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Archive for June, 2011

AP – Man jailed for obscene gesture in Anthony trial

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

By KYLE HIGHTOWER
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Courtroom cameras captured a 28-year-old waiter extending his middle finger toward a prosecutor during the Casey Anthony murder trial, and the man was promptly sentenced to six days in jail.

Matthew Bartlett also was ordered to pay a $400 fine after he was photographed making the obscene gesture toward prosecutor Jeff Ashton on Thursday.

Bartlett, who had been watching the trial from the courtroom gallery, was immediately escorted out by deputies and was brought back inside to face Judge Belvin Perry once the jury was sent home for the day. He was assigned a public defender.

Bartlett apologized for his actions during a brief hearing and was then sentenced by Perry. He was taken to jail by deputies.

Perry says Bartlett will have six months to pay his fine.

© 2011 The Associated Press.

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AP – Casey Anthony won’t testify; defense rests case

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

By KYLE HIGHTOWER

Associated PressORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Casey Anthony’s defense team rested its case Thursday in her high-profile murder trial without her testimony and some experts believe the strategy raised more questions than answers to support her claim that her 2-year daughter died in a tragic accident.The jury also saw a note from a failed suicide attempt by Casey Anthony’s own father, who wrestled with questions about what happened to his granddaughter. Casey Anthony claimed he helped her dispose of Caylee’s body after she drowned.At different parts of the note, George Anthony wrote: “Casey does not deserve to be where she is” and “She (Caylee) was found so close to home. Why?”

The prosecution began its rebuttal on Thursday afternoon. Closing arguments will follow and the jury could begin deliberating by this weekend. If convicted of first-degree murder, the 25-year-old could receive the death penalty.

Her attorneys never produced any witnesses bolstering the claim made in last month’s opening statements that Anthony had acted without apparent remorse in the weeks after her daughter’s death because she had been molested by her father as a child, resulting in emotional problems.

“If you do not at least present facts to support that argument, the jury is going to think you have no credibility,” said Tim Jansen, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee. “When you promise the jury something and don’t deliver it you severely handicaps your client’s case and you undermine your credibility with that jury.”

Instead, the 13-day defense primarily focused on poking holes in the prosecution’s contention that Anthony killed Caylee in June 2008 by covering her mouth with duct tape. Prosecutors said the woman dumped Caylee’s body in the woods near her parents’ home and then resumed her life of partying and shopping. Their case relied on circumstantial and forensic evidence, and it did have holes: Prosecutors had no witnesses who saw the killing or saw Casey Anthony with her daughter’s body. And there was no certain proof that the child suffocated.

The prosecution began its rebuttal Thursday by walking through the door opened on Wednesday by the defense when it allowed parts of George Anthony’s suicide note to be admitted. The note included George Anthony asking questions about the death of his granddaughter. Several members of the jury were glued to their monitors as the prosecutor projected the letter for them to read.

“Who is involved with this stuff for Caylee?” George Anthony wrote at one point in the letter to his family in January 2009.

The defense said in its opening statement that Caylee drowned and that George Anthony, a former police officer, helped her cover up the death by making it look like a homicide and dumping the body near their home, where it was found by a meter reader six months later. George Anthony has vehemently denied any involvement in Caylee’s death, the disposal of her body or molesting his daughter.

Florida A&M law professor Karin Moore said she was “confused” throughout the case by the defense’s approach.

“The defense could have attacked George Anthony weeks ago on cross-examination during the state’s case, but waited until late in the trial,” she said. “I think they waited too long to ask the big questions and got themselves in trouble.”

The defense’s final witnesses Thursday included Krystal Holloway, a woman who claims she had an affair with George Anthony that began after Caylee disappeared. She said he told her in November 2008 that Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed out of control.” George Anthony has denied having an affair with her but admitted visiting her home on several occasions.

They also recalled George Anthony to ask if he had supplied duct tape he used to put up posters of his granddaughter when she was missing. He said he couldn’t remember. Lead defense attorney Jose Baez also asked him if he buried his pets after their deaths in plastic bags wrapped with duct tape. Anthony said he had on some occasions. Prosecutors have contended Caylee’s body was disposed of in a similar manner. Under prosecution questioning, he said he had never thrown their carcasses in a swamp.

Caylee was last seen in mid-June 2008. For the next month, Casey Anthony avoided her parents, telling her mother and her friends that Caylee was with a baby sitter named Zanny.

Casey’s parents soon got a notice that their daughter’s car had been towed. George Anthony and the tow lot operator both said the Pontiac Sunfire smelled like death.

