Ten years after 12 men and women returned a shocking verdict in the Casey Anthony trial, one of the jurors says the decision to acquit the mother of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony on charges of murdering the toddler still "haunts" him to this year in a new interview with PEOPLE. The high-profile trial had the jurors sequestered, sitting through 33 days of testimony and seeing more than 400 pieces of evidence, and the experience is one that sticks with the man to this day.
"I think of the case at least once, every single day," he told the outlet Thursday. "It was such a strange summer. I knew that there was public interest in the case, but it wasn't until after I was sequestered that I realized that the whole world was watching." The juror said at the time that he felt the prosecutors seemed "arrogant," while lead defense attorney Jose Baez "was the only one in the room who seemed like he cared."
The case is just as vivid in his mind today as ever, and he gets a "pit in [his] stomach" anytime he sees Caylee's face or hears her name. "It all comes flooding back. I think about those pictures of the baby's remains that they showed us in court. I remember Casey. I even remember the smell of the courtroom," he said.
Looking back on the momentous decision made in the jury room to acquit Anthony on all serious charges, convicting her only of lying to police, the juror thinks he would do things differently if presented with the same opportunity today. "My decision haunts me to this day," he said. "I think now if I were to do it over again, I'd push harder to convict her of one of the lesser charges like aggravated manslaughter. At least that. Or child abuse. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, and I didn't stand up for what I believed in at the time."
While the experience was traumatic and the acquittal one of the most contentious moments in recent U.S. legal history, the juror said he doesn't completely regret serving on the jury. "It's traumatic to think about, and I wish I had done a lot of things differently," he explained of his perspective today, "But it's a part of who I am. This case will stick with me for the rest of my life."