By law, the judge who presided over the Casey Anthony trial is required to release the names of the jurors, but according to reports, Orange County Superior Court Judge Belvin Perry Jr. said Tuesday he will not be releasing their names until October 25th or later, for their protection.
Three of the 17 jurors have already personally identified themselves, and Perry’s order will release the identities of the remaining 14. And due to the “unique and alarming circumstances surrounding this case,” Perry wrote in his statement that he has a legal right to delay the release of the names of the jury members.
“The jurors in this case face the possibility of substantial injury if their names are immediately made public,” Judge Belvin Perry wrote in a 12-page ruling, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The names will not be released, he wrote, “until sufficient time has passed to allow those enraged by the verdict and who might instinctively react with violence to compose and restrain themselves.”
Judge Perry also let the media have it in his statement. He wrote, “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.”
In his ruling, Perry also cited public anger about the jury’s verdict and mentioned a number of offensive picket signs, including one that read “Juror 1-12 Guilty of Murder!” He also cited a restaurant in the jury’s home county said that any members Casey Anthony trial were not welcome.
“More importantly,” Perry wrote, “it was publicly reported that one juror had been forced to quit work and leave the state because of the threats she had received.”
Casey Anthony was released from prison earlier this month, nearly two weeks after a jury acquitted her on murder and child neglect charges in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. That “not guilty” verdict brought an abrupt and highly controversial end to a 6-week trial that drew a ton of media attention for its mystery over what happened to little Caylee, along with its elements of family drama.
It’s very likely that the world may never know what really happened to Caylee Anthony.