Friday, May 21, 2010

Today's Discovery Documents

586 pages of evidence were released today in the murder case against Casey Anthony, including inventory lists of DNA evidence and materials collected at the site where Caylee was found, in woods off Suburban Drive. There is some speculation that the dump contains lab results from tests run on the Pontiac Sunbird.
Read the document HERE
In a “shades of OJ” moment, there may have been a breakdown in the chain of command the defense team will surely capitalize on by compromising some of the integrity of evidence. Photographs of some of the evidence shows a breach of the seals on packaging. Because of this, the defense may try to get that evidence thrown out, arguing that the evidence could have been contaminated. There is also the issue of evidence collected from the trunk of Casey’s car. One set of communications shows that investigators sent evidence to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab, and then onto Wuestoff Reference Laboratories, which specializes in forensic science and DNA testing. The FBI wanted to have all testing of physical evidence sent to their lab. If the private lab had begun testing, the FBI work could not be performed.
If you wondered what happened to Casey’s alleged jail house letters, wonder no more. Every one of them, including envelopes, were sent to the FBI to be analyzed. They are being compared to known samples of her writing, including a letter she sent to former sheriff, Kevin Beary. That was written just months after her arrest.
Meanwhile, it’s been a busy week for her defense team. Last week, prosecutors filed a one page NOTICE OF AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES listing what it “may” argue, but it came with no explanation of why. Those legal reasons were short and sweet:
1. Florida Statute 921.141(5) (d) 
The capital felony was committed while the defendant was engaged, or was an accomplice, in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit, any: robbery; sexual battery; aggravated child abuse; abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult resulting in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; arson; burglary; kidnapping; aircraft piracy; or unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb.
2. Florida statute 921.141(5) (h)
The capital felony was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.
3. Florida Statute 921.141(5) (I)
The capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.
4. Florida Statute 921.141(5) (l)
The victim of the capital felony was a person less than 12 years of age.
5. Florida Statute 921.141(5) (m)
The victim of the capital felony was particularly vulnerable due to advanced age or disability, or because the defendant stood in a position of familial or custodial authority over the victim.
All five apply in this case, and yesterday, Jose Baez filed a MOTION TO STRIKE STATE’S NOTICE OF AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES. In the motion, he argues that “imposed a duty on the state to disclose to the defense… a bill of particulars. The state failed to comply with this order in several respects.”
Among several respects, Baez claimed that “the state failed to provide any indication of the evidence it intends to rely on to prove the existence of these aggravating factors.”
On Tuesday, Casey’s defense team, led by Linda Kenney Baden filed a SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION TO COMPEL FORENSIC DISCOVERY compelling the prosecution to provide Casey with “certain forensic discovery” from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee. Baden cited documents and e-mails between her and Jeff Ashton. Oak Ridge ran “sniff tests” on Casey’s car that concluded the air had signs of decomposition. The defense is calling it experimental research.