ORLANDO — The identities of the jurors in the Casey Anthony trial can be made public, but not for another three months, a Florida judge ruled Tuesday.
Judge Belvin Perry of Orlando said in an order that he could find no exemption to Florida's liberal public records that would allow him to keep the jurors' names private. But he said he wanted to implement a three-month "cooling off" period to ensure the jurors' safety.
Even though the trial was held in Orlando, jurors were picked from Pinellas County because of pretrial publicity.
Jurors have been threatened since they issued their verdict earlier this month, acquitting Anthony of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, Perry said.
"Releasing the names of the jurors after such a 'cooling off' period fairly balances the public's access to information and the jurors' safety," Perry said.
Anthony was found guilty of four counts of lying to police, but was released from jail 12 days later for time served. A large crowd gathered outside the Orange County Courthouse immediately after the verdict, outraged at the jurors' decision. Some carried signs that said "Arrest the Jury!" and "Juror 1-12 Guilty of Murder!!!"
Perry noted in his order other examples of hostility toward jurors. One of the jurors retired two months earlier than planned because her colleagues at work were upset with the verdict, he said. In another case, a Skyline Chili in Clearwater posted a sign after the verdict saying the jurors were not welcome.
After the verdict, five media companies, including the St. Petersburg Times, asked for the release of the names.