Casey Anthony still in the news…
It just wouldn’t be the summer of 2011 if Casey Anthony wasn’t popping up in the headlines again, right? Well, it appears that way. Today, her lawyers aren’t arguing her lack of guilt (not to be confused with innocence)—they’re arguing that she should not have to return to Orlando to serve a probationary period for a check fraud conviction dating back to January of 2010. There are two prime reasons why Ms. Anthony’s attorneys have, over the past week or so, publicly contended that she should not be required to return to Orlando, the hometown of what some call “the century’s” most highly-controversial murder case and ensuing verdict.
First of all, they say that to place Ms. Anthony back in Orlando would cause her “great peril.” She and her family have received multiple death threats relating to her murder trial and subsequent OJ-esque release. It is commonly believed among Florida residents, especially those in the Orlando area, that Ms. Anthony was, in fact, responsible for the death of her daughter, and that the jury made a mistake. Ms. Anthony’s attorney’s argue that due to that common sentiment, to require her to remain in Orlando would be to place her in imminent danger.
The second (and more realistic) reason why Ms. Anthony’s lawyers don’t agree with the state’s plea for her to return to Orlando to serve a year probation is simple: they say she already served her probation. Her lawyers, most outspokenly J. Cheney Mason, have publicly argued that she served her “one year probation” while she was serving jail time awaiting her murder trial in the death of her young daughter, Caylee Anthony. Mr. Mason argued that to penalize her a second time, with the understanding that she spent far longer than her probationary period incarcerated while awaiting trial, would be in violation of the part of the constitution’s double jeopardy clause.
What Mr. Mason isn’t acknowledging, nor has the state, is that when Ms. Anthony was given a four year sentence for misleading police in the murder trial of her daughter, she received “time served” for the time that she was incarcerated and was therefore set free just days after the close of the trial. To give her credit for probation for time served, that has already been allocated as credit toward another sentence, would be double jeopardy in just the opposite sense. Once time is allocated toward the fulfillment of one sentence, the time can’t be replicated to fulfill another one.
The American legal system, in all of its whirlwind wisdom, is at work each and every day, trying to bring justice to the lives of many and decipher the written law dating back to 1789.
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