WUCF TV interviews prominent local judge
Belvin Perry presided over Casey Anthony trial
Published: Sunday, April 15, 2012
Updated: Sunday, April 15, 2012 17:04
Metro Center Outlook featured Judge Belvin Perry as the first guest of the show’s third season April 11 on WUCF TV. Perry, who is the chief judge of Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit and who presided over the Casey Anthony trial last year, discussed the judicial system and how it relates to Florida’s economy.
Perry said that the lack of judges available to handle the many cases in Florida’s law system is negatively affecting the state’s economy.
“Anytime you have a large backlog of cases, it has a negative economic impact in the delay to dispose of those cases,” Perry said.
He also said that a study done by the Washington Economics Group determined that the expenses that were directly related to case delays amounted to about $1.2 billion a year.
Perry said that not only do these expenses hurt the economy, but the lack of structure in our current judicial system makes new businesses less likely to come to Florida.
“When businesses come to a state they look for certain things,” Perry said. “They look for a good educational system. They look for a good transportation infrastructure. But one of the other things that major businesses look for is a good legal system, because invariably they are going to be involved in litigation and they want to be able to get in and out of court and have a good, competent legal system.”
Diane Trees, director of the Metropolitan Center for Regional Studies at UCF and host of Metro Center Outlook, wanted to bring Perry on the show to bring more understanding to how the judicial system is dealing with financial problems and high profile cases.
“We talked about concepts of how a high-profile case consumes a judge and what happens with the other cases involved and how social media has impacted and made it much more difficult for the judicial system,” Trees said.
Perry could not discuss the Casey Anthony case because it is still on appeal, said Karen Levey, the chief of due process services.
The UCF Metropolitan Center for Regional Studies was started by former mayor Linda Chapin in 2001 and was taken over by Trees in 2009. Trees said the show previously focused broadly on economic, social and environmental issues, but it has now changed to focus mainly on economics.
“We have taken it more towards the economic development aspect, and I think a large part of that has been due to the economic times,” Trees said. “A lot of the issues we cover are of state-wide importance.”
Trees believes that students can take away important information from the show because UCF is involved with Orlando’s economy.
“This will give you a good broad base not only for political figures but key community people and what’s going on around you,” Trees said. “You’ve got classes and everything else bombarding you, this is another way to get a feel and flavor for what’s going on in hopefully a region you will stay in after you graduate.”
Next to be featured on Metro Center Outlook this season is $20 Per Gallon author Christopher Steiner.
Courtney Gilmartin, writer and producer for the show, said that Steiner’s book is timely and focuses on how living in America would change if that number was reached.
“We try to think creatively about our guests and our topics,” Gilmartin said.
“We want people to feel like they have a better understanding of the economic, political, and educational issues that are important to them as residents of Central Florida.”
Metro Center Outlook re-airs on WUCF Thursdays at 10 p.m., and previous episodes are available at www.youtube.com/user/UCF.