The Casey Anthony murder trial has been a long nightmare for her family, the jurors, and those who followed emotionally through the trial, verdict and sentencing. Even after Thursday's sentencing and beyond Anthony's release on July 13, the never-to-be-known cause of Caylee's death and the sickening memories of the long trial may haunt the nation for a time. For the jurors, there may be lifetime effects, one psychotherapist says.
They saw, which we were spared of not seeing, horrific pictures of her bones, her brain. So yes, I think there can be some post-traumatic stress, said psychotherapist Dr. Fran Sherman, reports NBC's WPTV. In high-profile murder cases, jurors could feel guilty upon hearing the public reaction, said Sherman.
One juror told the St. Petersburg Times in an exclusive interview, I wish we had more evidence to put her away. I truly do, reports CBS News.
Publicly known as Juror No.2, 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.
Another juror, 32-year-old nursing student Jennifer Ford, expressed similar thoughts to ABC News. Ford said in an interview, 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.
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.
Casey Anthony Murder Trial
Anthony, 25, was found not guilty Tuesday of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.
The seven-woman, five-man jury took about one day to reach a verdict in the case, which had gripped much of the nation in considerable part due to the prosecution's argument that Casey had murdered the girl so she could pursue an active night life/social life, unencumbered by parenthood.
Casey Anthony was found not guilty on all charges except for four counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers. She will be spared a death sentence, but could still potentially face years behind bars in a Florida prison.
The prosecution had claimed Casey Anthony suffocated her daughter with duct tape in June 2008, then stored the body in the trunk of a car. Casey Anthony didn't report the toddler was missing for 31 days.
Conversely, the defense had concentrated on the prosecution's forensic evidence, including an FBI technician's testimony that duct tape found attached to Caylee Anthony's decomposed skull was contaminated during testing by another technician.
The jury deliberated for more than 10 hours over the last two days and after hearing 33 days of testimony.
The 12 jurors on Monday spent about six hours dissecting the case following a rebuttal summation by the prosecution. Judge Belvin Perry separated the main jury of seven women and five men from five alternates and sent them into the deliberation room just after noon, msnbc.com said.
Thursday morning, Casey Anthony was sentenced four years in prison for lying to investigators, but will go free next week due to time served.