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Casey Anthony verdict shocks the nation

by Jorge Hernandez on July 6, 2011

After a six week-long trial that captivated much of the country, a Florida jury found Casey Anthony not guilty on all major charges stemming from the death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, including first degree murder, the Associated Press reports.

The verdict shocked many who had been closely following the trial, but legal analysts say that the prosecution failed to meet the burden of proof, and could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony killed her daughter. Perhaps most damning to the state's case was that they were unable to pinpoint an exact cause of death, or provide a compelling enough motive for why Anthony would have murdered her child in the first place.

The jury did, however find her guilty on four counts of lying to investigators, but since she has already been in jail since 2008, she may walk free after her sentencing next week.

None of the jurors who made the decision spoke with the media afterward, but one of the alternates (who sat through the trial but was not involved in deliberations) said that he would have made the exact same call.

"I definitely agree that they [jurors] did get it right. I support that decision whole-heartedly," Russell Huekler told NBC's Today show. He added that the jury " kept waiting to see what was the motive – just because Casey was a party girl did not show why she would possibly, you know, kill Caylee."

The case attracted significant media attention ever since Caylee Anthony was reported missing in 2008 and her remains were found in the wood near Casey's home about six months later. Casey was indicted on felony murder charges in October 2008.

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