It’s expected to the point of being tiresome, really, but Judge Perry has of course ruled that there is “no evidence” that Casey Anthony had been sexually molested by either her father or her brother and so the defense cannot talk about it during their closing argument:
But Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. said Sunday, there are “no facts in evidence or reasonable inferences that can be drawn … that either Mr. George Anthony or Mr. Lee Anthony molested or attempted to molest Ms. Anthony.”
Of course, if you rule that they cannot put in any direct evidence about it, there will be no direct evidence. But never mind.
I’ll agree that there is no direct evidence, but the same could be said about the prosecution’s claims that the defendant murdered her daughter. But is there evidence from which a “reasonable inference can be drawn” that George Anthony molested his daughter? Sure. The chief alleged culprit was on the witness stand many times. He said he never molested his daughter when asked. He could be lying, and the jury is peculiarly entitled to assess credibility issues. But the judge has now ruled that they cannot make that credibility determination; he has made the determination for them.
So much for your right to a jury trial.
I wish I could say this was unusual, but it isn’t. For all the hoopla around this trial, it has been business as usual. Some few people have picked up on how rigged the trial is by the judge and that’s a good thing. If they understand that this is the daily reality of our system, all the better.
According to the CNN report, Baez seemed to sheepishly ask if he could talk generically about “family dysfunction”. The judge said yes. That will hold unless and until the prosecutor objects to something Baez says, which is sure to happen.
I think perhaps Judge Perry overplayed his hand here, and there is probably at least one juror who has seen the reality of this trial and will not go along with any homicide conviction.
Maybe the deliberations will be like “12 Angry Men”.