Judge Rejects Moving Ex-Sheriff’s Trial Over Shock Jock Comments


Two Southern California talk show hosts say they are engaging in “blatant tainting” of a jury, says the Washington Post. The actions of the shock jocks, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of KFI-AM in Los Angeles, have prompted defense attorneys for a former Orange County sheriff facing federal corruption charges to ask the judge to move the trial. In a segment of their morning show that they dubbed “Taint the Carona Jury Pool,” Kobylt and Chiampou regularly dish about the upcoming trial of Michael S. Carona, charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and public corruption. Said Kobylt: “If you’re in Orange County and you end up on the Mike Carona jury, remember you have to lie to the attorneys. Tell them you have an absolute open mind, you pay very little attention to the coverage, Mike Carona looks like a good, upstanding Christian man, you never listen to KFI, you never listen to ‘The John and Ken Show’ — and then you vote guilty at the end of it all.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that federal judge Andrew Guilford refused to move the trial. Guilford said the radio commentary was inappropriate but would not prevent Carona from finding 12 honest jurors in a county of 3 million people. “The advocates of such lawlessness are not nearly as important as they pretend and their listeners are not the gullible audience they suppose,” Guilford said. “The court will not overreact to bait offered by largely satirical commentators.”

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/16/AR2008051603384.html?hpid=sec-nation

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