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MOTION FOR RECUSAL
Casey Anthony's defense team may have thought they "won" when they filed a motion for recusal against Judge Stan Strickland for "bias", and as a consequence he withdrew from the case. They may think otherwise in the coming days.
JUDGE DENIES BIAS BUT RECUSES HIMSELF
In Judge Stan Strickland's recusal he wrote "Anthony's counsel has deluged the court with motions, "in between media interviews, guest appearances on television shows, and press conferences." "At its core, defense counsel's motion accuses the undersigned of being a ‘self-aggrandizing media hound. Indeed. The irony is rich."
Judge Strickland denied doing anything wrong, but said he removed himself from the case "because Anthony's attorneys likely would allege bias each time he ruled against their motions."
Judge Strickland had spoken to a blogger (Marinade Dave who not only blogs about the case, but attends the court proceedings) in open court. "Judge Strickland noted in his scathing remarks that he'd spoken to him as part of his research on the defense's motion for a change of venue."
The defense motion states "This constituted a "personal relationship." The defense used this contact between the two to deem Strickland as "prejudiced against Casey Anthony."
ORANGE CIRCUIT CHIEF JUDGE PERRY TAKES OVER THE CASE
Judge Belvin Perry Jr., Strickland's boss, had asked Strickland to take on the Caylee Anthony case in the beginning.
Now Judge Perry will preside over the trial and its hearings. He's also the judge who presided over the Grand jury in Oct. 2008 which indicted Casey Anthony on first degree murder charges charges. He's heard testimony from state's witnesses, and is familiar with most of the aspects of this case.
Known as a tough but fair, efficient and no-nonsense judge, those who are most familiar with Judge Perrry say that he will ensure that the trial proceeds, and both sides act according to the law. He is deemed as a judge who will scrutinize carefully defense requests for funds from the public coffers. He's a veteran of high profile, drama filled cases, cares nothing for the publicity, nor for bickering in his courtroom or for delaying tactics.
"Judge Perry is also known for being in favor of the death penalty. If the jury recommends the death penalty, it is most likely that Judge Perry will agree and order the death penalty. There
are currently three Florida inmates on death row who were sentenced under Chief Judge Perry."
"He holds attorneys accountable."
A TACTICAL ERROR?
Local news pundits and attorneys are saying that the defense has made an error with this tactic.
Attorney Mark NeJame "I think that Judge Strickland, a wonderful judge and a brilliant jurist, allowed them latitude, and I think that Judge Perry will be very strict according to guidelines and won't put up with any nonsense. Perry is a former prosecutor with death-penalty experience. “I think the new judge is going to say enough is enough. He’s going to keep this ball moving. And if anybody thinks that they’re going to get additional delays or extensions as a result of having a new judge come on board, I think they’re sadly mistaken.”
WFTV-Channel 9 legal analyst Bill Sheaffer "Perry won’t be as forgiving and calm as Strickland. “It really doesn’t put the defense in any better position than the defense was with Judge Strickland,” “Judge Perry is a very competent judge, has tried a number of high-profile murder cases and is known as a judge’s judge.”
Diana Tennis (a local defense attorney) "Perry is bright, experienced and solid. “I don’t think he’s going to make any decisions that are going to get overturned on appeal. He’s our chief judge for a reason."It's going to be a different working environment for the attorneys. The level of justice won't change . . . [but] the stress on the attorneys may be ratcheted up." "The arguing back and forth between the lawyers is not going to happen anymore."
Andrea Black (a local defense attorney) "I think they will be very sorry that they recused Judge Strickland and now have Judge Perry. He will move that case along."
WFTV - Bill Sheaffer (legal analyst) "Why does Perry have that status? His rulings are rarely overturned. Perry could tighten up the proceedings and it’s highly unlikely that Perry will allow a mistake or commit a reversible error. And Perry’s style could change the case, too. ”He sets a tone of authority in his courtroom. No one ever questions who’s in charge."