The Florida judge that gained national exposure while presiding over the Casey Anthony murder trial three years ago is retiring.  Chief Judge Belvin Perry turned in his letter of intention to resign after 25 years on the bench.  Perry, 64, presided over Anthony’s 2011 trial.  Anthony was acquitted of the most serious charges during the sensationalized, televised trial.

Perry did an interview in 2013 with the Today show, despite criticism from others, including Anthony’s attorneys.  Judges do not usually make personal opinion comments on cases until after retirement.  Perry said that even though most of the evidence was circumstantial he thought a first-degree murder conviction could have been handed down.

Some thought that the interview may have been part of the search for a network for his proposed show.  Possibly to create buzz.  For the past three years, an interested producer has tried to get Perry a “judge show” on television.  He pitched several different versions of the show, but the project was never greenlit.

He will officially retire at the end of August.

Perry started his legal career as a prosecutor in Orlando in 1977. He ran for judge in 1989 and won, becoming the first African-American to be elected to the Ninth Circuit without first being appointed.  Perry also put the first woman on Orange County’s death row.

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