Prosecutors played a tape of a frantic 911 call made by Anthony’s mother, Cindy, reporting her granddaughter missing. She tells the operator, “It smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car.”

Casey Anthony then told detectives that Caylee had been kidnapped by the nanny, and a massive search was launched. Over the next several weeks, hundreds of volunteers scoured central Florida for any clues to Caylee’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, numerous photos surfaced of Casey Anthony drinking; some of them allegedly taken in the month after Caylee disappeared.

Caylee’s skeletal remains were reported in December 2008 by a municipal meter reader. A key part of the defense case was trying to discredit the meter reader, Roy Kronk, saying that he had actually discovered the body in August.

Associated Press reporter Brent Kallestad in Tallahassee contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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CF 13 News – What’s next for Casey Anthony trial after defense rests?

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

By David Fussell, Legal Expert
Last Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2011 2:00 PM
THE CASE AGAINST CASEY
ORLANDO — What happens after Casey Anthony’s defense team wraps up?

Rebuttal

Rebuttal After the defense finishes its’ case the prosecutors may have the opportunity to present a brief rebuttal case. The state does not have to put a rebuttal case on, and in most cases it does not. Nor does the judge have to allow a rebuttal phase. A rebuttal case, is where the state has the opportunity to present evidence which it did not present before which rebuts the defense’s evidence.

Surrebuttal

If the prosecutor is allowed to offer evidence to rebut the defense case, the defense may be allowed to present surrebuttal. During Surrebuttal the defense would be allowed to present limited evidence which goes only to refuting the evidence the state just presented in the rebuttal portion of the case. Whether a defendant is allowed to present evidence in surrebuttal is discretionary with the court. It is rare surrebuttal is attempted.

Judgment of acquittal

Once all evidence has been presented the defense will renew its motion for judgment of acquittal:

The standard in a judgment of acquittal is whether when the judge views the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, he believes a rational trier of fact could find the existence of the each of the elements of each crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. If so he should deny the motion to acquit. If any of the elements of each charge is not proven he should dismiss that charge. sufficient evidence exists to sustain a convict. However, in a case like the Anthony case, if the State’s evidence is wholly circumstantial, not only must there be sufficient evidence establishing each element of the offense, but the evidence must also exclude each reasonable hypothesis of innocence. “The evidence must “lead ‘to a reasonable and moral certainty that the accused and no one else committed the offense charged. It is not sufficient that the facts create a strong probability of, and be consistent with, guilt. They must be inconsistent with innocence.’”

If the state has not met its burden as to each element the judge should dismiss the charge.

If the court grants a judgment of acquittal as to any single count. That count is dismissed. All remaining charges will go to the jury for decision.

Charging conference

The Jury is responsible for applying the evidence to the law and deciding whether the Ms. Anthony should be found guilty of each charge. The law is explained to the jury by the judge reading and then providing a set of jury instructions to the jury. In Florida there is a set of Standard Jury instructions which is prepared by a committee of The Florida Bar, and approved by the Florida Supreme Court. During the Charging Conference the judge will decide which jury instructions are going to be read to the jury. In deciding the applicable jury instructions the judge will hear arguments from attorneys outside the presence of the jury.

Closing arguments

After the jury instructions are read to the jury, one attorney for each side will be allowed to stand up and make a closing argument. In the closing argument each side attempts to explain the evidence in the manner most advantageous to their client. The state gets to give its closing argument first, followed by the defense. After the defense gives its closing argument the state gets one more chance to stand up, and rebut the argument the defense just provided. The rebuttal closing is supposed to cover only the argument the defense provided and not rehash the state’s entire argument. Lawyer’s refer to the order of the argument as the state having the “sandwich” because the state gets to wrap its arguments around the defense’s argument.

Jury instructions

After both parties finish their closing argument the judge will read the jury instructions agreed upon at the charging conference to the jury. Each juror will also be given a copy of the instructions.

Jury retires

Once the jury is instructed on the law, the judge allows the permanent jurors to go back to the jury room. All alternate jurors will either be dismissed or the judge will keep them separate from the 12 permanent jurors while the permanent jurors deliberate. The judge will most likely dismiss the alternate jurors. The jurors do not know which jurors are alternates until the judge separates them as the permanent jurors retire to deliberate.

