Six years after Casey Anthony was tried for the murder of daughter Caylee Anthony, the jurors in the case are still hiding from the press, it seems. In fact, only one has spoken out in recent years, though we’ve also heard from the judge in the case.
Two-year-old Caylee was last seen on June 16, 2008, but Casey only reported her daughter missing a month later, on July 15. A day later, Casey was arrested on child neglect charges. The little girl’s remains were found and identified in December of that year, by which point Casey had been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse.
During the six-week trial, the prosecution struggled to pin the crime on Casey, especially because they couldn’t find her DNA on the duct tape allegedly used to suffocate Caylee. The defense, meanwhile, argued the little girl accidentally drowned and Casey’s father disposed of the body.
In the end, the jury found Casey not guilty of the murder, manslaughter, and abuse charges — but guilty on four counts of lying to police, two of which were dropped. She was released from prison 10 days later.
“I’m not saying that Casey was innocent,” alternator juror Russ Huekler told Investigation Discovery earlier this year. “The prosecution just didn’t prove their case. They couldn’t say how she died. They couldn’t connect Casey to the murder. It was all circumstantial evidence, the whole case.”
The other jurors have remained silent in recent years, having reportedly gone into hiding after the publication of their names in October 2011. The backlash against them has been severe, Russ revealed. “The most discouraging thing was the death threats,” he said. “I probably got a thousand emails telling me that I didn’t deserve to breathe. How could I be so stupid, how could I be so wrong? Shame on me.”
Judge Belvin Perry, now retired, gave his take on the case earlier this year, as well. “There was absolutely no evidence in this particular case that was presented … that this child was abused by Casey or anyone else,” he told HLN’s On the Story. “So then it would lead you to the logical conclusion that this was purely accidental… The jury did what the jury did in their various views about how this evidence could be perceived.”
The judge also said that looking at the evidence could have yielded varying verdicts based on the jurors’ perspectives, saying, “You could take it through the lens and say, ‘Look, we don’t know what happened in this case. Thus, there’s a reasonable doubt. We don’t know.’ ‘We don’t know’ translates to ‘not guilty.’”
Suffice it to say, the jurors’ reasonable doubt frustrates everyone who has already decided Casey is the culprit. And with all the backlash and death threats the jurors have received, they probably wish they could have come to a different decision, as well.