While juror names in Casey Anthony's murder trial must be disclosed one day, Judge Belvin Perry's decision to hold back the release may be the best idea for now, given the threat it may pose to not only the jurors themselves but people who share their names.
Orange County Superior Court Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. announced on Tuesday that he would not release the jurors' names until October 25 or later, reports CNN.
Among the seventeen jurors who sat in on the murder trial, five of them were alternates. Only three have since voluntarily identified themselves and talked about the verdict. Perry's order will release the identities of the other 14.
Perry lamented what he described as the blurring of lines between news and entertainment, saying court proceedings have become just another form of mindless entertainment and a revenue source for broadcast networks, according to Reuters.
"It was reported that television ratings for the trial were extraordinary. Clearly, the broadcast of an official and serious court proceeding such as this trial where a young girl was dead and her mother faced the death penalty devolved into cheap, soap-opera-like entertainment," Perry wrote in his 13-page order released on July 26.
The jury was chosen in May following an 11-day selection process at the Pinellas County Courthouse in Clearwater, Florida. The jurors came from that county -- and not Orange County, about 110 miles to the northwest, where the alleged crimes occurred -- because authorities hoped to find a jury pool less likely to have been swayed by the intense media coverage surrounding the case, reported CNN.
Under Florida's broad Public Records laws, Perry is required to disclose juror names eventually. However, Perry in his statement advocated a new law to keep juror names hidden in "specific, rare cases" in order to protect jurors constitutional right to privacy and to prevent potential jurors from avoiding service.
While the public wrath on Casey Anthony's acquittal is still on flame, revealing the names of the jurors could seriously endanger their lives.
Juror No.3 - Threat To Those Sharing Same Name
When juror No.3 revealed her name earlier this month, a Florida woman by the same name of Jennifer Ford, and coincidentally at the same age of 32,received public outrage.
The real juror Jennifer Ford is a nursing student at St. Petersburge College.
After the unpopular not guilty verdict was given, Ford spoke up to the media, saying, "I did not say she was innocent.I just said there was not enough evidence."
Ford said in an interview with ABC News, "If you're gonna charge someone with murder, don't you have to know how they killed someone or why they might have killed someone or have something where, when, why, how? Those are important questions. They were not answered."
Juror No.12 - Gone Into Hiding
Another juror, a woman in her 60s, reportedly quit her job at a grocery store and went into hiding after the trial. The woman known as juror No. 12, having received death threats, left Florida after retiring over the phone.
Her husband described the after-effects of the Anthony verdict as traumatic. Before his wife left Florida, she told him, "I'd rather go to jail than sit on a jury like this again."
Juror No.2 - Wished To Convict Anthony
One juror told the St. Petersburg Times in an exclusive interview, "I wish we had more evidence to put her away. I truly do."
Publicly known as Juror No.2, the father of two works in information technology, and turned 46 during the trial.
The juror told the Times, "Everybody agreed, if we were going fully on feelings and emotions, she was done." But the jurors instead went on the evidence presented before them, and as a conclusion, acquitted Anthony because there were not enough pieces to convict her.
"We didn't know how she died, we didn't know when she died. Technically, we didn't even know where she died," he said. "You couldn't say who did it. To me, that's why it was aggravated manslaughter of a child."
"We truly don't know what happened," he said. "Somebody knows, but we don't know."
Juror No. 2 was the last holdout when other jurors decided nto to convict Casey Anthony of any charge in the toddler's death, stated Caylee Daily.
Jurors were "sick to our stomach to get that verdict," and thus declined to comment on the verdict right afterward, said Ford. "We were crying and not just the women. It was emotional and we weren't ready."
"If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."
Even though one might think that Casey Anthony looks guilty, that's not the way our courts systems work. You cannot simply convict a person of murder, and potentially sentence that person to death, based on purely circumstantial evidence.
Each juror had to know beyond a reasonable doubt that Anthony committed this crime and by finding her guilty, be potentially willing to sentence her to death.
And despite its best efforts, the prosecution simply did not show enough reliable evidence during this case to convict Anthony. While it certainly painted a murky picture when evidence showed someone on Anthony's computer looked up "chloroform," there was no way of proving it was definitely Casey Anthony that searched that.
Furthermore, while the science of determining a rotten body based on smell might become a thing of the future, right now that science is simply too unproven and unreliable.
Nowhere during the case did the jurors find out the date of death for Caylee Anthony, the time of death, or even the location of her death. In most cases those would seem to be necessary details, but most don't consider that information when determining Casey Anthony's guilt or innocence.