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Casey Anthony – Jury Selection Like Herding Cats


After a bizarre session, wild speculation and double-guessing about the disappearance of one of the defense lawyers, we will hopefully get back to the job at hand, seating a jury!  Intended or not, the incident garnered a huge amount of media which clearly could have a detrimental effect on the selection process.

Love him or hate him, Judge Belvin Perry has walked a thin line to insure the integrity of the process and with his quick mind and vast knowledge of case law he has proven, time and again, why he is so highly respected as a jurist.

Casey walks in all smiley and chipper, wearing a white long-sleeved sweater.  Baez heads to the corner to speak with Judge Perry.  Lots of paper shuffling going on at the defense table.

Judge Perry says 3025, 3317, 3340, 3309 were in court yesterday and when Judge Perry spoke with them, all said they would not be paid.  Perry allowed them to go to work today.  There are only 11 left in the jury pool.  The 4 financial hardships are on call if they are required to come in.

Both the State and defense indicate that the 4 originally said there might be a hardship so they agree to let them be excused for cause.  For the 11 left, their summons are running out, by noon they have to make some decision because jurors are not called in on Fridays.

Ashton speaks up and says he shows 12.  After a recount they agree it is 12.

3131 is called.  She is the one who has been out ill for several days.

She remembers some reports and there was a lot of confusion.  She remembers Caylee being found.  She recalls the tape over the baby’s nose and mouth…she is emotional about this testimony.  She heard one or two people say Casey is guilty.  As a child care worker, she was distraught that Casey dragged Zanny into the story as a pawn.  She says she believes Casey is guilty!  She cannot put her opinion of guilt aside.

Released for cause.

3310 is called.  He has little knowledge of the case.  He remembers a person saying Casey did it, but he said he didn’t know.  He has not formed an opinion because he doesn’t know enough details.  He presumes Anthony is innocent unless evidence shows elsewise.

Linda Burdick only has a few short questions which he breezes through.

Baez goes through what TV channels he watches, the same damn stuff Judge Perry covered.  He’s not a big user of social media.

Onto death vs LWOP.

He has no real opinion on the DP, but think it is an option.  He gets the concept of aggravators and mitigators.

State has no questions.

Finney is doing her dog and pony which he seems to sail through.

General voir dire.  He’s 57 and single.  BA in Business Admin.

This guy is pretty solid from what I’ve heard.

Baez begins tutoring on legal concepts…man!  Judge Perry read the law, Finnell questioned him about and Baez wastes time rehashing it!

Defense has no challenge, nor does the State!!!!  We have 12!

Perry says we’ll move ahead and calls a recess till 10.

3016 is up.  He has a little knowledge from TV and People magazine.  He knows Caylee is deceased and most of the evidence at that time was related to the mother – smell in the trunk  He didn’t research in-depth.

He has heard folks say Casey is guilty.  He has an opinion of guilt based on what he read or saw.  He can set that opinion aside.

Death penalty vs LWOP.  He has no opinion for or against.  He gets the concept of factors and weighing them.

He cannot vote for the death penalty.  He could consider it, but he doesn’t feel he could make the actual decision.  He now says he could recommend LWOP.

Neither the State or defense have questions..  I don’t think this guy will make the cut.

General voir dire.  He had an uncle with the FBI.  No kids.  Nothing more really stands out.

Baez keeps using Finney’s play book…geez.  Here he goes doing law 101.

The defense and State have no questions.

It seems all the Judges are done for today and the week and Judge Perry will scoop up some of their potential jury pool.

Perry announces time dictates that he will bring a panel up for alternate jurors and he will ask out of the box about financial hardship.  He fears people will get it and know what to answer and only a few will be left.  He also said this group has not been under his admonishment and therefore probably has seen a ton of media by now.

Perry will conclude questioning as close to 5pm unless they want to forge ahead.  On Saturday he will swear 12 first, then the alternates.  He hasn’t set the number of alternates and they have one challenge per.

3140 is up.  She doesn’t have much knowledge of the case.  Has not formed opinion of innocence or guilt.

No questions from State or defense so we move to death vs LWOP.  She is neither for or against the death penalty.  She understands weighing factors.  She can impose the death penalty.

General voir dire.  She used to work in day care.  She is a crafter, not a computer person.  She appears to have passed muster very well.

Defense and State have no challenges.

4 more will be here by 1pm and 3 are on call for today. The ‘twelve’ will be told to make preparations and arrive at 2:30 tomorrow.  At 3pm tomorrow, they will be sworn.

Any additional brought in tomorrow haven’t been through voir dire yet!

1:31  back on record.

The chairs have been flipped to face the prospective new group.  We’ll hear the charges all over again and all eyes will be watching to see if Casey cries.

Perry, with agreement of both sides, will abbreviate reading the charges and instructions.  Baez says ok, but wants reasonable doubt emphasized.

Perry will ask the questions of this group by row, not individually.

Casey really, really hates this part.  She has her hands folded and is looking  down at the table.  She still isn’t able to make eye contact with the jurors.  Her jaw is working and she’s gulping breaths.  She held it together enough not to cry, but it was apparent she was distressed.

