2011: Blockbuster year for court stories

2011 was a huge year in the courtroom.

There was the outrage over the acquittal of Casey Anthony, charged in the death of her young daughter, Caylee; the total vindication of American college student Amanda Knox after she spent four years behind bars in Italy in the murder of her roommate, and the conviction of Dr. Conrad Murray in the death of Michael Jackson.

Jean Casarez, a correspondent for "In Session" on "TruTV," covered many of the biggest trials, and offered insight on them on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning":

Casey Anthony

"Stunned. Absolutely stunned" about the verdict.

Amanda Knox

"I think we learned how evidence can be fabricated from nothing, how someone can sit in jail and be convicted. Also, I think the lesson here is, when you're in another country, you're governed by their laws, their police, and you're rights as an American are really trumped for the country that you're in."

Conrad Murray

"One of the headlines is that Southern California has not been able to get a verdict of guilty in a celebrity trial. They got it with Conrad Murray. But the thing that amazed me -- on the (courthouse) ninth floor, where the trial was held, the fans of Michael Jackson lined that hallway every day of that two-month trial and, near the end, as the prosecutors would leave the courtroom for lunch or a break, they would start to cheer on the ninth floor for the prosecutors! The jury had to hear that. They were never around that, but you could hear it on the whole floor, and that was amazing aspect, I think, of that trial for me."

Joran van der Sloot

He was never charged in the death of Natalee Holloway, but is sitting in a Peruvian prison, accused of killing a woman there. He could get off with as little as seven years if he, in essence, confesses.

Jerry Sandusky

The main suspect in the Penn State sex abuse scandal, charged with sexually abusing many boys - will more alleged victims come forward? Will more charges be filed against him? Will he keep giving interviews to the press - highly unusual for defendants? Stay tuned.

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