All of the evidence introduced in the case is allowed to go back into the jury room with the jury so they can review it if they wish. Once they enter the jury room the first job of the jury is to select a foreman. The Foreman is similar to a chairman of a committee, her or his vote does not count anymore than any other juror but the foreman is in charge of organizing and chairing the deliberations. The jury will remain in the jury room deciding the case, until one of two things happen as to all charges. All 12 jurors reach a verdict on each count, or they determine they cannot reach a verdict on each count, after deliberating and trying their best. A verdict can be either guilty or not guilty. The jury is not responsible for determining whether Ms. Anthony is guilty. The jury may reach a verdict on some counts or charges and not reach a verdict on others. On any count the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury is said to be “hung” on that count and a mistrial will be granted as to that county.

Sentencing

A. If Ms. Anthony Is Found Guilty of First Degree Murder: There will be an additional phase of presentation of evidence. This phase is called the penalty phase. In the penalty phase each side will attempt to persuade the jury to vote for or against the death penalty. Unlike the guilt phase of the trial the vote on the death penalty does not have to be unanimous. Each juror casts a single vote.

During the penalty phase the state will present evidence and argument on what is referred to as “aggravators.” Aggravators are reasons which Florida law allows a jury to determine that the facts of the case are so bad that Ms. Anthony should receive the death penalty. The death penalty in Florida is not to be imposed in all First Degree Murders. Instead it is only to be imposed in the worst of the worst First Degree Murders. The aggravators only include the reasons included in the Florida Death Penalty Statute.

During the penalty phase the defense will present evidence and argument on what is referred to as “mitigators.” Mitigators are not limited by statute and are basically anything which might convince a jury that death is not an appropriate sentence. Just a few of the mitigators in this case may be that, Casey Anthony was normally a good and loving mother, Casey Anthony has never been violent before, Casey Anthony has been a model prisoner, etc.

After the evidence is presented in the penalty phase each side will have the chance to argue whether the death penalty should be imposed. After the argument the jury retires to the jury room again, and decides whether they will recommend to the judge that Ms. Anthony be sentenced to death. Again the jury does not have to agree and the penalty phase verdict is reported out by how many voted for death and how many voted against. If more than six vote for death there will be a sentencing hearing at a later date at which both sides can again to the judge alone whether he should impose the death penalty. While the judge has to consider the jury’s recommendation on the sentence, the judge is the one who decides to impose death.

B. Ms. Anthony is found not guilty of First Degree Murder: If Ms. Anthony is found not guilty of first degree murder there will not be a penalty phase. Instead the judge will determine the appropriate sentence just as he does in any other criminal case. The sentence may be imposed just after the verdict is returned or the judge may schedule a sentencing hearing for some time in the future.

©2011 Central Florida News 13

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Orlando Sentinel – Casey Anthony trial: George Anthony’s suicide note

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

‘Caylee, here I come,’ George Anthony writes in final message to family.

8:04 p.m. EDT, June 30, 2011

NOTE: The following text was transcribed from the George Anthony suicide note shown in court Thursday. The order of the pages of the note was not clear. 

Cynthia Marie,

As you get this letter, this should be no surprise that I have decided to leave the earth, because I need to be with Caylee Marie.

I cannot keep going because it should be me that is gone from this earth, not her. I have lived many years, I am satisfied with my decision because I have never been the man you, Lee, Casey & especially Caylee Marie deserved.


Casey Anthony will not take the stand


I have never been the man any of you could count on. I have always let each of you down in more ways than I can remember. I do not feel sorry for myself, I am just sorry I burden all of you the way I have.

My loss of life is meaningless.

Cynthia Marie, you have always worked the hardest, given the most to me, and I have never “Thanked you.” 28+ years ago, you corrected me, a man who has now found his identity in life. What I mean is, you always challenged me the right way and I always could never live up to your expectations. You have always been smarter, more knowledgeable & thought things through & I love you for that.

ANOTHER PAGE:

I cannot be strong anymore. Caylee Marie, our grand-daughter, I miss her. I miss her so much. I know you do too.

You were always the one that provided for her. What did I provide?

I blame myself for her being gone! You know for months, as a matter of fact for a year or so I brought stuff up, only to be told not to be negative.

Caylee Marie, I miss her. I miss her. I want my family back.

I sit here, falling apart, because I should have done more.

She was so close to home, why was she there? Who placed here there? Why is she gone? Why?

For months, you & I, especially you always questioned, why?

I want this to go away for Casey. What happened? Why could she not come to us? Especially you, why not Lee?

Who is involved with this stuff Caylee?

I am going Krazy because I want to

ANOTHER PAGE:

Go after these people Casey hung with prior to Caylee being gone.

