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Thursday, December 14, 2017

COULD CARDONA HAVE BEEN WON?

Three separate juries over almost thirty years have convicted Ana Cardona of aggravated child abuse and first degree murder. In each trial Cardona was represented by experienced criminal defense attorneys. So the question is: Could a defense be constructed to get a jury to acquit Cardona? 
Probably not. But possibly so (how's that for equivocating?). 

NO, THE CASE COULD NOT BE WON:
1)The facts were horrible. 
2) The pictures of Lazaro were extremely disturbing.
3) As Reid Rubin pointed out- a three year old child doesn't weight 18 pounds overnight. It takes years of sustained abuse and neglect for a child to become so malnourished. 
4) Cardona gave a statement which undermined her defense.
5) Cardona was pictured at Disney World after Lazaro's death. "You go to Disney World when you win an NBA championship, not when your child was murdered."
6) It is very very hard under the best of circumstances to obtain an acquittal in a case where a child has been murdered. 

YES, THE CASE COULD BE WON:
1)There was another person who may well have struck the fatal blow.
2)Thus the murder of Lazaro was an independent act Cardona had nothing to do with.
3) Cardona was 19 years old; the father of Lazaro had recently died and she had been evicted and was homeless with three children and had no where to go.
4) A story about a homeless teen-age woman, a single mother of three children who was desperate, scared, and unable to provide for her children could have been told in a much more effective manner.
5)The defense could have thrown a hail-mary and called Olivia Gonzalez- who the defense blamed for killing Lazaro- to the witness stand.
6)The great criminal defense attorney Gerry Spence might have been able to win the case, but not too many others could have pulled it off. 

No matter what you think about this case, remember that the defense was tasked with defending one of the most notorious defendants charged with one of the most notorious and heart-breaking murders in recent South Florida history. This was never going to be an easy case. Monday morning quarter-backing is easy; putting on your trial suit every day and going to court and fighting for a client with very little jury appeal is harder than it looks and sounds. 

From Occupied America, Fight the Power!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

What if she REALLY is innocent of killing the baby??

Anonymous said...

Want to feel old? Hank Adorno turned 70 the other day.
If you were born after 1987, use your $1000 iphone to look it up.

Anonymous said...

Your premises are incredibly flawed because three times the jury found guilt. it was an in-winnable case factually and emotionally . It is absurd to be a Monday morning quarterback for this case

Anonymous said...

Hank Adorno, there is a blast from the past. Timely to recall Hand Adorno when Federal Judicial Appointments are in the works. The Hank Adorno City of Miami Fire Fee case plagued Peter Lopez for years. An example of act cautiously, because you never know who you are screwing over or who there friends are.

Anonymous said...

The biggest win in this case occurred when the State waived death prior to the third trial.

Anonymous said...

Rumple,

The defense tried to find Olivia, and she purposefully evaded any opportunity and effort made by both the state and defense to be found. This was litigated to the point that Olivia’s parents were brought in to court, ordered by the Judge, the week before the trial and threatened with contempt if they were helping a Olivia hide. Olivia’s parents don’t know where she lives.

Additionally, the case could have had a better chance toward victory if Cardona had not testified. The independent act was the theory of defense and the jury instruction was given. This was an issue that the prior two defense teams did not raise. Cardona undermined it throughout Mr. Rubin’s cross examination. There was nothing the defense could do to keep her from testifying. Given the horrific evidence, and her ridiculous testimony, the defense kept the jury out for 3.5 hours.

Retrials are almost always lost, and a second retrial has even worse odds. If you are going to Monday morning quarterback, at least have all the facts.

Both sides did a tremendous job. All were professional and did their best with what they had to work with. Steve Yermish and Manny Alvarez made lemonade out of lemons and should be commended for it.

Anonymous said...

I have a better chance of qualifying for and winning the US Open next June than any jury has of acquitting her.

Anonymous said...

Good summeries pro & con. In the end, even if Cardona didn't inflict THE fatal blows, she's guilty as .... When one is old enough to open their legs and bear a child, with that comes certain responsibilities as a mother.I'm not buying the homeless teen, scared, blah blah blah.

Anonymous said...

Seems suspect to me that two separate prosecution teams couldn't keep themselves from making clearly improper and reversible arguments to the jury. That's not usually the hallmark of a slam dunk case for the State.

Anonymous said...

All the dedicated defense lawyers, both trial and appellate, ultimately succeeded in saving Cardona's life. Not too shabby considering the horrific nature of the case. You could've had Gerry Spence or Clarence Darrow and she still would be found guilty.

Anonymous said...

Monday Morning Quarterbacking is an essential and enjoyable part of defense lawyering and footballing. An unexamined life is not worth living and the same goes for unexamined contests of strategy, besides, sharing the war stories is the best part of the business.

Anonymous said...

How old is George Yoss?

How about JEFF FEILER?

Anonymous said...

It is a very bad idea to be an old, ugly defendant.

Anonymous said...

Already been said, but the defense saved Cardona from the needle. This was just a slow guilty plea. Cardona will die of natural causes, which is refutable proof that the defense team won. Congrats to Manny and Yermish.