right to now want/receive parole??). They claimed they had been rehabilitated and were no longer a threat to society they played to the sympathetic ear of the faithful you know the one in which they found GOD. Luckily the judges/parole board in both cases denied parole and subsequently both followers would die within months of their denial.

    But these days prison is not so bad a place, you really don’t pay rent, you work, you are served 3 meals a day and have access to a commissary for snacks, you have television time, so you can sit and relax, you can play cards with your newly found friends, hmmm sounds like home. Now bring forward the argument of cost of incarcerated –vs. DP. Well, if a murderer is convicted and him/her are givin a life sentences lets see what they get:

    1. Place to stay-in this economy a motel room cost roughly $200 a week which equates to $10,400 a year. (standard room w/bed and toilet and includes heat and water)
    2. Food (3 squares a day) $50 a day-$18,250 a year (food costs do not include preparation, fuel costs, or delivery and I cant ballpark what this could be)
    3. Medical/Dental coverage-basic plan $65wkly $3,380 (all inmates have health coverage)
    4. Prison Guards-insert what you think is fair.
    5. Counselor(s)-insert what you think is fair.
    6. Chaplains-insert what you think is fair
    7. Education: all have the ability to further their education at no cost to them so where does it come from? Ted Bundy went pretty far in his education and was complemented by the judge presiding over his case for his candor and abilities. I will take the average of a good college education which is roughly $45K for a 4 year school but that doesn’t include books so add another $5K just to make it a round number.

    (*please note by no means are the above figures accurate its simply an estimation)

    This antiquates to a serious amount of money for one person serving a life sentence which is usually described as minimum 25 years. Now, I know that the DP will exceed this but its based upon appeals but it’s not monetary so much but life taken away that I am trying to argue. Where is the punishment if all the responsibilities of life are now taken over by the state? The possibilities of what might have been; had Fish not murdered all those children, or Dahmer for that matter; look at what they took from the families. All dreams of their children becoming doctors, lawyers; maybe the little girls aspired to be a model or maybe dabble in politics we may never know cause they’re DEAD; taken away without consideration on the part of the murderer. The only way the families and society can feel vindicated is Death. So instead of standing-up for the condemned what about those who must go on without their loved one(s)? The Death Penalty allows these people satisfaction that the perpetrator will never again see the light of day and what angers them more is when their case is commuted to life (25years), there is a slim possibility that they could be granted parole. They would be remised to know of all the amenities afforded to them once they are in prison. Living an insufferable life, no burdens while those on the outside, who have been victimized, struggle with the day-to-day going to work, paying bills, keeping what’s left of their dignity as they hold their head high when inside they are constantly crying. Those who are living with the loss of a loved one perhaps find comfort from people like us who stand-up for their cause, on their behalf to ensure justice is handed down. IMO all these people herein deserved the ultimate price. It is unfortunate that there are so many hurdles these days in order to carry this out. The only way the DP would be a deterrent is to actually do it and stop taking 15-20 years to impose. I agree the money saved by commuting these sentences would be worth it but to whose expense? Many, I know, will argue that GOD should make the final decision as Man should not be granted such authority but obviously, during the crime, they were not doing their dastardly deeds in the eyes of GOD or in the name of.

    November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterB-Man

    b-man, I
    n response to your post, I will say I am against the death penalty, have np with lwop. Your statement that if they gave them the ultimate price of death quicker, it would become a deterrant, I disagree with. I believe most murders happen either in the heat of the moment so to speak, or from evil people that will never stop until they are incarcerated. The threat of death does not effect them. Nothing does. Also would like to point out that yes it is seen in Gods eyes, and he knows all and will handle all of us come our judgement day. I have seen heinous crimes in my time, but I have also seen convicted death row inmates released after their innocence was proven, so, I fall on the side of lock them up if convicted, but do not take their life

    November 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermchl454

    mchl454:

    i do, believe it or not, agree with you. This was an opinion peice i did many months ago but never posted due to my own conflicts with my own words (if that makes any sense). And it is rather dishartening when you hear of a death row inmate convicted based upon faulty investiating or improper handling of DNA, the justice system is designed so that 100 guilty persons would go free before 1 innocent person is sent to prison. Sometimes when you hear all the things surrounding KC all i can think of is revenge as the case seems to be pivoting on something other that Caylee was murdered. But again this "article" was in the heat of the moment more or less but like i said it was done many months ago and the DP seems to coming up more often then before. So please dont take offense.

    November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterB-Man

    In Flanders Fields (Col. J McCrae)
    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

    In Flanders fields.We Shall Keep the Faith (M Michael)
    Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
    Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
    We caught the torch you threw
    And holding high, we keep the Faith
    With All who died.

    We cherish, too, the poppy red
    That grows on fields where valor led;
    It seems to signal to the skies
    That blood of heroes never dies,
    But lends a lustre to the red
    Of the flower that blooms above the dead
    In Flanders Fields.

    And now the Torch and Poppy Red
    We wear in honor of our dead.
    Fear not that ye have died for naught;
    We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
    In Flanders Fields.
    In Flanders Fields we fought

    Thank you and God Bless our Vets, Enlisted, and The United States of America

    November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKara Zor-El

    Kara Zor-El A Beautiful Piece, Thank you!

    November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNew Puppy

    Kara Zor-El, thank you for posting In Flander's Fields. "Lest We Forget" all those who gave up their lives so we may have life, liberty and pursue happiness.

    November 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    b-man, I did not take any offense from what you wrote, we were both just giving our opinions, I did enjoy the read, ty

    November 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermchl454

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