O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony
Myung J. Chun/AP; Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT/AP
07/05/2011 at 02:00 PM EDT
For the past three years, the public has not been on Casey Anthony
During the 35-day trial,
concluding with 10-plus hours of deliberations, rampant speculation mounted that the Florida mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee would indeed be convicted of first-degree murder – and perhaps even to face the death penalty.
But on Tuesday afternoon, the jury
delivered a not guilty verdict
as millions watched on TV and online.
The surprising decision was reminiscent of another acquittal in a high-profile murder case: that of O.J. Simpson
In 1995, jurors deliberated
for about four hours before returning a famously surprising not guilty verdict in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
Another quick return on a murder trial verdict also came in 1995 in the Susan Smith case. Smith was accused of drowning her two young sons, and after two-and-a-half of deliberation, that jury delivered a guilty verdict.