That is why I got that gun. I wanted to scare these people. You know, they know more than they have stated, you cannot sugar coat, kid glove these people. They need hard knocks to get info from.
Sure that will not bring Caylee Marie back, but was Casey threatened? You know, Casey does not deserve to be where she is.

I miss her, I miss her so much. I am worried for her. Her personal safety is always on my mind.


Casey Anthony will not take the stand


I try to deal with so-so much, as I do you also.

I have never wanted to my family for sorrow in any way. I realize families have ups & downs but we have suffered our share & then some.

Cynthia Marie, you have always deserved more, and with me being gone, you will. I have always brought you down. You know that. You are better off. Lee will be there for you. Mallory is such a great woman. I see how you are with her. She is a keeper. Future

NEXT PAGE:

daughter-in-law. I smile when I say her name. Mallory, please take care of yourself, Lee & Cindy. Someday you will be a great wife to Lee, and a fantastic mom. Cindy is a great “Grammy” and will love you forever.

Getting back to why I cannot live anymore: I cannot function knowing our granddaughter is gone. Caylee Marie never had a chance to grow. I wanted to walk her to school (the 1st day). I wanted to help her in so many ways….I could go on & on.

I sit here empty inside for her. For you, for us. Jose keeps calling.

Yes, you deserve more & you will have freedom to enjoy what you deserve.

I have taken what meds was given to me with alcohol & I am ready to give up. As I can tell by my writing and thinking, I am getting very stupid. Wow, what a word STUPID. Yes, I am. Again, I do not feel sorry for myself(…unintelligible) I am STUPID. I cannot deal with stuff anymore.

ANOTHER PAGE:

The loss of Caylee Marie. The loss of Casey. The loss of us, Cynthia Marie, the meds, I am ready.

Saying good bye, please understand it is for the best. I do not deserve life anymore. Anymore us.

You are the best, you always have been. I am sorry for all that I have done to us.

You know I never got to say goodbye. I am at this place and all is getting foggy & my writing is all over the place.

I love you, I love you, I hope you get to see Casey soon. All the people we met, wow, the writing is getting weird, I love you, I am sorry – I will take care of Caylee – once I get to God “hopefully”

Another page

I want to hold her again, I miss her, I will always love us, I am sorry Cynthia Marie, I called my mom today, ….(unintelligible) I am so tired, at least I shaved today, wow – I’m tripping out, I am sorry,

I love you – Cynthia Marie

Caylee Here I come

Lee, I am sorry

Casey –

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

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Orlando Sentinel – Casey Anthony trial: ‘Caylee here I come,’ George Anthony wrote in suicide note

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

Defense rests; Casey says she won’t testify.

By Anthony Colarossi, Orlando Sentinel

7:40 p.m. EDT, June 30, 2011

In the end, she couldn’t do it: Casey Anthony could not muster the will, the motivation, the guts or whatever else it would take to tell her version of what happened to her daughter, Caylee, three years ago.

Minutes after she told Chief Judge Belvin Perry she would not take the stand Thursday, Casey Anthony’s defense team rested its case — not nearly fulfilling the many wild promises made in defense attorney José Baez’s opening statement in late May.

None of that may matter, though, if jurors find credibility in the defense team’s assault on the prosecution’s case — and find reasonable doubt. The state will call more rebuttal witnesses today to shore up any damage prosecutors think the defense may have done to their case.

On Thursday, though, most experts watching the case agreed there was too much risk in allowing the 25-year-old to take the stand. Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in daughter Caylee Marie’s 2008 death. She faces a possible death sentence if convicted.

“I’m sure the jury wanted to hear from Casey Anthony,” said forensic trial consultant Dean Tong, based in the Tampa Bay area. But Tong explained Baez “was probably prudent not to allow his client to testify.”


Casey Anthony will not take the stand


She would have faced questions about a monthlong series of lies after her daughter’s disappearance. She would have been hammered about her partying, staying at her boyfriend’s place, getting the “Bella Vita” tattoo. Most importantly, she would have had to directly accuse her father of sexual abuse.

“I think Baez made the right move by not putting her on the stand,” Tong said. “It would have been a brutal and bloody and angry cross-examination had it come to fruition.”

Instead of hearing Casey’s story firsthand, jurors just heard her answer a few quick questions posed by Perry.

“Is it your decision not to testify?” Perry asked.

“Yes, sir,” said Casey Anthony, while agreeing she was not being forced or pressured to make that decision.

Seeds of doubt?

Philip Anthony, chief executive officer of DecisionQuest trial consulting, said in not putting Casey Anthony on the stand, the defense “put on a trial by inference” by raising the suggestion that she suffered abuse in her home. A couple of witnesses testified Casey Anthony talked briefly about the molestation.

