Judge Belvin Perry decided against releasing the names of the jurors who served on the Casey Anthony case in fear of their safety.
Only after a “cooling-off period” would he consider revealing the names, CNN reported.
All throughout the controversial case, Perry sealed the names from the public and stated that he would continue to do so despite the media’s request to make them public.
“I feel for individuals who simply wanted to do their civic duty,” he stated according to ABC News. “Our landscape in this country has changed. People have no reservation...about walking up to an individual, pulling a gun or knife... and because they disagree with them, hurt them or kill them.”
Though the judge left it up to jurors if they wanted to personally speak to the media, so far only one juror, Jennifer Ford, has spoken up.
She previously stated that the jury’s decision left them all “sick to their stomachs.” Just because they did not find her guilty of first-degree murder did not mean they believed she was innocent.
“I can’t find her guilty of a crime if I’m not sure a crime was committed,” Ford told ABC. Beyond a reasonable doubt proved to be a high standard to meet for prosecutors.
Another juror decided to tell his story as well recently, but wished to remain anonymous. He did state that he was married, a father of two, and one of the two African-American jurors on the 12-member panel. He was identified as juror #2.
“I wish we had more evidence to put her away, I truly do,” he told the St. Petersburg Times. “But it wasn’t there.” He revealed that he had changed his mind from guilty to not guilty on the charge of manslaughter, which at one point had a 6-6 vote.
The first count for murder had a 10-2 vote, but eventually two of the jurors joined the majority declaring Anthony not guilty.
Whether the rest of the members of the jury will come forth to speak to the public remains a mystery.
But it appears as if Perry will do what he can to protect their safety and will not unveil the names anytime soon, as much animosity has already risen against the jurors.
One restaurant even put up a sign that read “Pinellas County jurors NOT Welcome!!!”
“It’s no big secret that some people disagree with their verdict,” Perry said in an extensive hearing where the judge listened to several media organizations that asked that the names be released because it was in the public interest.
Personally sympathetic to the jurors, as the judge himself could not even go to lunch without being surrounded by cameras, he wondered, “Is the court totally powerless when it comes to folks’ safety?”
Despite the ensuing danger and public outrage, Ford, also known as juror #3, told ABC, “When I take a stand, I don’t expect people to like what I’m going to say. But I do hold myself to the truth,” which is exactly what many have been seeking all along throughout the case.
Judge Perry sentenced Anthony to four years in prison with a total fine of $4,000 Thursday morning for her four counts of lying to law enforcement.
With credit for time already served since 2008 and gain time based on her good behavior, the judge calculated with the defense that her release date will be July 13, 2011 – less than one week from today.
Just as much as the judge worried about the safety of the jurors, defense attorney Jose Baez also told ABC that he was worried for the safety of his own client upon release.
What Anthony will do or where she will go upon release is still unknown though speculations are that she will sign a book deal.