The Casey Anthony Trial
Posted on Jul 6, 2011 12:50pm PDT
I've been asked for my take on the Casey Anthony trial quite a few times lately. Here it is:
I didn't keep up with much of the trial itself. I watched bits and pieces of it and couldn't help but watch Nancy Grace blast Ms. Anthony's trial lawyer, Jose Baez, daily. The few courtroom excerpts that I did see showed Baez confidently advocating for his client --a client that was looking down the barrel at the draconian death penalty.
Confidence is key in trial work. Jurors need to feel confidence exuding from the attorney in order to be an effective advocate. It is so powerful that it can transcend all other forms of communication. It is impressive that a Latino lawyer with but 6 (six) years of experience could exude that sort of confidence --confidence in his abilities, and his client's perspective(s). I was only five years into my practice when I went to trial on my first murder case, and I know what the tremendous pressure is like.
About the Anthony case, I was asked, "she was guilty right? Cops and prosecutors don't just charge people on a hunch and haul them into court, right?" Wrong. There is always two sides to each story. In many cases, police proceed forward on a case without fully investigating each side because they are unable to contact witnesses or obtain evidence. That's why we have discovery and then trials. District Attorneys suffer from the same constraints and problems police deal with too --except with more pressure on them to perform.
During the course of his representation in the Anthony case, Mr. Baez was repeatedly warned by jail officials to stop hugging his client during jail visits. Lawyers are not only licensed and learned in the law, but are also trained in advising clients and looking out for their best interests. After finding out that she was in jail about three years for a crime she was not guilty of, it's clear that she deserved a hug or two while she was forced to wait in jail only for an opportunity for her charges to be heard. Counseling clients is very important. With their future on the line, they need to know that they are going to get through it and what to expect.
I congratulate Mr. Baez for a great victory in a hard-fought battle to save his client's life.