Florida court officials on Tuesday released the names of the Casey Anthony trial jurors, after the expiration of a three-month “cooling-off” period that a judge imposed because of concerns for the jurors’ well-being.
CNN - noting the judge’s concerns that jurors might face threats from elements of the public after acquitting Anthony in the high-profile murder trial - will not name any jurors who haven’t come forward to identify themselves.
Anthony was released in July after being acquitted on charges of murder, aggravated manslaughter and child neglect in connection with the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony, whose skeletal remains were found in 2008 in a wooded field in Orange County, Florida.
Casey Anthony was convicted on four counts for misleading law enforcement and was sentenced to four years in prison, but was released after serving nearly three years in prison while awaiting trial.
Only three of the 17 jurors – one who was among the 12 who deliberated, and two who were among the five alternates – have revealed their identities voluntarily since the trial ended. A few others, including the jury foreman, have given interviews on the condition of anonymity.
Though the trial happened in Orange County, the jurors came from Pinellas County – about 110 miles to the southeast - because authorities hoped to find a jury pool less likely to have been swayed by the intense media coverage surrounding the case.
Cecilia Barreda, a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said she is aware of no requests for security by any juror.
“Our deputies are aware of the release of the names, and we’re prepared to address any complaints or concerns as needed,” Barreda said Tuesday.
The law required Orange County Superior Court Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. to release the jurors’ names, as media outlets had requested, but he ruled in late July that he’d delay the release for at least three months, citing contemptuous remarks about the jurors.
In his ruling, Perry cited public anger about the verdict and several signs, including "Juror 1-12 Guilty of Murder!" He also cited a restaurant in the jury's home county saying members 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."
The deliberating juror who came forward, Jennifer Ford, told CNN’s Gary Tuchman in July that she received hate mail after the verdict, and that Anthony was acquitted because a “lack of hard evidence.”
“There was not enough to make anything stick. … Obviously it has not been proven that she’s innocent, but it certainly hasn’t been proven that she’s guilty,” Ford told Tuchman. She separately told ABC News that jurors were sick to their stomachs over the decision.
Anthony’s attorneys have claimed that Caylee died accidentally when she drowned in the family’s pool.
Tuesday was the first day that court officials could release the jurors' names, according to Perry's order. Karen Levey, chief of due process services for the Orange County court where the trial took place, said she called the jurors in late July to tell them that the names could be released starting October 25. Nancy Walent, jury manager for the Pinellas County clerk of court, said her office did not send notices to the jurors.