In an unusual development on the day on which closing arguments were made in the Casey Anthony murder trial, Judge Belvin Perry told attorneys from both sides they will be 'excluded from further proceedings' if they did not follow court decorum.
I assume that you are all professionals...so maybe I am misinformed when I think you will follow the law, but I'm beginning to see that orders or anything else may not mean a hill of a bean to any of you, Perry said, after a squabble broke out between defense attorney Jose Baez and prosecutor Jeff Ashton.
At one point Baez interrupted his summation to yell at jurors saying Ashton was the 'laughing guy'.
If it happens again, the remedy will be exclusion of that attorney from further participation in these proceedings... along with some other things that will be quite quite unpleasant. Enough is enough, the judge said.
The defense attorney said there was insufficient evidence to convict Casey Anthony and that the key question in this case, how did Caylee die?, would never be answered. The prosecution reiterated its stance that Casey sacrificed her daughter in cold-blooded fashion so that she could enjoy her life to the fullest.
Baez made some impassioned rhetoric arguing that Casey Anthony was innocent and tried to swing emotional balance in favor of her.
I'd like to call this next phase, the state's fantasy of forensics ... Phantom stickers, phantom stains...no DNA, no fingerprints, nothing. But she's a liar and a slut, Baez said, rejecting the evidence presented by the prosecution.
Convict her on that...she made some stupid decisions, but let's make her pay with her life, he said sarcastically.
According to Baez, what the court witnessed was 'checkbook' prosecution, referring to the innovative forensic methods used in the case. The scientist who made the controversial air samples to prove that the stench in Casey's car was from human decomposition mocked by Baez as a scientific explorer who was only trying to market his invention.
You have seen this checkbook prosecution where they spared no expense, utilized the finest crime labs in the country...used not only established areas of forensic science but created new ones that were never testified before in front of a jury, Baez said.
The key question in this case will never be answered...and that is, how did Caylee die? Baez said.
According to the medical examiner, Caylee's remains had been found in a state of decomposition that did not allow for proper determination of the cause of death. However, the prosecution pieced together all the evidence against her in the closing argument to prove that she killed her two-year-old daughter.
Casey Anthony decided on June 16 that something had to be sacrificed, that the conflict between the life that she wanted and the life that was thrust upon her was simply irreconcilable and something had to give, prosecutor Ashton said.
She took her child, she took her life and she put her in the trunk and forgot about her. After a couple of days, she couldn't forget anymore and she disposed of her body in a swamp ... She is guilty of murder in the first degree, and that murder was premeditated.
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.
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.
Casey Anthony defense say the child died in a pool accident and the accused and her father covered it up. Casey's 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.
Apart from reports about a dysfucntional Anthony home, several other conflicting versions of the story have been revelead, some casting a shadow over the case. One such contradiction is the account of a woman called Crystal Holloway who said Caylee's death was an accident. The woman testified that she had an affair with Casey's father George. She said the death of Caylee was an accident that snowballed out of control.
There is a load of forensic evidence against Casey, but the question is if, at the end of the trial, the jury will have enough clarity of the situation that they can hand a guilty verdict. Will they be convinced enough that those 'conflicting situations' are of no significance to the case?