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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