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Presumed Guilty  By  cover art

Presumed Guilty

By: Peter Golenbock,Jose Baez
Narrated by: Jim Frangione
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Publisher's summary

Presumed Guilty exposes shocking, never-before-revealed, exclusive information from the trial of the century and the verdict that shocked the nation.

When Caylee Anthony was reported missing in Orlando, Florida, in July 2008, the public spent the next three years following the investigation and the eventual trial of her mother, Casey Anthony. On July 5, 2011, the case that captured headlines worldwide exploded when, against all odds, defense attorney Jose Baez delivered one of the biggest legal upsets in American history: a not-guilty verdict.

In this tell-all, Baez shares secrets the defense knew but has not disclosed to anyone until now, and frankly reveals his experiences throughout the entire case - discovering the evidence, meeting Casey Anthony for the first time, being with George and Cindy Anthony day after day, leading defense strategy meetings, and spending weeks in the judge’s chambers.

Presumed Guilty shows how Baez, a struggling, high school dropout, became one of the nation’s most high-profile defense attorneys through his tireless efforts to seek justice for one of the country’s most vilified murder suspects.

©2012 Jose Baez (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Presumed Guilty

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Ego Before Justice

Having just read 'Imperfect Justice' by one of the prosecuting team, Jeff Ashton, I just HAD to read something from the defense team. Have to say that this was so interesting. I think that in order to enjoy the content you have to try not to have a stroke in the process at the total injustice and try to listen how on earth a young woman literally got away with murder.

This book is filled with a lot of passive aggressive statements as it is more than obvious that the author has a huge inferiority complex and a badly hidden agenda. He had something to prove and THAT was why he put everything on the line in order to win. I do not think that even for one minute that he believed that his client was innocent.

Even with this in mind I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A really interesting read.

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18 people found this helpful

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Loved the book

I loved the book, but I also loved the verdict. If your mind is made up against Casey, I can't imagine you'd enjoy this book very much. If you're open to the defense, I think you'll find the book thought provoking and enjoyable. Even, dare I say, persuasive.

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12 people found this helpful

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Excellent, well written book.

I read the prosecutor's side of the story before reading this book, it's only fair that one hears both sides before making an educated assumption. I also watched the trial live when it was happening, and didn't think she was the monster the media tried to portrait. Sure she was guilty of something, but of what.

I'd recommend this book to everyone even if you are convinced she killed her daughter.

The details in this book of things we didn't hear or see will pose the question of "what if" even if you are convinced of her guilt.

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9 people found this helpful

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Baez or bias?

Would you consider the audio edition of Presumed Guilty to be better than the print version?

Yes, I would have had a hard time reading it over listening.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Presumed Guilty?

When a man found the alleged corpse months before it was formally acknowledged.

Which scene was your favorite?

I don't have a favorite scene, I think Jose did a great job of showing his side of the case. I suppose this is why he was hired;)

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

That Casey's parents were hiding something and to ths day I wonder why they were not more scrutinized.

Any additional comments?

Justice is not for the faint of heart, I am glad I have not had to play God in any such trial.

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Never thought I would have doubt!

What made the experience of listening to Presumed Guilty the most enjoyable?

I had already listened to the prosecution side of the story and decided I wanted to hear the defense to what seemed like such an open and shut case.

What other book might you compare Presumed Guilty to and why?

Other true crime books because your going to hear a lot of testimony, theories, and legal jargan.

What does Jim Frangione bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He seems to have a familiarity with not only the book but also the case. I honestly felt like it was Baez telling me his side.

If you could give Presumed Guilty a new subtitle, what would it be?

"Beyond Reasonable Doubt"

Any additional comments?

I thought there was no way in the world anyone would convince me this girl was innocent of plain murder! However had I been on the jury for this case I would have had to say unequivocally NOT GUILTY! There are just too many unanswered questions and suspicious behaviors! If you love true crime or this case interest you I encourage you to listen to both of the stories (the prosecution side and the defense).

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Where's the Truth? Somewhere in the middle?

This Casey Anthony case perfectly illustrates that our judicial system is NOT about finding the truth; it's about making a case and selling it to a jury. It also illustrates that the truth is often found somewhere in the middle of the two opposing sides. The 'truth' can be subjective, and in this case, the truth is something I believe we simply do not and will not know in full. We only know it in part, from Ashton, and only in part from Baez. And only in part, from Casey herself. And after all, the whole truth is not what they were after anyway.

I watched the trial in real time, end-to-end. I watched the jail house tapes online, I read Ashton's book, and now Baez's. I watched as Nancy Grace played prosecutor, judge, and jury all without vetting a single fact. And like NG, (even though I can't stand her) I too felt that 31 days of not looking for your child was enough for me to conclude this young woman was culpable - at the very least. I didn't buy the defense's pitch about George incesting Casey. But one thing Baez did in court, and has done again in this book, is introduce a shadow of a doubt. And that's ALL he had to do to win the case.

Facts can be pesky things - especially for lawyers. They certainly nipped at Baez's heels a few times in his book. I was disturbed by one inaccurate account in particular because it was something he could have easily double checked for accuracy. And this one misstep, for me, casts a shadow on every other thing he describes in the book as 'fact'.

It's the August jailhouse visitation with George and Cindy where they were telling Casey about the latest rumor going around: that Caylee had drowned in the pool. Baez claims that Casey responded to them with, "Oh well, oh well." She did not. She clearly said, "Surprise, surprise." It's easy to find this little gem online. Google "Casey Anthony Surprise Surprise" and you'll hear for yourself. I remembered this well because at the time, the media played this tape over and over in a seemingly endless loop.

