Casey Anthony lawyer's: Case 'built on nothing'

July 6, 2011 at 5:39 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., July 6 (UPI) -- The not-guilty verdict in Casey Anthony's Florida murder trial was not a finding of innocence, a juror said Wednesday.

"I did not say she was innocent," Jennifer Ford told ABC News. "I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."

Anthony, 25, was acquitted Tuesday of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse but convicted her of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to investigators about the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

Prosecutors had no direct evidence that Anthony killed her child. Instead they relied on evidence of her bizarre behavior after her daughter disappeared, that a body might have been in her car trunk and that she had searched for information on chloroform on the Internet.

Ford, previously known only as Juror No. 3, said the decision was not an easy one. She said jurors, "not just the women," were crying and felt sick to their stomachs.

She said that was why they refused to talk to the news media immediately after Tuesday's verdict.

An alternate juror also focused on the lack of evidence.

"They didn't show us how Caylee died, and that was important," Russell Hueckler told CBS. "No one could answer that."

Vinnie Politan, a former prosecutor, said the defense team successfully sowed reasonable doubt about the prosecution's ample circumstantial evidence.

"This jury found it reasonable to believe that a grandfather would see his granddaughter drown in an innocent manner, with no criminal liability, take that innocent accident, cover it up to frame his own daughter for first-degree murder and watch her have to battle a potential death penalty," he said.

Tuesday night, Anthony's lawyer, Jose Baez, said the case "was built on nothing."

"I have to salute this jury and I hope to one day have the opportunity to speak to them ... to thank them for being courageous," he told Fox News.

Baez and fellow defense attorney Cheney Mason told Fox the verdict stunned the public only because intensive media coverage, especially on cable TV, was, to them, severely biased against Anthony.

"The news media ... they hung her here daily for 2 1/2 years," Mason told Fox. "She did not kill her daughter."

In a news conference, Mason earlier criticized reporters and pundits for "media assassination" in maligning Anthony and assuming her guilt.

Court officials said Wednesday could be Anthony's last night in the Orange County Jail.

She faces a maximum of four years for the four misdemeanor charges, but her attorneys said she could get "time served" after already having spent three years in jail, WESH-TV, Orlando, reported.

Anthony will be sentenced by Judge Blevin Perry, chief judge of Florida's 9th Judicial Circuit, Thursday morning, Anthony's 997th day in jail.

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