Baez [the defense lawyer] attempted to ask Lazzaro [defendant’s former b/f] whether Anthony had told him she was sexually abused by her father, but Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. sustained prosecutors’ objections and would not let Lazzaro answer the question.
Now. Trial practice 101. Not law school trial practice; real world trial practice.
Good for Baez. High risk all the way. You ask the question. It might be hearsay – probably isn’t but it’s arguable so the judge will side with the prosecutor – so after the objection is sustained what is the result? What have you accomplished?
For the prosecution minded, you’ve failed. You tried to bring it up and all the authority figures – the prosecutor and the judge – shot you down. That means you’re wrong, because the authority figures say so.
For the defense minded – let’s face it, the more intelligent, more independent minded – you have just shown that the prosecution is afraid of the allegation. The smart ones are now more suspicious of the prosecution than they otherwise would have been.
Which way does the jury break? Nobody knows, not even the judge. That’s the beauty of the system: they can spin and spin and they have lots of advantages but they cannot absolutely control the jury.
Update: According to the Christian Science Monitor, when Baez asked the boyfriend the question regarding Casey’s father’s sexual abuse, the boyfriend got the answer out before the fracas:
“During Lazzaro’s cross examination, Baez sought to return to the theme of sexual abuse. He asked Lazzaro if there came a time when Anthony shared a secret with him about her father abusing her.
“Yes,” he said.
Prosecutors objected to the question and answer because the answer was hearsay. Lazzaro wouldn’t necessarily know the truth of the statement, just what Anthony told him.
The judge sustained the objection.
The hearsay rule doesn’t apply to news reports, but no one has mentioned this little tidbit other than CSM.
That “yes” is a pretty big deal. Which is why Nancy Grace denies it ever happened:
Baez asked if Casey had ever shared any secrets with Lazzaro about her father abusing her, but the prosecutors objected before he could respond.
The prosecutors might not be the only ones whose careers are damaged by an acquittal in the Casey Anthony case.