Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jurors need our protection

If I had served on the Casey Anthony jury, I would be terrified about having my name released to the public. After giving several weeks of my life to the case, and making a decision that one of my fellow jurors, in a statement to the media, made us "sick to our stomachs," I would want to be protected by Judge Belvin Perry.

Watch his comments at this motion where media outlets were arguing to know who the jurors were.

This case created a maelstrom of publicity and public opinion. There is no doubt in my mind that some members of the public might feel as though they need to seek justice for Caylee and feel entitled to impose their own kind of vigilante justice upon the good citizens who did their job. There are people out there who could conceivably stalk, terrorize, or even assault the people who served our community for nearly 2 months, all in the name of "Justice for Caylee."

In spite of all the arguments for "transparency" and "justice," there is no good reason to divulge the jurors names to anyone. If they choose to step forward and do interviews, that's their choice. Not the choice of some media hounds or psychopathic citizens.

Judge Perry is rightly concerned with what previous case law says on the subject. But this issue is important enough to make new case law. It's tough enough to get people to answer their jury summonses. Why hamper the System's ability to seat a jury in high profile cases, or other less publicized but potentially threatening to juror cases?

With the abundance of personal information that's available to anyone with an internet connection, our Courts need to protect jurors from those who might be unhappy with their verdict - whether it's a high profile case or one that never made the news.

See also this interview with the jury foreman, who wishes to remain anonymous.

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