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Backseat Lawyer – Casey Anthony Trial Defense Costs – How Much the State of Florida Has to Pay

Posted by 4love2love on July 6, 2011

Judge Perry, in a public hearing last year, approved the court clerk’s determination that Casey Anthony was legally indigent.  By being declared “indigent” under the law, Casey would become eligible for her legal expenses to be paid by the State of Florida.  However, the defense did not request that her attorneys’ fees be paid out of the state’s pocket according to the media sources I reviewed today.  (Good summary provided by CBS News.)

One year later, according to Orlando’s WESH-TV, the defense had spent $80,000 and was asking for more.  (Story here.) 

That was back in March.  Who knows what the total is today.

Two thoughts here:  first, death penalty cases are expensive to try.  You’ve got a guilt phase and if the defense loses there, then you’ve got a penalty phase – where death is debated.  Sentencing is a new ball game and there are different witnesses, etc. and with that a new set of expenses.

Second, another good thing coming from the Casey Anthony coverage is the education of the American public on what it means, budget-wise, when an indigent is facing the death penalty.  The taxpayers are paying for BOTH SIDES of the case — attorneys’ fees and legal costs.  The fact that Baez isn’t being paid by the State of Florida here, nor his death-qualified co-counsel, shouldn’t be considered as what usually happens.

Some states try and cut these costs with Public Defender Offices, some have appointment lists of outside, private attorneys who are eligible to defend death penalty cases.  Either way, it’s tax money.

Note from 4love2love : The two lawyers besides Jose Baez working on the case are working pro bono for the defense, meaning, they aren’t being paid. It is possible that monies gained from selling her story, family photos and videos to various news agencies may help pay for Baez’s fees, but that is not verified at this time.

 

Copyright 2011 Backseat Lawyer

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