By leaving the implication out there — and not directly having Casey Anthony testify — Philip Anthony said the defense hopes one or two jurors might relate personally and convince the others that long-term abuse and fear could make people behave in unusual ways.

“The defense is depending upon the emotional appeal of this very troubling issue of molestation to carry them through,” he said.

That issue and the state’s largely circumstantial case may be enough to bring the jury away from a first-degree-murder conviction, said Anthony, who is not related to the defendant.

“Jurors always say after these cases, ‘I really would have liked to have heard from the defendant,’ ” Anthony said, but they will also be notified that her decision not to testify should not be held against her.

Others say the prosecution will pummel the defense for not delivering what was promised.

Local defense attorney Brad Conway said he expected Casey Anthony to testify.

“He made promises to the jury about evidence they would see, and the only person on the planet that could testify about those thing is Casey Anthony,” said Conway, who once represented George andCindy Anthony.

Conway said he thinks the state will attack Baez’s failure to fulfill the promises to the jury.

 

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

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ABC News – Casey Anthony Trial: Psychiatric Clues of an Accused Child Killer

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

 ANALYSIS By Dr. MICHAEL WELNER

June 20, 2011

ABC News Consultant Michael Welner, M.D., one of America’s top forensic psychiatrists, looks at the evidence raised in the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. As the defense presents its case, what has been truly revealing of the person we think we see?

What evidence presented so far is most significant to you, based upon your experience with mothers who kill children, and why?

The history of Casey Anthony’s inactions and actions is even more significant than her words. Stunning enough that this fully socialized woman from a competently-policed area would not report her child missing for a full month. Compounding the evidence of her detachment are her activities during that time. She was lounging aimlessly with her boyfriend, entering a hot body contest, carousing, and engaged in other remarkably unremarkable activities. That Casey was so unaffected, and relegated Caylee’s absence to such a low priority, speaks to how detached she was from her missing child.

Mothers kill children for a number of reasons. Some are very depressed and kill their children amidst their own suicide attempts, thinking they are looking after the children’s best interest. Some are psychotic and have irrational motivations. Others may or may not have a mental illness or drug dependency, and kill because they are overwhelmed and are angry with the burden of their incompetent child care. Some may kill the children in part to spite the children’s father, who leaves them feeling powerless. Others see their children as an inconvenience; because of perceived family pressures, they would not place them up for adoption but would make them disappear. Each of the above motivations is very different. In my professional experience, all are premeditated at least in fantasy.

The common pathway for mothers who kill is an anger and resentment that increasingly alienates them from their children. They may have been very warm and loving at an earlier point, but by the time the homicide takes place in the above scenarios, the mother is conspicuously more alienated. The detached, indifferent mother in the wake of a child’s disappearance arrived at a point of alienation well before such a killing took place — or it never would have happened.

The spontaneity of child killing seen in conflicts that get out of hand reflects in the level of guilt and undoing immediately after the crime. This is not to be confused with mothers who become more emotional when they reflect on the predicament that they face justice for exercising their control over a helpless child’s life. That may explain the rising emotions in Casey well after her arrest. Or it may be just another shallow display of drama.

Is Casey Anthony a psychopath?

The brazenness and frequency of Casey Anthony’s lying brings psychopathy to mind as a diagnostic possibility. But narcissistic and borderline personalities lie, as do as some histrionics. So, too, do politicians, who only sometimes are personality disordered. Key to assessing the demonstrated liar is gaining an understanding of whether this behavior limits itself to responding to trouble with the law, or whether lying is a lifestyle choice.

Forensic psychiatrists and psychologists sometimes assess for psychopathy even without an interview — for example, when an examination is not possible and records are plentiful. Pivotal to that kind of assessment, however, is a life history that informs understanding of how Casey related to others at different stages and settings in her life. The psychopath has been parasitic, manipulative, dramatic, irresponsible, and/or has displayed many other relevant qualities in a variety of settings. One cannot diagnose psychopathy, no matter how outlandish the liar, without first studying all of this data as well.

What significance do you place in Casey Anthony’s diary entries?

I think they are very informative. Forensic psychiatrists have to evaluate all forms of what a person has communicated, and how. The dilemma in assessing conversations over recorded prison telephone lines, in her interactions with police, and even with acquaintances and her boyfriend is that one is seeing an impression, a face, a self that she is projecting to others around her. That information is certainly informative, but the psychiatrist professional always has to be conscious about what may lie beneath outward appearances.

