It’s a genuine comfort to know that no one’s under any illusions here.

Casey Anthony juror Jennifer Ford said today that she and the other jurors cried and were “sick to our stomachs” after voting to acquit Casey Anthony of charges that she killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

“I did not say she was innocent,” said Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror number 3. “I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be.”…

“Everyone wonders why we didn’t speak to the media right away,” Ford said. “It was because we were sick to our stomach to get that verdict. We were crying and not just the women. It was emotional and we weren’t ready. We wanted to do it with integrity and not contribute to the sensationalism of the trial.”

More of them should speak up. America’s sweetheart is about to become a bona fide celebrity, rich beyond her wildest dreams, and the only moral cover she has to enjoy it is the perception that 12 people who saw all the evidence think she’s actually innocent. The more the jurors dispel that perception, the greater her disgrace. Which, admittedly, is already pretty great: Her first post-trial job offer, from a porn company, has been quickly withdrawn after people freaked out.

The more I think about it, the more I think she inadvertently benefited at trial from being a serial liar. One of the alleged “tells” in the case is how she behaved after the baby disappeared; for 31 days, she knew her daughter was missing and chose to go on partying rather than report it. For any other defendant, that would be smoking-gun evidence that she had deliberately killed the kid since, had it been accidental, even a child abuser would be expected to show some sort of shock, anxiety, depression, etc afterward. But when you see how freakishly willing Anthony was to lie for her own gain, whether legal or financial, you start to wonder how she would have reacted if, say, she really had stumbled upon the baby’s body floating in the pool. Knowing what we know about her level of self-involvement, is it possible that, rather than calling the cops and possibly facing a charge of child neglect, she might have scooped up the body and dumped it somewhere — and then gone back to clubbing? It’s not likely, but when there’s not much evidence and you’re dealing with a true psychological mark, you can see how the jury might have talked itself into a stomach-churning benefit of the doubt.

On the other hand, if it’s not reasonable to infer that Anthony’s guilty of at least manslaughter based on the facts of the case — the duct tape, the smell in the trunk, the failure to report Caylee’s disappearance, the fact that she was the last person to see the baby — how should a jury proceed with the following set of facts? (This is based on an actual case, not a twisted imagination.) Imagine that a body is found in the woods. It’s too badly decomposed to tell the cause of death, but the cops believe it’s a homicide and manage to retrieve male DNA from it. They track down the guy responsible and he tells police that, yes, he did in fact stumble upon the remains, but the victim was already dead. His DNA is there because, well, he has a sick, strange fetish that we needn’t delve into. No one believes his story, of course. Question: Are those facts enough to convict him of some level of homicide? It’s possible that he’s telling the truth and is merely a happy go lucky pervert who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, just as it’s possible that Casey Anthony didn’t actually cause her daughter’s death but inexplicably covered up an accident and immediately went back to the party circuit. But neither scenario is at all likely. How unlikely does it have to be for a conviction?

Speaking of disgusting scenarios and feeling sick to one’s stomach, I’ll leave you with this link to Barbara Walters’s interview with Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, who sure does seem excited about his newfound fame. Remember yesterday after the verdict when he solemnly said, “There are no winners in this case”? Go look at this photo. Never have a lawyer and client been better matched.

Update: The only way this case could get worse: “I’ve thought about adopting, which even sounds weird to me saying it, but there are so many children that deserve to be loved.”