Casey Anthony
Source: Peacock

Casey Anthony

Casey Anthony Revisits Her Own Trial in a New Peacock Docuseries — Why Was She Acquitted?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author
By

Nov. 29 2022, Published 10:25 p.m. ET

On July 5, 2011, after a trial that lasted nearly two months, 12 members of a Florida jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and first-degree murder. When the verdict was read, the crowd outside of the courthouse erupted in anger. Most of them were clutching protest signs calling Anthony a baby killer or worse. Many people felt the evidence against her was overwhelming and yet she walked free.

Why was Casey Anthony found not guilty?

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People protest the Casey Anthony verdict outside of the Orange County Courthouse on July 7, 2011
Source: Getty Images

People protest the Casey Anthony verdict outside of the Orange County Courthouse on July 7, 2011

Why was Casey Anthony found not guilty?

CNN reported that the jury deliberated for 10 hours and 40 minutes before reaching their verdict. As each was read followed by a "not guilty," Anthony grew increasingly more emotional, finally bursting into tears and hugging her defense team. The defense's only job was to introduce reasonable doubt to the jury.

According to People, immediately after the trial, one juror provided some insight about the decision-making process.

"Generally, none of us liked Casey Anthony at all," he told the outlet. "She seems like a horrible person. But the prosecutors did not give us enough evidence to convict. They gave us a lot of stuff that makes us think she probably did something wrong, but not beyond a reasonable doubt."

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Disturbingly enough, this same juror revealed that the perceived attitudes of lead prosecutor Jeff Ashton versus lead defense attorney Jose Baez played a part in the "not guilty" verdicts. That should not be the case. While Ashton seemed "arrogant" and "cold," Baez seemed genuinely invested in this case.

"He was the only one in the room who seemed to care," said the juror. Evidently this was discussed in the jury room. At the end of the day, there was simply no concrete evidence linking Casey Anthony to the death of her daughter.

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Did Casey Anthony go to jail?

Although she received three "not guilty" verdicts for the more serious charges, Anthony wasn't let off completely. She was found guilty of "four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement," per CNN. "Judge Belvin Perry sentenced Anthony to four years in jail — one year for each of her four convictions of lying to police — but with credit for the approximately three years already served and good behavior, her release date was set for next Wednesday, July 13," reported the Anderson 360 blog.

She was officially released from the Orange County Jail in Orlando in the early morning on July 17, 2011.

Casey Anthony leaves the Orange County Jail with her attorney, Jose Baez, on July 17, 2011
Source: Getty Images

Casey Anthony leaves the Orange County Jail with her attorney, Jose Baez, on July 17, 2011

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Not only was Casey fined $1,000 for each misdemeanor count, but she was ordered to pay "nearly $98,000 for the costs of investigating Caylee's disappearance," said CNN. She was later ordered to pay an additional $119,822.25 to the police. In July 2013, a judge tossed out two of her convictions, citing double jeopardy as the reason.

Some members of the jury regretted their decision.

Jennifer Ford told ABC News that the decision to acquit Anthony made them feel "sick to their stomachs." They knew they just didn't have enough to convict her. "I did not say she was innocent," said Jennifer to ABC News. "If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."

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It always came down to a lack of evidence, as it should, but everyone felt in their guts that Anthony was guilty. Most wished that they weren't on the jury at all as the experience changed their lives forever.

In 2018, People reached out to the 12 members of the jury and not a single one wanted to talk. "It happened seven years ago, and still everyone asks about it," one told the outlet. "At this point, what more is there to say?"

Apparently, Casey Anthony feels differently. Hear her tell her side of the story in the new Peacock docuseries Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies, streaming now.

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