Diaries, on the other hand are exactly what lies beneath the surface. In most cases, we would never have access to that kind of evidence. Diaries are a window to the soul.

That a diary from the period of Caylee’s disappearance is available is very useful. Personal and intimate evidence available, coinciding with the disappearance, includes the computer searches done from Casey Anthony’s computer. Like the diaries, these communications — to a computer, are driven from what was really brewing inside Casey Anthony.

So when you study the more private, personal evidence, what does it demonstrate?

It demonstrates that Casey Anthony really was as detached from her missing daughter as a delayed reporting would suggest. It goes even further — for Casey Anthony noted that she was as happy as she has ever been, and wrote that the end justifies the means. Whatever her connection to Caylee at the time, her daughter’s disappearance was a significant life event. These private communications from that time underscore the distinctive attitudes of satisfaction in the wake of death, and lack of remorse or indifference.

Casey’s public appearance of indifference and shallow concern is underscored in these personal communications. The defendant’s expressions of distress over her missing child, whatever their form, are contradicted by these intimate revelations of her contentment and happiness. Were death to have been accidental, these would have been the last qualities reflected in private writings.

Computer searches of chloroform and various modes of death have no other context to Casey Anthony’s life. She is not a forensic pathologist or a pharmacologist or a trauma specialist — why would she need to study neck-breaking?

Since the defense really has not provided alternative explanations for the above, they represent more than circumstantial findings, given their timing and the approximation to the facts. In that regard, the investigation yield is less muddy than it might appear.

When you consider the Depravity Standard research you have pioneered on the severity of a crime, what is the significance of these findings?

Research from higher court decisions, and from sampling of attitudes of the general public, has revealed strong support for 1) satisfaction in the wake of the crime and 2) indifference as attitudes that distinguish the depravity of a crime.

So does the victimization of a trusting victim (one’s own child), as well as a physically vulnerable (2-year-old) victim. So does the blaming of an innocent person, exposing that person to a wrongful prosecution (as Casey did to a reported babysitter).

The Depravity Scale research is ongoing, and we welcome public participation at www.depravityscale.org, in order to refine the significance courts should give to different qualities of a crime at the time of sentencing. If Casey Anthony is found guilty, findings from the Depravity Scale research will one day educate courts about what intent, actions and attitudes distinguish a crime — or do not. This promotes fair, evidence-based sentencing that is color, gender, and socio-economic blind, and driven by public input.

Michael Welner, M.D. has examined a number of parents who have killed their children, including Andrea Yates. He is Chairman of The Forensic Panel, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and contributes to ABC News.com based upon his ongoing experience in some of America’s most sensitive cases. In addition to Dr. Welner’s landmark research on the Depravity Standard, he has adapted an Inventory of the Everyday Extreme (WIEEO) to the clinical prevention of everyday evil.

© 2011 ABC News

 

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Leslie Nielsen dies 84

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Leslie William Nielsen, OC (February 11, 1926 -November 28, 2010) was a Canadian actor and comedian. Although his acting career crosses a variety of genres in both television and films, Nielsen achieved his greatest successes in the comedy films Airplane! and The Naked Gun. His portrayal of serious characters seemingly oblivious to (and complicit in) their absurd surroundings gives him a reputation as a comedian.

Nielsen’s lead roles in the films Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure came long before he considered a turn to comedy. His deadpan delivery as a doctor in 1980’s Airplane! marked a turning point in Nielsen’s career, one that would make him, in the words of film critic Roger Ebert, “the Olivier of spoofs.” Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.

Death of Leslie Nielsen
In November 2010, Nielsen was admitted to a Fort Lauderdale, Florida hospital for pneumonia. On November 28, Nielsen’s nephew announced to the CJOB radio station that Nielsen had died in his sleep around 5:30 p.m. EST, surrounded by family and friends. His nephew reflected on Nielsen’s life, “He was truly a nice man. A very caring, naturally funny guy in day-to-day life, not just because someone wrote something on paper for him. He was a very tender-hearted man. He was one of my best friends and I loved him dearly. I’ll miss him greatly.”

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Geraldine Doyle, WWII Poster ‘We Can Do It!’ Inspiration, Dies 86

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Geraldine Hoff Doyle (July 31, 1924 — December 26, 2010) was the real-life model for the World War II era We Can Do It posters, an embodiment of the iconic World War II character Rosie the Riveter.

Because the We Can Do It poster was created for an internal Westinghouse project, it did not become widely known until the 1980s, when it began to be used by advocates of women’s equality in the workplace.

