Legal experts and regular viewers of the Casey Anthony trial for the death of her daughter Caylee are weighing in mightily on whether the defendant should testify.
The major reason being advanced as to why Ms. Anthony should take the stand is that she is seen as the logical party to shed light on points raised in lead defense counsel Jose Baez's opening statement. Comments were raised about her having been the recipient of sexual attention by her father.
The assertion was also made by Baez that Caylee Anthony was the victim of an accidental drowning.
There was also the tearful testimony of brother Lee Anthony on Friday which indicated that there might be a dark secret in the family that has not theretofore been learned.
The greater the number of surprises and unanswered questions, the theory goes, the more important it becomes for the person who is the center of all speculation to address points that have been raised but not explained. Who is the logical person to address these points? The trial's defendant.
So goes the theory, but a significant caveat stands in the way, a danger post that can result in calamity for the defense. It relates to the track record of Casey Anthony and past statements along with conduct patterns.
Saturday's action of recessing court so that the defendant could be evaluated for competency by three psychologists with the trial judge ultimately ruling that she was competent has increased speculation over whether this relates to a step in the possible direction of her testifying.
On the subject of whether she should testify because she is the logical person to confront the latest points of speculation tossed into the trial mix by the prosecution, this is a position both tenable and understandable. One needs to push beyond this point, however, to reach the crux of the issue and why it would be a disaster to put Casey Anthony on the stand.
So many trials have been ultimately decided by defendants being tripped up on the very credibility issue on which they are testifying. They have been placed on the stand to convince jurors that they are innocent.
What kind of credibility would Casey Anthony have in seeking to make such a case? Along with the points that have been raised about Anthony family dysfunctional behavior there have been the frequent admissions that the defendant is a chronic liar. The family had even joked about Casey being a talented as well as frequent liar.
So what would the prosecution assuredly do if she were to testify? Not only would an aggressive cross-examination focus on a steady pattern of lying.
It would tie the lying pattern to the creation of a fictitious nanny and show that Casey was seeking to buy time even with her own mother, who was seeking answers concerning her granddaughter's disappearance, and conclude with a sharply drawn conclusion that she could never be believed.
Another point would also be aggressively pursued. It would be that while all this lying was occurring highlighted by creating a fictitious nanny that the defendant was having the time of her life partying while her mother was seeking answers from the time of learning about her granddaughter's disappearance.
For the foregoing reasons it would be a tactical disaster for Casey Anthony to testify.