A juror on the Casey Anthony case has spoken out about his decision to acquit the accused murderer on all serious charges, saying that ten years later, the decision “haunts” him “to this day.”
“I think now if I were to do it over again, I’d push harder to convict her of one of the lesser charges like aggravated manslaughter. At least that. Or child abuse,” the unnamed male juror told People magazine in an interview published Friday.
“I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, and I didn’t stand up for what I believed in at the time.”
In 2011, the Florida party girl accused of murdering 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony was able to walk out of jail a free woman when a jury of seven women and five men failed to convict her on anything but four misdemeanor counts of lying to the police.
The jurors sat in court for 33 days hearing testimony from 91 witnesses and were asked to examine more than 400 pieces of evidence to come to their decision.
While it sounded like Anthony had done something wrong, in the end they felt they didn’t have the evidence to convict.
“Generally, none of us liked Casey Anthony at all,” the juror told People back in 2011 when the outlet first spoke with him.
“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 that she probably did something wrong, but not beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Now, a decade later, the juror still thinks about little Caylee and the case “at least once, every single day.”
“Every time I see her face or hear her name, I get a pit in my stomach,” he told the outlet.
“It all comes flooding back. I think about those pictures of the baby’s remains that they showed us in court. I remember Casey. I even remember the smell of the courtroom.”
He said being a juror on the trial has been very difficult. Due to the highly publicized nature of the case, many of the panelists have kept a low profile since the verdict and some even moved out of the Orlando area after their names became public. For a while, some of the jurors kept up with a group chat but even that became too hard.
“It was painful for everyone,” the juror said.
“I remember feeling sick every time I saw one of [the jurors’] names on my phone. So I muted the chat and stopped engaging. It was just too hard.”
Even though it’s been a difficult burden to carry, he said he doesn’t totally regret being part of the jury.
“It’s traumatic to think about, and I wish I had done a lot of things differently,” he told the outlet. “But it’s a part of who I am. This case will stick with me for the rest of my life.”