Down in Orlando, the Casey Anthony pre-trial hearings are stirring up serious legal questions concerning an indigent defendant’s right to qualified defense counsel. Unfortunately, up until now, this issue has been obscured by the circus-like atmosphere that has surrounded this case since Cindy Anthony called 9-1-1.
WKMG's Tony Pipitone summed up the day in the courtroom: "The law says indigent defendants are entitled to a defense that's competent. But they are not entitled to an O.J. defense unless they can pay for it themselves."
Maybe it's time to think about trial financial reform. The scales should be balanced. Nonetheless, it is unreasonable to expect the taxpayers to shoulder the additional burden of the best defense for the indigent. Maybe we should consider restricting the expenditures of wealthy defendants.
I don't know if that's the answer or if it is even a possibility, but equality under the law requires consideration for all solutions that might lead to the elimination of bias in the courtroom.
Diane Fanning is the author of Mommy's Little Girl: Casey Anthony and Her Daughter Caylee's Tragic Fate. When the Casey Anthony trial begins next year, you'll find daily updates of the case on Diane Fanning's blog, Writing is a Crime.