Casey Anthony Appeal to be Heard Today

Casey Anthony’s attorneys are appealing her convictions for false statements to law enforcement, arguing she was in custody when the statements were made. Her Miranda Rights had not been read to her at the time. Under Florida law, it is not necessary for officers to formally handcuff and inform someone of their arrest for the Miranda requirement to apply. If the totality of circumstances would cause a reasonable person to feel that they were not free to terminate the encounter, they are effectively in custody and law enforcement should inform them of their rights. Law enforcement walks a fine line in such circumstances: while they don’t deliberately want to violate someone’s rights, or have their evidence thrown out of court, their priority in a missing person case is to locate that person. Sometimes the overriding desire of locating a missing child is worth the risk of losing some evidence at court. (A well-known case is John Couey, which inspired Jessica’s Laws around the country, known as the Lunsford Act in Florida. I did not realize it, but Couey died of anal cancer after being convicted of that murder.)

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