The jurors in the Casey Anthony murder trial had been sequestered for more than 5 hours when Judge Belvin Perry called them back into the courtroom at 6 p.m. today. When they entered, they looked absolutely exhausted. They kept their heads straight ahead, did not look over at the defense table or at Casey Anthony, sitting there anxiously in her blue and white pinstriped shirt. If they had reached a verdict today, that wouldn't have boded too well for the defendant. That behavior is indicative of a jury who just convicted a defendant.
But the jury did not reach a verdict today. Perry called them into the room simply to tell them to go home for the day. So the fact that they did not look at Anthony could mean something -- or it could mean their heads are spinning, which we will all have to wait at least another day to find out.
The deliberations continue tomorrow morning at 8:30.
As tormented as Casey Anthony and everyone surrounding her probably are regarding the outcome of this trial, the jury's dismissal had to offer a bit of relief. A quick verdict often means conviction. Then again, it's no surprise that this jury isn't quick to jump the gun -- in either direction.
All along they have taken this trial very seriously, showing their respect for the process and the matter by dressing in suits and ties and nice outfits. The judge said they could dress down today for the holiday, which a few of them did. They have been listening intently to every word, taking notes, and have avoided the whispering and small talk that often happens during trials. This panel of people knows the weight of this case, and one could only imagine they are pouring over every complicated word of testimony, every transcript, every detail of evidence behind those locked doors.
Some commentators say that a verdict could come tomorrow. In dismissing the panel, Perry told them to go get some dinner, a good night's rest and "something else for the night," which made me laugh a little. Honestly, if you were on that jury, could you do anything else besides think about the fate that is in your hands?
Image via steakpinball/Flickr