Psychological impact on jurors could last lifetime

ORLANDO, FL (WFLX) - The decision the jurors made in the Casey Anthony trial Tuesday has been scrutinized by many in the public and the media.

A number of people think Casey Anthony's guilt was exposed after she didn't report the little girl missing for days.

A South Florida doctor says staying out of the spotlight may be the best thing for the 12 jurors. All of the pressures were magnified in the capital case where the jury's judgment could have sent Casey Anthony to death row if she had been convicted of murder.

After the 'not guilty' verdicts on the most serious charges were read, many reporters hoped to speak with the 12 jurors.

Instead, the jurors were given packets to contact the media if they feel so inclined.

Psychotherapist Fran Sherman has completed a number of interviews concerning the psychological aspect of the Casey Anthony trial and says the impact it has on the jurors could last a lifetime.

"They saw, which we were spared of not seeing, horrific pictures of her bones, her brain. So yes, I think there can be some post traumatic stress," says Dr. Sherman.

She says in high-profile murder cases played out for the world on television, jurors can often be confident in their decision behind close doors and out of view, but feel guilty once they see and hear the reaction from the public.

"I think it would be extraordinarily difficult for the jurors because they know how much the country really disliked Casey Anthony," says Dr. Sherman. She also says the mental health of the jurors is not only at risk, but also their public safety.

"I assume they are probably afraid for themselves and their safety because, again they were part of this jury and people didn't like that decision," she states.

It was a concern the Orange County Sheriff addressed during a press conference away from the courthouse.

"We ask our community to respect the decision of jurors and the court today, and to remain civil," says Sheriff Jerry Demings.

Dr. Sherman says the jurors should not watch television for a time.

She says she believes in time the jurors may possibly come forward which could be another method of healing.

Copyright 2011 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.