Why News Media Should Have Jurors’ Names in Anthony Trial


St. Petersburg Times columnist Sue Carlton answers questions about what the news media are requesting the names of jurors in the Casey Anthony murder case. Says Carlton: “When any part of our system does business in secret — spending, hiring, even trying court cases — you can bet someone within that system will one day find a way to corrupt it, to get a little something for himself, because hey, who’s watching? Corners are cut, bribes taken and deals made in the dark. Imagine you could never discover that a juror was an old friend of the prosecutor or an ex-employee of the defense. Courthouse corruption does not exist only in John Grisham beach-reads.”

In interviews with jurors over the years, Carlton says, they talk about evidence they wished they had seen. Jurors who voted not guilty often said they definitely did not mean innocent, that the defendant might be guilty, probably was guilty, but they followed the law as instructed anyway. Even with their names still sealed, one juror went on national TV after the Anthony verdict, her name and face in full public view. And another reportedly offered to speak to reporters for money. Another told the Times he sounded like he wanted people to understand. “I wish we had more evidence to put her away,” he said. “I truly do.” In a case that had the public clamoring for answers, we learned something about what happened in that jury room, Carlton says. That’s why we ask.

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