The names of the jurors in Casey Anthony's trial will be released Tuesday, three months after her acquittal on the charge of the murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008.
Although the names of jurors are normally released on public record in Florida, Orange-Osceola County Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., presiding over the Casey Anthony trial, ordered the names of the jurors to remain sealed for three months to allow for a cooling off period.
Anthony was acquitted Jul. 5 in Orlando for the 2008 death of her two year-old daughter, Caylee. The trial received extensive media coverage and was closely followed in real time by the public.
Jury members were selected from Pinellas, Fla. due to pretrial publicity.
After Anthony's acquittal, there were outraged protesters on the streets of Orlando. Public outcry spread across the nation and threats were made against Anthony and the jurors. Perry opted to protect the names of the 12 jurors and five alternatives as a precautionary measure.
In a democracy, criminal trials should not, as a rule, be decided by anonymous persons, Perry wrote in an order issued July 26, according to The Tampa Tribune. However, anonymity, at least from the media and the public, relieves pressure on jurors and protects impartiality.
The Pinellas clerk's office told The Tampa Tribune that the jurors' names will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Karen Levey, of the Orange County court, also confirmed in an e-mail to The Tampa Tribune that Perry's order means the names will be released in both counties.
The names of three jury members -- Jennifer Ford, Russell Huekler and Dean-Edwar Echstadt -- became public after the jurors chose individually to speak to the media.
If I knew then what I know now, I might not have been so honest, Ford told The Tampa Tribune after the trial. I didn't know the whole world was watching and that everyone had their mind made up on what the verdict was. I didn't understand the magnitude of it.
Ford said in July that she thought the media was to blame for much of the public anger.
I think the media helped them to determine what their thoughts are, she said. I think the media helped to determine the case before the jury saw it.
One juror claimed she was forced to quit her job and go into hiding after she received death threats from some co-workers, The Daily Beast reports. The woman fled Florida, telling her husband: I'd rather go to jail than sit on a jury like this again.
After the trial in July, there was overwhelming public outcry online and on social media sites.
On a Casey Updates Facebook page, followers of the trial left comments such as:
Why is this woman getting so much attention? She is a baby murderer..She is a low life who treated her parents like crap, after they loved her little girl, and her mother really saved her life, and kept from throwing her under the bus as they would say,.She is just dirt. She has a nasty look on her face all the time and she is a liar. I would not give her any police protection. She is not worth the tax payers money. I have never seen her grieve for her child.
Hey! Casey---How does it feel to the most hated woman in America? Are you enjoying your isolation? Don't get too comfortable wherever you are. You will have to face all those law suits. Don't forget that Leonard Padilla is a bounty hunter. You can't hide forever.
She is a MURDERER - she deserves to rot in HELL
There are fears that the public release of the jurors' names will now open up the possibility for harassment from angry followers of the trial. Once the names are released publicly it will be easy to track down the home addresses or home phone numbers of the jurors.
Casey Anthony, 25, was found not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse. Jurors claimed that there was not enough evidence beyond reasonable doubt to convict Anthony for the crime. While prosecutors claimed Anthony murdered her daughter using duct tape and chloroform, the defense claimed the two year-old died in her grandparents' pool.
The trial, which lasted for 33 days, included testimony from nearly 60 law enforcement, medical and character witnesses and dozens of pieces of evidence. The jurors deliberated for 10 hours and 40 minutes before announcing the verdict.