Tommorow, a lot of hard work will come down to closing arguments, the last chance for both the state of Florida and the defense team led by Jose Baez will have to convience a jury from Clearwater that Casey Anthony is either innocent or guilty of the murder of her two-year old daughter Caylee Marie in 2008.
Eyes and ears both in the Orange County Courtrhouse in Orlando and those watching on Headline News will be listening for the one word that could convince a juror of innocence or guilt.
Now before you think that Jeff Ashton is going to do his best Jack McCoy impression or Jose Baez is going to be the second coming of Atticus Finch, let me assure you that’s not going to happen. That’s pretend. This is real. There’s not going to be a director yelling “cut.” They only going to get at the least one shot to either hit it out of the park or strike out with the bases loaded. According to some experts, both the state and the defense will be on a very short leash by Chief Judge Belvin Perry, who issued an order Friday that outlines what state prosecutors and defense attorneys cannot say during closing arguments in Casey Anthony’s first-degree murder trial.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Associated Press, WESH-TV and TruTV, Perry’s order said all counsel has to abide by his 16 restrictions during the arguments, slated to be made when court resumes Sunday morning.
Some of Perry’s restrictions are:
“Counsel shall avoid making arguments that are not based on facts in evidence or reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom.”
“Counsel shall avoid using derogatory terms or characterizations when referring to Defendant, a witness or opposing counsel and shall not make any disparaging comments about counsel’s occupation or performance in court.”
“Counsel shall refrain from commenting on objections made by opposing counsel.”
“Defense counsel shall not concede Defendant’s guilt in front of the jury, to either the charged offense or any lesser included offense, without first obtaining express approval for such strategy from the Defendant and placing that approval on the record (at sidebar if necessary) prior to the concession.”
Perry at times has been acting as hall monitor, school counselor and yes, sometimes he’s been friendly at times and as cuddly as a land mine at others but he’s made it known that he’s the boss. Ask Elizabeth Rodgers, Matthew Bartlett and that potential juror who went to the media and said that he didn’t want to be on the jury. Their checkbooks are a bit lighter and Rodgers and Bartlett spent some time in the slammer. This is a judge that does not suffer fools, not even gladly.
This trial has had its moments. It’s had more drama than a Shakespeare play on crack. Lying, mistresses, DNA, computer searches, decomposition and a family with so many problems that not even Dr. Phil could save them. You name it, it was there. Even the person that watched it for one day wasn’t disappointed.
Each side will get four hours to present their arguments. It will be heated, tense and nerves will be on edge. One can imagine that the Anthonys will be there to see if the right words will set Casey free or send her to death row. The world will hold its breath. It’s time for the attorneys to step up to the plate and see who will blink first.
(Photos courtesy the Orlando Sentinel, the Associated Press, WESH-TV and Tru TV).