In 1942 Geraldine found work as a metal presser in a Michigan factory. (As men started enlisting and being drafted into military service for World War II, women began to support the war effort by taking on roles, including factory work, that were formerly considered “male only.”)

Because she was a cello player, Geraldine feared a hand injury from the metal pressing machines and soon left the factory. During the brief time she worked there a wire photographer took a picture of her. That image – re-imagined by graphic artist J. Howard Miller while working for the Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee — became the basis for the poster Miller created during a Westinghouse anti-absenteeism and anti-strike campaign.

Doyle didn’t know she was the model for We Can Do It until 1984, when she came across the original photograph in a 1940’s back issue of Modern Maturity Magazine.

Death of Geraldine Doyle
Geraldine Doyle died in Lansing, Michigan, due to complications from arthritis.
Geraldine Hoff Doyle was 86 years old at the time of her death.

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Peggy Rea, Actress (Dukes of Hazzard, I Love Lucy,etc.. ), Dies 89

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Peggy Rea (March 31, 1921 – February 5, 2011) was an American character actress known for her many roles in television, often playing matronly characters. Her recurring roles included:

  • Cousin Bertha on All in the Family
  • Martha Burkhorn on All in the Family
  • Rose Burton on The Waltons
  • Lulu Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard
  • Ivy Baker on Step by Step
  • Jean Kelly on Grace Under Fire

Rea appeared in such television programs as I Love Lucy, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Sergeant Bilko, Ironside, Burke’s Law, Marcus Welby, M.D., Hunter, The Odd Couple, Gidget, MacGyver, and The Golden Girls. She also appeared in feature films, including Cold Turkey and In Country.

Death of Peggy Rea
Peggy Rea died of congestive heart failure at her home in Toluca Lake, Calif.,
Peggy Rea was 89 years old at the time of her death

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Elizabeth Taylor, Screen Legend, Dies 79

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

 

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011), also known as Liz Taylor, was an English-American actress. A former child star, she grew to be known for her acting talent and beauty, as well as her Hollywood lifestyle, including many marriages. Taylor was considered one of the great actresses of Hollywood’s golden age. The American Film Institute named Taylor seventh on its Female Legends list.

Elizabeth Taylor Cause of Death
Elizabeth Taylor dealt with various health problems over the years. In 2004 it was announced that she was suffering from congestive heart failure, and in 2009 she underwent cardiac surgery to replace a leaky valve. In February 2011 new symptoms related to congestive heart failure caused her to be admitted into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for treatment.

Elizabeth Taylor died on 23 March 2011 surrounded by her four children at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California
Elizabeth Taylor was 79 years old at the time of her death.

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Mel McDaniel, Grand Ole Opry Country musician, dies 68

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Mel McDaniel (September 6, 1942 – March 31, 2011) was an American country music artist. His chartmaking years were the 1980s and his hits from that era include “Louisiana Saturday Night,” “Stand Up,” “Anger and Tears,” the Number One “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On”, “I Call It Love”, “Stand On It” and a remake of Chuck Berry’s “Let It Roll (Let It Rock).”

His career finally took off with “Louisiana Saturday Night” in 1981, a number one hit “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” in 1984 and Top 10 hits, like “Right in the Palm of Your Hand” (later covered by Alan Jackson in 1999), “Take Me to the Country,” “Big Ole Brew,” and “I Call It Love.”

McDaniel was a member of the Grand Ole Opry (since 1986) and made frequent appearances on the show.

McDaniel was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2006, along with induction classmate Leon Russell.

Mel McDaniel’s Health and Cause of Death
Since 1996, he had been recovering from a near-fatal fall into an orchestra pit, suffered while he was performing at a show in Lafayette, Louisiana. On June 16, 2009, McDaniel suffered a heart attack, putting him in a medically induced coma in a Nashville area hospital according to The Tennessean. Mel’s wife, Peggy, requested the prayers of the singer’s fans, saying his situation was “not good.” McDaniel died March 31, 2011 as a result of cancer.

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Yvette Vickers, Pin-up Model’s Mummified Body found

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Yvette Vickers (August 26, 1928 – death discovered April 27, 2011, in Beverly Hills, California) was a blond-haired, blue-eyed American actress, pin-up model and singer.

In 1959, she appeared as the Playboy Playmate of the Month for the July issue. Her centerfold was photographed by Russ Meyer. She also appeared in several other men’s magazines.

Her neighbor became concerned after noticing a large pile of yellowing mail in her mailbox as well as spider webs across her front door. Her mummified body was found inside her home on April 27, 2011. It was unclear when she died, but may have been months (up to almost a year).

