A bad trial with a disliked outcome produces a legislative overreach of titanic proportions:
Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, on Thursday filed a bill that would call for a nine-month “cooling off” period after jurors are dismissed before they could consider accepting money for sharing details about a trial.
The moves comes just days before Casey Anthony is released from jail after a jury last week found her not guilty in the murder of her child.
Randolph’s Juror Compensation Bill, HB 51, would make violations of the law a third-degree felony punishable by fines of up to $10,000.
Concerns are that the prospect of being paid to discuss a trial might influence a jury’s thinking during the case.
“The purpose of this legislation is to preserve the integrity of the jury process,” Randolph said in a prepared statement. “It balances the First Amendment freedom of speech with the Sixth Amendment guarantee to a fair trial. The United States Supreme Court has always held that the preservation of a fair trial must be maintained at all costs. I believe that means fairness for the state as well as the defendant.”
Randolph said he will also file legislation that would keep the names of jurors private, unless individuals choose to come forward.