I just read the date is August 21, 2012. I think it was on ABC.com at the end of the story about Baez's book and his recapping of the night she got out of jail.
In light of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling re: the medals of valor and people falsely claiming to be recipients.
The justices said it's not nice to lie, but as long as someone has no malicious intent or not doing something harmful, it's perfectly legal to tell false tales because of First Amendment rights. (totally paraphrased)
So, here are my questions, how does that bode for others who lie about criminal actions: perjury, giving false information, etc. Could people skate on First Amendment rights? "I have freedom of speech, I can say what I want if I'm not harming someone."
Suppose Martha Stewart, or someone in a similar bind, tried this?
Is it now true as Cindy Anthony said, "It's not a crime to lie?"
What about Casey's charges for lying??? Could she win appeal based on the SC decision????
The judges didn't say anything new or surprising. It is and always has been true that it isn't a crime merely to lie. There has to be something more. For example, lying under oath in a court proceeding is a crime (perjury). Giving false information to law enforcement officials trying to find your missing child to throw them off track is a crime. Lying to someone to get them to give you their money to "invest" in a nonexistent fund is a crime.
But just lying isn't a crime. And Congress can't make just lying a crime, because of the First Amendment. Just about every lawyer except the ones in Congress already knew this IMO.
Casey's appeal already includes the argument that the jury should have been required to find that her lies MATTERED somehow to the investigation of the missing child--otherwise, the statute would be unconstitutional. In other words, if you lie to LE but they don't believe you for a second, or the thing you lie about has nothing to do with the missing child, it's probably unconstitutional to prosecute you for that. This was a good argument before the Supreme Court case came out yesterday, and it's still a good argument for the same reasons. The only difference is that this new case will be cited in Casey's Reply brief (or maybe even in a supplemental citation memo filed before then).
Now, let me add that if a hypothetical good jury had been properly instructed that Casey's lies had to make a difference to LE's investigation, I'm sure they would have made that finding as to SOME of the counts of lying. It simply isn't true that LE said "we don't believe you" and ignored her lies. They investigated the heck out of her Zanny Nanny lies, while still pursuing what they thought was the more likely path (that Casey knew exactly what had happened to Caylee). But the jury wasn't asked to make that finding. And the finding probably couldn't have been made as to ALL of the counts of lying to LE. Here were the 4 lies (simplified):
1. "I work at Universal."
2. "I left Caylee with Zanny."
3. "I told Jeff and Juliette about Caylee's kidnapping."
4. "Caylee called me on July 15, 2008."
Lies #2 and 4 were important to the investigation and were investigated. Lies #1 and 3 were probably not important.