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Jury selection began May 9, 2011, at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater, Florida, because the case has been so widely reported in the Orlando area. Jurors will be brought from Pinellas County to Orlando where they will be sequestered during the trial. Jury selection took longer than expected and ended on May 20, 2011, with twelve jurors and five alternates being sworn in. The panel contains nine women and eight men. It has been estimated that the trial will take about two months, during which the jury will be sequestered to avoid influence from information available outside the courtroom.
The trial began on May 24, 2011, at the Orange County Courthouse, with Judge Belvin Perry presiding. In the opening statements, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick described the story of the disappearance of Caylee Anthony day-by-day. The defense, led by Jose Baez, presented its claim that Caylee drowned accidentally in the family's pool on June 16, 2008, and was found by George Anthony, who then covered up Caylee's death. Baez also alleged that George Anthony had sexually abused Casey since she was 8 years old. Baez also claimed that Casey's brother Lee had made sexual advances toward Casey and was even given a paternity test to see if he was Caylee's father.
The prosecution alleges an intentional murder and is seeking the death penalty against Casey Anthony
NOTE 1: “Capital punishment in Florida”. Capital punishment is legal in U.S. state of Florida. Florida was the first state to reintroduce the death penalty after the Supreme Court of the United States struck down all statutes in the country in the 1972 Furman v. Georgia decision, and the first to perform a post-Furman involuntary execution in 1979. The only person until then who had been executed during the post-Furman period was Gary Gilmore, who volunteered to be executed in Utah, in 1977, effectively ending the national moratorium on the death penalty which had been in effect since 1967.
Since Furman, 69 people have been executed by the State of Florida, all at Florida State Prison, which possesses the state's sole remaining death chamber. Currently, 394 inmates are awaiting execution.
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