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A Fool's Errand

    Competency is a broad word that can be used in many ways. In Casey Anthony’s case, her attorneys believed that she was not competent to aid and assist in her own defense. Therefore, and was incompetent to continue with the trial. That, we found out Monday, was the cause of the abrupt end to Saturday’s court proceedings.
    If you study Casey in the courtroom, it's easy to recognize she's having issues with her defense – Jose Baez in particular. Because of her behavior, her counsel decided to have her evaluated. If you recall, Judge Strickland ordered a psychological profile on her by two doctors in July of 2008, when she was being held on a felony charge of child neglect. That was the same day he remarked that the truth and Ms. Anthony are strangers.
    The defense’s move to challenge Casey’s competency was something that never crossed my mind since she was deemed competent three years earlier. After the motion was filed, Judge Perry decided to have two psychologists and one psychiatrist evaluate her. They asked her if she understood the charges against her. Did she comprehend the death penalty? Did she grasp how the court system works? Was she providing important and necessary information to her attorneys? As far as I'm concerned, her courtroom behavior and demeanor are very immature, like that of a 7-year-old. But that doesn’t mean she's incompetent to stand trial. In the end, the doctors decided she had a complete understanding of the world around her. The judge deemed her competent and the trial picked up Monday where it left off last week.
    She may be competent, but judging by her cold stares and aloof manner she is not helping in her defense one bit. Baez and company must have felt that they had a fool for a client, but she’s only fooling herself.






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Jun 27, 2011 07:35 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

What do you, or anyone, think of the theory that Casey wanted to take the witness stand despite her lawyers' better counsel of it and that's why they ordered the tests?

Jun 27, 2011 07:41 pm
 Posted by  Carole


Like millions of others I was awaiting the start of court today with utter nervousness. I was afraid that something had come up that would postpone the trial, or perhaps a problem with some bit of evidence that would cause a mistrial. Thankfully it was none of these! Just a competency issue with Casey.

I agree with your assessment that Casey acts as though she is a petulant child. BUT, only when the jury is present. When the jury is out she is smiles and flirty eyes.

Thank you for all of your observations and inside excellent coverage of this trial. Watching it on tv is fine but it just does not supply the flavor of what is going on. Keep up the good work and don't forget.......I want an autographed copy!

Jun 27, 2011 07:46 pm
 Posted by  Mary Jo

I had a feeling that when JP sealed what was said in chambers that it could be because of a sensitive nature or attorney/client privilege. From what I see in the court room I feel that she is competent. She sits and takes notes all day long and has actually passes notes along to Baez when he is at the podium questioning a witness. She reads the law books that they have there. I think one of the reasons they asked for her to be evaluated was because she wants to take the stand and they don't want her to. They know that she will not do well under cross examination, but if she wants to take the stand she has a right to. They thought if they could have her declared incompetent that their worries and problem of her taking the stand would be gone. I agree that her and Baez are having some difficulties with each other right now. You can see how mad she got at him on a video from Friday's day in court. She didn't like something he said at a sidebar and she had that ugly face on and was pointing her finger at him as he was walking away. After that she said something to Mason and she was still upset. I can't wait to see the hissy fit she throws when they say the words "guilty".

Jun 27, 2011 07:49 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

This is one of the first times I've completely disagreed with you. I do not think Casey complained about her defense. I also don't think any tensions between Casey and her team are not the result of normal stress in this type of situation. I think this was either a serious concern of the defense as to Casey's mental health ( i.e., depression or bipolar) or a concern that she is going against advice on testifying.

I do think that Casey values loyalty, and she most probably sees her defense team as the only consistently loyal people in her life right now. She has bonded with them. I think she is also likely helping them as much as she can.

Jun 27, 2011 07:58 pm
 Posted by  frankie

Dave, I was surprised by the reason for court being cancelled too. They say she is competent but is that the same as being sane? I'm a little confused. If you are a narcissistic sociopath or psychopath are you insane and or competent or does that make you incompetent? Could a sane person kill their child and keep it a secret without a conscience?

Jun 27, 2011 08:21 pm
 Posted by  Redrelaxed

Hello Dave & Everyone,

I didn't see a competency issue arising at this point either. Can't even begin to comprehend what trying to defend this little effort is like, with all the lies she's told they probably don't trust anything that comes out of her mouth.

They know a jury won't believe her either, and guess what, she wants to testify. There is nothing her DT can do about that except cover their collective butts.

She must be such a joy to be around when her dander is up, as we saw yesterday. Can you imagine what Caylee's last breath was like?!


Jun 27, 2011 08:29 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave can answer this better, but here are my 2 cent's worth on insanity:

Proving insanity is a high bar to jump over. Yes, you can be a narcissist or sociopath and deemed "sane." The legal definition is that sanity means you KNOW right from wrong. If you don't, you can be judged insane.

Casey shows she knows right from wrong -- hence, her lying to try to cover the truth and avoiding her parents after Caylee died, etc.

Jun 27, 2011 09:04 pm
 Posted by  Tiffany (Australia)

Hi Dave

Competency! Who'd have thunk it? You make a fascinating observation in your article about Casey's childlike behaviour, thats got my grey matter ticking.

Jun 27, 2011 09:04 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

"They asked her if she understood the charges against her. Did she comprehend the death penalty? Did she grasp how the court system works? Was she providing important and necessary information to her attorneys?"

How do you know what questions they asked her?
Where you there????

"As far as I'm concerned, her courtroom behavior and demeanor are very immature, like that of a 7-year-old".


When did that come up?

After the defense asked if she was competent to stand trial?

My goodness, when the jury is in the courtroom, she's just sitting there like a zombie.

When they are not,she's smiling and talking to her lawyers.

Talk about acting, just like her lawyers told her to do.

Jun 27, 2011 09:04 pm
 Posted by  frankie

Thanks Anonymous 9:29. Your explanation makes sense. I admit that I don't know much about mental health issues and I'm sure it is a very complicated field.
I do believe that Casey thinks she can convince the jury of her innocence and talk her way out of her bad situation just like she has done with her family and friends her whole life. She's going to get a rude awakening when she can't walk out of court on her lawyer's arm.

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About This Blog

'Marinade Dave' Knechel

Dave Knechel has been blogging about the Casey Anthony case since late 2008, drawing readers from all over the world. Best known as “Marinade Dave,” a nickname he got when he made marinades and also blogged about marinade recipes, Knechel is on assignment to blog about the case exclusively for as Anthony goes to trial for first-degree murder. His posts will appear regularly on this site.

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