Criminal Justice

Casey Anthony Prosecutors Want Jurors with a Good Sense of Smell; Defense Denies Scolding Client

As jury selection continued in the Casey Anthony case on Thursday, lawyers hinted at strategies and a defense lawyer complained about media reports of a client scolding.

Defense lawyer Jose Baez asked a Florida judge to turn off the microphones after media reports said he told his client to stop acting like a 2-year-old.

Baez says reports of the scolding are complete and total falsehoods, but he wants the microphones silenced so private conversations are not picked up during jury selection, according to Tampa Bay Online and CBS News Crimesider. Nancy Grace of CNN had the video of Baez’s comment to Anthony, accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

Judge Belvin Perry Jr. told Baez that he has already disconnected microphones at the defense and prosecution tables due to earlier complaints by the lawyer, and he can’t do anything more, according to Tampa Bay Online. “This is a public courtroom,” Perry said. “It could not be a public courtroom if the public did not have the ability to hear. This is America.”

Questions posed by lawyers in the case previewed possible strategies. Lawyers for Anthony hinted that “a history of sexual abuse” may be raised as a mitigating circumstance to avoid the death penalty, CNN reports.

Prosecutors asked jurors about their sense of smell, the Orlando Sentinel reports. When the judge asked why, prosecutors said they wanted jurors to smell sealed containers of samples from Anthony’s trunk that smell of decomposition. Perry was skeptical, according to the story. “Jurors are not witnesses,” he said.

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