Jose Baez has come forward with a claim that Casey Anthony is indigent and needs the state to pay for her defense.
It’s hard to take when we, as taxpayers, have to pony up for the defense of a reprehensible, proven liar like Casey. But, that is how our system works–everyone, guilty, innocent or insane has a right to their day in court with a licensed attorney to assist you with your case. It is an attempt to balance the scales of justice and to try to provide a verdict that is not based on the size of the defendant’s wallet. It doesn’t always work that way–the rich tend to do better in court than the poor–but at least it provides some measure of defense for those living in poverty.
In some states, there are public defenders’ offices
that are staffed and paid year round. In others, the court appoints attorneys at lower than the usual rate earned by privately hired defense lawyers.
Both systems have their critics pointing out serious flaws. On the one hand, public defenders are underpaid by the state, the argument goes, thus the best and brightest look for better paying jobs. Maybe. I’ve seen some people working in that capacity who are drawn by a deeply felt sense of mission. For them, more money would be great, but it is not going to dictate their career.
Appointments have bad problems, too. Some states’ standards are pretty low. One man in Texas, charged with a capital offense, received the death penalty while their attorney slept through the trial, others while their lawyers did a crappy job on either the guilt and innocence phase or the punishment portion of the trial or both.
In Texas, a capital case requires the state to pay for two attorneys or an attorney and a expert. I’m not sure if it is the same in Florida but if it is, this request from Baez would decimate Casey’s defense team. I imagine it is quite possible, though, that all the experts originally touted by Baez have come up with conclusions that don’t help the defense. In that case, they’re already gone.
All we can do is just watch and wait. But no matter how long it takes, I am convinced that, one day, there will be justice for little Caylee.