Over the long holiday weekend, many government offices across the country were closed down in observance of our nation's independence. At the same time, at least one courthouse drew national media attention as the murder trial of Casey Anthony wrapped up and the jury began deliberations.

Santa Cruz criminal defense attorneys know that the constitutional principles that guarantee a defendant the right to a fair trial include the right to a fair and impartial jury. To that end, the judge in the Anthony murder trial sequestered the jury early on. The trial concluded over the holiday weekend and the jury began its deliberations on the Fourth of July. Tuesday, after roughly 11 hours of deliberations the jury let the judge in the case know that a unanimous verdict was reached.

Casey Anthony was accused of murder in the June 16, 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter. She faced a number of other serious charges in related to the 2008 incident. At trial, she chose not to testify in her own defense.

Law enforcement says that in 2008 the woman told detectives a nanny had kidnapped her 2-year-old daughter. A nationwide search for the young girl followed. The young girl's remains were found in the woods near the family's home. Duct tape reportedly was dangling from the girl's skull.

The criminal defense argued to the jury the 2-year-old girl died in an accidental drowning and the prosecutor failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any murder had occurred.

The matter was placed into the hands of the jury over the weekend. Tuesday the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of murder. The jury also acquitted the 25-year-old defendant of aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child.

The jury came to a different conclusion with regard to the information the woman had provided to police. The jury found the woman guilty on four counts of providing false information to a police officer under Florida law.

The seven week trial fed the media with reports of delays and legal issues arising throughout the trial. Many compared the coverage to that carried during the O.J. Simpson murder trial in California.

Source: Reuters, "Casey Anthony found not guilty of murder of daughter," 5 Jul 2011