Judge Perry begins asking row 1 if there is financial hardship.

The frustrating thing is we can’t hear the responses from the potential jurors.  Guess we’ll have to wait till he get to the end to figure out how many are left!  From what I can glean, just about everybody has a hardship!  This is exactly what Judge Perry was worried about!

Judge Perry is releasing all the hardship because neither the State or defense needed to question them.  4053, 4013, have to call their employers about compensation.

Without being able to hear much, it appears we may have 14 out of that group plus we are waiting on the two others to check with their employers.  I’m surprised we have that many!  They are filling out contact information and the Court will call them this evening about coming in tomorrow.

One juror, an attorney, didn’t show up!  Perry tells a deputy to check if he was given specific instructions to show.  He better pray to God he didn’t just skip out!

3093 is called in.  She remembers the case, but has no recollection as to the evidence.  She has no opinion on guilt.  She’s not into watching news.

We move to death vs LWOP.  She has no real position on the death penalty.  She understands the concept of factors.  Based on evidence, she could vote death sentence.

Not questions from the State.

Finney, of course, has to do her lecturing.  Yeah, I know she has a job to do!

I just realized what ticks me off about Finnell…she treats folks like they’re ignorant, not adults!

3093 passed with flying colors as far as I can tell!

Housekeeping…3093 sent out.

4053 will not be compensated.  Excused for cause.  4013 will be compensated and be part of the party!

The attorney who skipped said he misunderstood and thought he was released and they let him go!

That’s just so wrong.  I would have smacked the crap out of him even realizing it would have wasted precious court time, lol!

General voir dire for 3093.  She is a surgical tech.  Married.  2 sons.

Linda sails through her questions.

Baez wants to know how she compartmentalizes information.  Now he’s doing legal instructions 101!

I do believe she’s a keeper!

No challenges.

3281 is up next, pretrial publicity.

She knows there was a delay in reporting the child missing and when the body was found.  She doesn’t recall talking about this with anyone.  She has no opinion about guilt or innocence.

Perry asks her to step out for a minute.  He jumped the gun, he thought all questioning was done and everybody gets a good chuckle and they bring her back in, lol.  Everyone is beyond punchy at this point!

Death vs LWOP.  No opinions.  She understands weighing factors.  She can recommend the death penalty.

General voir dire.  She lost a young child and said that is very sad.

Mason seems to want to dump her, but she is holding her ground admirably.

Mason crossed the line asking if she has experienced any tragedies besides her divorce.  She said the loss of her mom.  Mason says she passed easy?  The woman say no and gets a bit teary and we go to sidebar.

State no challenge.  Mason wants her tossed for being not being able to be objective.

Judge Perry denies because nothing said caused him to believe she can’t be objective.

2 are left and one has possibly voiced an objection to the death penalty, 3178.  Ashton suggested she may be released quickly.

They agree and if that happens quickly, they may squeeze 3175 in also!

3178 called.  Pretrial publicity.  She has a little bit of knowledge and actually thought the case was over.

Basically she thinks Casey is guilty.  She can put that aside.

She is against the death penalty and nothing will change her mind!  Now she appears to have reversed????  She would vote against the death penalty no matter what!

She’s a goner!

Both sides say keep going!  3175 is brought in…the last one!

She has some decent knowledge, but it may be too much!

She firmly believes Casey is guilty.

Shes a goner!

We have 4 from the last group and 7 + a possible 2 from the new group.

Linda Burdick says 1 may have a record, just an alert!

Perry says he wants to work quickly tomorrow.

Baez has housekeeping issues.

Mason requests supervision of the State to provide the order to call their witnesses.  Judge Perry says he has no control.

Mason says then they will take time to retrieve files for each witness.  There isn’t enough room for all the files.  Perry says he’ll make room.

Baez says, make them give 20 names, a block of people.

Perry says it isn’t in my control, talk to the State.  Baez says he has.

This is whiney BS from the defense.

Baez says he talked to Burdick about opening statements and demonstrative aids.  Linda says there is no rule in Florida only out-of-state.

Photos, audio and video.  The State has provided the evidence.

Perry asked twice what the evidence is.  He says if they agree, no problem.  If they don’t agree it necessitates a hearing!

The good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, tomorrow, Caylee will have a jury to hear her story!

  1. Jo
    05/19/2011 at 8:55 pm

    You did a great recap of today and when I got to the bottom, the picture and your last sentence, I just started to cry. That poor sweet baby Caylee and her grandfather. My heart breaks. I hope the jury sees that wonderful picture you chose. Thank you.

  2. donchais
    05/19/2011 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks so much Jo!

    Caylee so often gets lost in the circus, but her day is coming, I feel it!

  3. ritanita
    05/20/2011 at 7:32 am

    Kudos, donchais for the recap! I have a dream that things will move along today and the jury will be sworn in at 3.

    It will be fascinating to watch Baez try to pry some extra peremptory challenges out of Judge Perry. The defense was the grasshopper and the state the ant!

  4. donchais
    05/20/2011 at 8:01 am


    Love the analogy!

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