Casey Anthony found fit for trial; competency question is different from insanity defense

on June 28 2011 2:18 AM
Casey Anthony stands with her attorney Dorothy Clay Sims
Casey Anthony stands with her attorney Dorothy Clay Sims (R) as the jury enters after lunch during Anthony's trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Florida, June 21, 2011. Prosecutors said on Tuesday that a woman housed in a jail cell next to Casey Anthony had a child who drowned in a pool, a story similar to that given by defense lawyers for the death of Caylee Anthony. REUTERS

It was revealed on Monday that Casey Anthony's attorneys had told the court on Saturday that the murder accused was incompetent to stand trial, bringing to a halt the proceedings of the day.

Judge Belvin Perry sought the assessment of three psychologists who examined the 25-year-old, who is accused of killing her toddler daughter. The court heard that the accused was psychologically fit to stand trial and comprehend the charges against her.

On Saturday the defense team filed a motion to determine competency to proceed ... Based on that motion, the court ordered the defendant to be examined by three psychologists to determine her competency to proceed, the judge said.

Casey Anthony had appeared agitated in court on Saturday. She had also got into heated arguments with some members of her defense team.

Meanwhile, on Monday the defense attorneys filed a motion for a mistrial, in an attempt to save her from the death penalty. If found guilty of first degree murder, Anthony will be sentenced to death.

In order to prove mistrial the defense attorneys handed jurors pieces of rubbish taken from Casey Anthony’s car. The defense argued that the foul smell of the rubbish was just the smell of rot, not that of a decomposing human body.

Experts pointed out that there is a difference between raising a question of competency to stand trial and mounting an insanity defense. An insanity defense must be put by the defense before you ever go to trial in a case – it means you were insane at the time of the commission of the defense and basically boils down to that you didn’t know the difference between right and wrong, WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said, according to the Daily Mail.

Casey Anthony is accused of murdering her daughter by applying chloroform first and sealing her mouth with duct tapes, looked away. Caylee's death took place in June 2008.

Casey Anthony denies the charges that she murdered her toddler daughter. She contends that Caylee drowned accidentally in the swimming pool. If she is found guilty of first degree murder, Casey Anthony could be sentenced to death by lethal injection.

He story is that she lied about Caylee's death because she was 'conditioned to lie'. She had also accused her father of sexually abusing her for years when she was a child, a charge George has denied in court.

The prosecution says Casey killed the little girl by suffocation and kept the dead body in the boot of her for several days. She then dumped the body in the woods near her parents' home.