If Baez can't report this verifiable occurrence with accuracy, what about the other "facts" he presents in his book? The ones we can't check by way of video tape?

After reading his book, I revisited some of the jail house visitation tapes and frankly, in spite of the doubt Baez managed to insert, I'm back to my initial feelings that Casey is clearly fully, entirely, and solely responsible for the death of Caylee. At one point when visiting with her parents she states, "The opportunity was there that I probably could have helped, I'm trying, I was trying, there's nothing more that I can say or do until I'm home...." For me, this could be an incriminating statement. At the very least, it begs more questions.

On those visitation tapes, there is no indication WHATSOEVER that Lee or George did ANYTHING inappropriate. There's nothing in their demeanor in those tapes, nothing in their words, nothing at all in their looks, glances, body language that appears remotely suspicious or creepy or weird. It's a story that simply doesn't add up for me. It's a dysfunctional family, no doubt. What father goes into the birthing room with their daughter, for instance.? But in every video tape of George, he looks like a man trying to piece this mess together. He's lost. He's confused. He's in denial and clearly dreading facing the truth about his daughter in its entirety. The only suspicious behavior is that of Casey.

It was stated from several sources that Cindy was considering vying for custody of Caylee. For me, this should have been a focus and more thoroughly explored because THAT would be motive! Casey could have said to herself, "If I can't have her, no one will." That might help to explain her going on with life normally that 31 days. Maybe. I dunno.

Could also be that an accidental drowning did occur and Casey covered it up, not knowing what to do. But if that's the case, it puzzles me all the more how she could go about a life of partying during that 31 days. I try to put myself there, hearing the deafening tick of the timer, knowing the inevitable end is near. Times up. Under such duress, one would think she'd lose weight from not eating, or have moments of despondency, or even panic. No one reports this having happened. No one reported a nervous note about her. How'd she do that?

This feels impossible. What the h-ll happened??? It's a complicated, multi-faceted, multi-layered tale that the lawyers only muddied with a legal game of chess. Each set the other up to go in for the kill ... winning was all that mattered... truth be da--ed and so ... we still don't know.

I do recommend the book. And Ashton's, and for people like me who get caught up in these things, I recommend re-visiting the jailhouse visits on YouTube. It's a fascinating, difficult tale that just hangs in the air like a bad stink.
The narration was terrific, btw!

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  • V
  • 01-25-13

liked the book could not put it down

Where does Presumed Guilty rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

because this is a true story and describes very well what Beaz' motivations and thoughts were behind his defending. This side of the story needed to be told and deserved to be told. It was a shame to see how the media had decided to declare CA guilty before the trial and went out of its way to prove this. Media coverage during this trial was very manipulative and unilateral therefore I greatly welcomed to hear another side of the story but there is still a part of me wondering whether it was ethically correct for a lawyer to write this book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cheney Mason too bad he was not mentioned more often.

Any additional comments?

The Casey Anthony story has taught me a lot,we never will know for sure what really happened. It might be possible that she is innocent. It was a shame to see how many people, influenced by the media, were and are willing to display so much hatred and call themselves Christian in the same sentence.
This shows to me how we all are being influenced by the mass media, maybe we should give some thought to that..... How far are we willing to go as a result of this?........

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Great review of evidence (or lack of)

I loved this book and have read many on this topic. Definitely recommend whether you feel Casey is guilty or innocent.

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Baez is a very good writer

Would you listen to Presumed Guilty again? Why?

Absolutely. He really presents the information well. It's a quick read and tough to put down.

The major strength of this book: it fills in all the gaps. You hear basically the rest of the story that you didn't hear in the media or in Ashton's book. There were very good reasons why Casey was acquitted, but the media is really only interested in telling one side of it. Baez does a great job in filling in the rest of it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't have a favorite "character", but my favorite part of the book is where he describes his questioning of witnesses regarding the chloroform evidence.

If you didn't see the trial, you likely missed this. It was a pretty pivotal part of the case and Baez fills in the details. Basically, the majority of the media reported that the defense's contention was that Cindy did the chloroform searches. That's not what happened. She testified to it, but the defense wasn't actually contending that that's what happened. Casey did the (one) search. They said it flat out in closing arguments. Getting Cindy to testify to that was a trick by the defense to get the prosecution to impeach their own witness. They couldn't do it themselves because it would come across badly to the jury, so they compelled her to lie so the prosecution would do it on their own. It also got the prosecution to talk at length about the 84 chloroform searches. This was another thing the media didn't report on: There were no 84 chloroform searches. It was fraudulent evidence--and the prosecution knew it was fraudulent. The defense thoroughly proved that the prosecution knowingly put on false evidence and it made the jury lose trust in them.

These are the things that are covered in this book, but conspicuously lacking in other reports of the case.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely. It's an easy read and I really liked the synthesis.

Any additional comments?

I'm not convinced that Baez's version of events is 100% accurate either (the evidence points to something in the afternoon between 2:20 and 2:50 instead of the morning, as he contends), but his description of the case seems to be much closer to reality than Ashton's. Reading Imperfect Justice, Ashton seems to have no earthly clue as to why she was acquitted (and there were some very obvious reasons), while Baez seems to really understand the strengths and limitations of the evidence against her and gives a good depiction of the trial.

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Provides a different outlook.

Would you consider the audio edition of Presumed Guilty to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the printed version, but the performance was excellent.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I didn't have one

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

no

Any additional comments?

Her attorney, who wrote the book, brought out some incidents that sounded believable. You got a better understanding why the jurors found her not guilty.

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