More than 10 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 a few have spoken out since the 2011 trial.
“I think of the case at least once, every single day,” an unidentified male juror told People in May 2021. “It was such a strange summer. I knew that there was public interest in the case, but it wasn’t until after I was sequestered that I realized that the whole world was watching.”
“Every time I see her face or hear her name, I get a pit in my stomach,” he told the outlet while recounting his experience. “It all comes flooding back. I think about those pictures of the baby’s remains that they showed us in court. I remember Casey. I even remember the smell of the courtroom.”
Jennifer Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror No. 3, said she and other jurors were “sick to our stomachs” after voting to acquit Casey. “I did not say she was innocent,” she explained. “I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be.”
Two-year-old Caylee was last seen on June 16, 2008, but Casey only reported her daughter missing 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 toddler accidentally drowned and Casey’s father disposed of the body — an accusation George Anthony strongly denied.
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 previously told Investigation Discovery. “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, Huekler 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 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.'”
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