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‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, WWF Wrester, Died 58

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Randall Mario Poffo (November 15, 1952 – May 20, 2011), better known by his ring name “Macho Man” Randy Savage, was an American professional wrestler and actor best known for his time with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He also had a short run with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Savage held twenty championships during his professional wrestling career and is a seven-time world champion: a two-time WWF Champion, four-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and one-time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion. Also a one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, WWE has named Savage the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time and credited him for bringing “a higher level of credibility to the title through his amazing in-ring performances.” Aside from championships, Savage is the 1987 WWF King of the Ring and the 1995 WCW World War 3 winner. For much of his tenures in the WWF and WCW, he was managed by his real life wife, “Miss Elizabeth” Hulette.

Miss Elizabeth died May 1, 2003, at the age of 42

Randy Savage Cause of Death
Randy Savage suffered a heart attack around 10AM while driving on a highway in Tampa, Florida before losing control of the vehicle and crashing.  Randy Savage was driving a 2009 Jeep Wrangler when he “veered across a concrete median … through oncoming traffic … and “collided head-on with a tree.” His wife Lynn was a passenger but survived with “minor injuries”. According to officials, both were wearing their seat belts at the time.
Randy Savage was 58 years old at the time of his death

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Joseph Brooks, “You Light Up My Life” Songwriter, Dies Before Trial 73

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Important Background Story:
Joseph Brooks was waiting for a trial on charges of sexually assaulting of more than a dozen women.  He allegedly lured the women to his apartment to audition for movie roles.  He was indicted on June 23, 2009. He was being tried by Manhattan’s state Supreme Court for 91 counts and charged with rape, sexual abuse, criminal sexual act, assault, and other charges.

A month ago, Joseph Brooks’ son was accused of murdering a swimsuit designer.

  

Joseph Brooks (March 11, 1938 – May 22, 2011) was an American screenwriter, director, producer, and composer. He composed the hit song “You Light Up My Life” for the film of the same name that he also wrote, directed, and produced.

In the 1960s Brooks was a composer of advertising jingles, including highly successful ones for Pepsi, “You’ve Got a Lot to Live”, and Maxwell House, “Good to the Last Drop Feeling”.

In October 1977 “You Light Up My Life” reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 popularity charts where it held the top position for 10 consecutive weeks, which was then the longest run at #1 in the chart’s history. With sales of over four million copies in the United States alone, the song ultimately became the biggest hit of the 1970s. It also hit #1 Adult Contemporary and was even a Top 10 “Country” single. The passionate ballad also earned Brooks a Grammy Award for Song of the Year as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe Award and an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Award. The song was Debby Boone’s first solo hit record and only Top 40 Pop hit.

Joseph Brooks Cuase of Death
Police reported on May 22, 2011, that Brooks was found dead by a friend of an apparent suicide. He was 73 years old. His body was found in his Upper East Side apartment with a plastic dry cleaning bag around his head and a towel around his neck. His body was near a helium tank with a hose on it and a suicide note.

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‘Grease’ actor Jeff Conaway has died

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Jeffrey Charles William Michael Conaway (October 5, 1950 – May 27, 2011, known by his stage name, Jeff Conaway, was an American actor, best known for his roles in the movie Grease, and the US TV series Taxi and Babylon 5. He also directed the 1992 film Bikini Summer 2.

Jeff Conaway Cause of Death
On May 11, 2011, Conaway was found unconscious from what was initially described as an overdose of what was believed to be pain medication, and was taken to a hospital in Encino, California, where he was listed as being in critical condition and in a coma.  After the initial reports, Dr. Drew Pinsky, who had treated Conaway for substance abuse, said the actor was suffering not from a drug overdose but rather from “pneumonia with sepsis”, for which he was placed into an induced coma.

While pneumonia was the cause of death, the doctor who treated him for drug addiction for years says it was his dependence on prescription painkillers that eventually cost him his life.

“Jeff was a severe, severe opiate addict with chronic pain, one of the most serious and dangerous combination of problems you could possibly interact with,” Dr. Drew Pinsky said during a taping for Friday night’s “Dr. Drew” on HLN.

Jeff Conaway died on May 27, 2011, after 2 weeks in a comma.
Jeff Conaway was 60 years old at the time of his death.

Conaway appeared on VH1’s ‘Celebrity Fit Club’ in 2008 and later on ‘Celebrity Rehab,’ where he admitted to being addicted to cocaine, painkillers and alcohol.

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