reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas
I'm not so sure that the State has an ulterior motive in this case as it crawls along.
The defense attorney(s), primarily Jose Baez, have complained about prosecutors' and Sheriff's office 'leaks,' but the reality is a little
Florida's pre-trial discovery rules require that anything that will be used in evidence at trial, or could lead to
admissable evidence, must
be exchanged and filed with the court
. This prevents "trial by ambush."
As the State accumulates (potentially evidentiary) reports and documents from its' experts and investigators, it must make them part of the public
record, which is then available to the media vultures to exploit. So, although the State makes the disclosure, it is not they who publish to the
public. The defense team, and even their witnesses, have called press conferences and media events, most recently the George and Cindy Anthony
'media tour' that by-passed Oprah, but hit Good Morning America and Larry King (twice).
However, on the 'mental health' issue, Anthony's former death-penalty expert, Terence Lenamon, withdrew from her defense, ostensibly over
"differences" with lead counsel Baez.
Lenamon explained his disagreement with Baez this way: "We had a difference in what I believed should have
been the approach, which is I think mental health-related."
In a report given to prosecutors in November, Lenamon explained why Anthony's case didn't fit the state's criteria for the death penalty. Lenamon
explored Anthony's erratic behavior.
"After Caylee was born, people noticed a different person," Lenamon wrote.
Her spending, bad-check writing and multiple unstable relationships "indicate episodes of extreme emotional disturbance," he wrote.
On the record, Lenamon hints that Anthony's mental health would be relevant to factors mitigating against the death penalty after her
. Why not use her state of mind sooner in the process than after
a capital murder conviction? Lenamon says he doesn't see
an "insanity" plea coming. ("Insanity" is basically an admission
that you committed the crime, but didn't appreciate that it was a crime
because of mental defect or disease. Anthony will never
admit to murder.)
I don't buy that story. I see it as a clever move to put "mental health" directly into issue in the defense strategy.
As counsel, Lenamon could not serve both as advocate and
witness. As an 'expert,' he can now be presented as an authority on
Anthony's ability to answer for the offense or assist her defense counsel.
Ordinarily, "experts" and their opinions must be disclosed to allow the opposing party to respond by deposition or with a countervailing expert
opinion. Many complex cases devolve into a "battle of the experts," often with "junk science" or claims of it, rearing their ugly head.
In this case, Lenamon and his opinions have already been disclosed, so the defense can hide behind his earlier appearance and his filings with the
prosecutors and the court as 'disclosure.'
I am confident that (in)competence will become a more prominent factor as trial deadlines approach.
No one can argue that Anthony's bizarre behavior, statements and fabrications are normal. To the extent they interfere with her ability to assist
her attorneys in her defense, they will become critical.
Lenamon's recent revelations about 'mental health' issues, avowedly not insanity-related
, lead me to conclude that my earlier suspicions
are still valid and gaining support.
Will this lead to new legislation? Perhaps a review by the Florida Supreme Court of procedural (pre-trialpublicity), discovery and evidence rules may
be called for. Any change in substantive law, such as that defining what is a capital crime, or what is mitigation against death, will come too late
for Anthony, but not for anyone following her lead, like Haleigh Cummings' alleged 'kidnapper.'
I'll keep watching for new info.
[edit on 19-5-2009 by jdub297]