Belvin Perry says the trial devolved into "cheap, soap-opera-like entertainment"

By Tim Nudd
July 27, 2011 10:40 AM
Red Huber/Reuters/Landov (2)

The judge in the Casey Anthony case on Tuesday ordered the names of the jurors to remain secret until at least Oct. 25, for their protection. And he tore into the media for creating a circus-like atmosphere around the trial in the name of entertainment rather than justice.

“The jurors in this case face the possibility of substantial injury if their names are immediately made public,” Judge Belvin Perry wrote in a 12-page ruling, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The names will not be released, he wrote, “until sufficient time has passed to allow those enraged by the verdict and who might instinctively react with violence to compose and restrain themselves.”

Florida’s public records law requires that the names be released, but Perry wrote that he had the right to delay the release “based upon the unique and alarming circumstances surrounding this case.”

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Perry also took the opportunity to lambaste the media for what he saw as shameful behavior during the trial. “It was reported that television ratings for the trial were extraordinary. Clearly, the broadcast of an official and serious court proceeding such as this trial where a young girl was dead and her mother faced the death penalty devolved into cheap, soap-opera-like entertainment,” he wrote.

The use of the public records law to have the juror names released, he added, had “become simply a tool to sell a story.”

Anthony, 25, was found not guilty on July 5 of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008.

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