Casey Anthony Trial: The Hits Just Keep Comin’

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.

So….that nine month “cooling off period” might be more aptly named the “secrecy period” or “total and utter secrecy period,” in all trials in Florida, regardless of media attention of fact pattern, forever and ever. Nice, Rep. Randolph. You got your name in the paper. Now can you go come up with a way to ensure that juries are operating properly in the absence of even the possibility that there might be a scintilla of accountability?


One Response

  1. And they wonder why people would rather have root canals than serve on juries?

    I’m sure when the Casey Anthony jurors came down to the courthouse that first day, they weren’t thinking “Man, I’m going to get rich on the movie rights to my book about this case.” Unless you know how to look up court records from the number on the jury summons, you have no idea what you’re in for until you’re in the courtroom.

    In this particular case, gagging the jurors serves no one. Only they can explain how they reached the verdict, and it would help shed better understanding of the jury system and our requirement that the prosecution has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

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