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Court's plan to keep Casey Anthony, jurors safe

On Tuesday, one of the most publicized murder trials in United States history came to a close, with 25-year-old Casey Anthony being found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008.

A 12-person Florida jury made the decision to acquit Casey Anthony of murder, but found her guilty of lying to police investigators in July of 2008 about her daughter's disappearance. Anthony was sentenced to four years in prison for the crime, but will only serve nine additional days behind bars because of credit for the time she has already served and good behavior.

The Casey Anthony jury decision released an immediate firestorm of commentary and sheer outrage from the public through social media venues, including Facebook and Twitter. Because the case was intensely covered by the media for its entirety, many people took its outcome very personally.

With Casey Anthony's impending release, the Florida court where the case was tried is already planning to keep her safe from potential threats to her life. Originally, the court said that Casey Anthony would be released on Wednesday, but late on Thursday night it was announced that she would be staying in custody until July 17.

Additionally, the Florida court has said that it will take steps to protect the identity of the 12 jurors, who may also face threats from people furious over their verdict. On an appearance on The Early Show, the judge who presided over the case, Judge Belvin Perry, said that he may decide never to release the jurors' names to protect their safety, which is extremely rare.

The judge also identified that when Casey Anthony is released on July 17 it will be it will be almost three years exactly since Caylee was first reported missing, which also is almost the exact amount of time young Caylee was alive.

In the wake of the jury verdict, many people were left puzzled with how a jury could acquit Casey Anthony when so much evidence seemed to prove her guilt. Subsequently, media reports have indicated that at least one juror was hung up on the fact that prosecutors couldn't prove with evidence that Caylee was in fact murdered.

In criminal law, defendants must be proven guilty 'beyond a reasonable doubt,' so if that missing evidence created reasonable doubt in the jurors' minds, it could be the reason for the not guilty verdict.

Source: CBS News, "Court seeks to protect Casey Anthony, jurors," 7/8/2011.

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