There’s a lot going on today to write about, but I had a minor moral crisis today that I want to share.
First, some background: Caylee Anthony is a missing three-year-old girl from Orlando. About a month after she first disappeared, her grandmother finally reported her missing. The mother hasn’t been exactly truthful — nor helpful — leaving investigators in the dark. The mother is currently behind bars, not seeing visitors … and not providing information to investigators.
The story took an odd twist this week, when California bounty hunter Leonard Padilla — at the request of the Anthony family spokesperson, Larry Garrison, who also owns an entertainment production company and wrote a book about is involvement in the Natalee Holloway case — hopped on his white horse to save the day. (Background on Mr. Padilla: he’s the star of a Nat Geo show sensationalizing bounty hunting, a convicted felon, a failed candidate for Sacramento mayor, and known for pulling these kinds of publicity stunts.)He and his nephew are determined to bail out the mother, Casey Anthony — even fronting the $50,000 bail premium. Talk about creating a media circus. FOX News, CNN, Headline News — all the major television outlets have been following this story. And Leonard Padilla somehow has become the voice of the bail industry.
What does this have to do with me? Well, one of my clients is an insurance company that underwrites bail bonds. This company breaks every stereotype you may have about bail. The owners are good people and they hate the fact that the bail industry is misunderstood by so many people. Like much of the rest of the bail industry, they don’t agree with Leonard Padilla’s handling of this situation. Initially wanting to stay away from this story, my client decided Mr. Padilla couldn’t be the face of the bail profession (maybe his comment about Casey’s need to paint her toes was the last straw). He was single handedly damaging the industry’s reputation. She wanted to go on television to set the record straight and to explain that this isn’t how the industry works. At first, I was apprehensive about doing anything to get involved in this media frenzy. After all, a three-year-old girl is missing. Shouldn’t that be the sole focus? But, then I realized that Mr. Padilla’s antics have only taken the focus even more off of finding this poor girl. So, if I have a client who can help put him in his place — and explain that bail shouldn’t be wrapped up into “entertainment profiteering” — than I’m all for it. So, as I’m typing this, my client is getting ready to appear on Nancy Grace! Yes … that’s right … Nancy Grace! I’m not always the biggest fan of her approach, but I’m glad that she’s willing to listen to a sane person who can explain bail and it’s role in this kind of case. Hopefully, that will help put the focus back on finding Caylee.