In a shocking turn of events, Judge Belvin Perry sided with the rights of the media by ruling in favor of a motion to release the name of each of the jurors who served on the Casey Anthony murder trial. Anthony, who was acquitted on July 5 for the murder of her two year old toddler Caylee Marie Anthony, has since went into hiding after being released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Of all the charges that were brought against her, Anthony was found guilty only on charges of lying to law enforcement.
The verdict, which shocked legal analysts and outraged a majority of the nation, came after less than 12 hours deliberation, 3 of which were dedicated to jury instruction and 2 of which consisted of lunch periods over the course of two days. During the jury’s deliberation, no requests were made to review a single piece of evidence or thousands of pages of testimony, which was available to the jury. While an elaborate room had been set up in advance for jury members to speak to the media after the verdict was announced, the jury declined to explain their decision and instead immediately left Orange county, where the jury had been sequestered, to return to Pinnellas County aboard buses that were protected by armed guards.
Since the verdict, backlash from the public has continued to grow. Skyline Chili, a local restaurant in Pinellas County, posted signs on the doors and windows of its establishment letting jurors know in no uncertain terms that they were not welcome to dine in its facility and that they would not be served. In addition, an array of petitions have been filed aimed at preventing jury members from capitalizing from their times as jurors.
The most serious of backlash has come from angry members of the public who are steadfast in their belief that justice was not served in the Anthony case. Representatives of certain jury members have claimed that their clients have been the target of numerous death threats since the verdict was announced, which makes the decision by Judge Perry to release the names of the jury members all the more shocking.
Although members of the jury themselves have offered to come forward and share their story, for a price, the decision to release the jurors names to the public may lower the value of their interviews, if offered. What does, increase however, will be the public’s access to members of the jury after their names and addresses become matter of public record. In an effort to prevent violence, Judge Perry placed a several month delay on the date in which the juror’s names will be released. As opposed to immediately, information in the Anthony jury will not be made public until October of 2011.