Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Anthony Trial - Day One

While working today, I set up a feed of the Anthony trial in Florida on my monitor so I could watch it. Today was opening statements. It is a fascinating case. The defense has a very interesting theory of the case and I am going to enjoy watching them try to prove it. Basically, they are now saying that the little girl died in an accidental drowning and that the defendant and her father tried to cover it up.

As I was watching, I thought how much fun it would be to take one trial, like this one, and teach a class dissecting the video once the case was over. You could make a whole semester out of a long trial, like this one is bound to be, or a shorter seminar out of a smaller trial. If the class was composed of practicing attorneys, everyone would come away as a better lawyer.

For today, I would give the prosecutor a B+ and the defense a C-. The prosecutor told a compelling story in her opening. The technique of going through each day that the girl was missing and showing the defendant's activities on that day was masterful. It told exactly the story that the state wants to tell.

The defense fell short of telling a compelling story. It was only near the end of the opening that I could really tell where he was going. He failed to reach out and grab the audience from the beginning. Their story is that the girl died in a drowning and that the mother lied about it because she was sexually abused and hiding things was normal for her just doesn't resonate. There is also an issue with the facts, as I understand them. If the mother and the grandfather hid the body, and someone else came along later and placed the body where it was ultimately found, why would the mother not have informed police long before now of this fact? Would she not have wanted a forensic examination of the original disposal site made to discover any evidence that would support her story? Answering those questions in a believable manner will be critical to the defense.

Day one caught my interest enough that I will be watching tomorrow, as work permits.



Kimberly said...

My one BIG question for the defense team is are they admitting she was lying during all those months she was "searching" for her child...or is she lying NOW. Ms. Anthony has told so many lies to so many people, I think the jury will have a hard time putting any credibility into the newest version that her defense attorneys have introduced.

Tim Hatton said...

You are entirely correct. That is an issue. She is going to have to be pretty convincing. One thing that really sticks in my mind is this - if the child drowned accidentally and Mr. Anthony assisted Ms. Anthony in disposing of the body, would she not know where the body was originally dumped? If I understand their story, the body was dumped and then someone found it and moved it to where it was ultimately discovered.

If that is what they are getting at, then there is an original sight that might contain evidence that would support her story. Why isn't she having that site examined?

I guess they could say that Mr. Anthony is the one who dumped the body and he didn't tell Ms. Anthony where it was. If that is what they plan to say, they should get at it quickly to remove the question from everyone's mind. Mr. Anthony is testifying now, on day three, so perhaps we will get some insight.