Celebrity Trial Jurors In Media Tug Of War


Most jurors in the Scott Peterson case may not be interested in trading on their six months in the jury box to gain 15 minutes of fame, says the Baltimore Sun. “It’s such an emotional thing, and it’s been exhausting,” said juror Dennis Lear, 59. “And I don’t think it will do anybody any good for the jurors to start discussing problems or whatever went on during the deliberations. It’s not a healthy thing. I don’t think anybody needs that.” After the jury delivered its death sentence, Lear had about messages seeking media interviews. He didn’t return the calls.

Tom Bettag, the executive producer of ABC’s Nightline, said high-profile trials have become “national soap operas” because they’re cheap to cover. News crews can set up outside the courthouse and file stories for months, hyping the trial and then feeding the national craving that comes from such hype. “We’ve become more interested in either celebrity or celebrated crime cases that exhibit themselves in trials because they lend themselves to extended coverage, which is what you need for a cable news channel,” he said. Still, Nightline interviewed the Peterson jury foreman. “This group of 12 people had to make a moral decision [on the death penalty],” Bettag said. “The only way you can touch the morality of that and how you make that decision — you can talk to judges and prosecutors — but really the only people who can talk to that are the people who were actually put in that excruciating position.”

Link: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.to.jurors15dec15,0,3600211.story?coll=bal-na

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