As media seek Casey Anthony jurors’ names, ‘they cannot remain anonymous forever’

St. Petersburg Times | U.S. District Court
While sequestered for six weeks, the 12 Pinellas County jurors and 5 alternates hearing the Casey Anthony case were monitored closely, with limited television and even more limited news exposure.

“They … were allowed to read local newspapers and their hometown paper, the St. Petersburg Times, was given to them — but only after every reference to Casey Anthony had been removed.”

Though some alternate jurors have appeared on television and in newspapers Wednesday, the 12 people who reached a “not guilty” verdict have not yet spoken publicly.

Judge Belvin Perry, who presided over the case in Orlando, released only the names of the alternate jurors. The Poynter-owned St. Petersburg Times reports it and several other media organizations will challenge that decision in court Thursday, when it reconvenes to sentence Anthony for lying to law enforcement officials.

“They cannot remain anonymous forever. There’s a public interest against closed justice,” David L. Hudson Jr., scholar at the First Amendment Center, said by phone Wednesday morning. “The media is the public surrogate and perhaps they can provide key information and serve both the First Amendment and Sixth Amendment interest in an open trial.”

Hudson noted a similar case decided last month, in which the Boston Globe requested juror names after a verdict was reached.

When consulted briefly, the jurors expressed a desire to have a short period of time to decompress and to reflect on whether they wish to say anything to the media.

The media, however, has a countervailing First Amendment interest in access to criminal proceedings, including the identities of the jurors who decided the case.

The convicted defendants have urged the court to delay disclosure of the jurors’ identities … The media requests immediate access to the information. The court concludes that it is most reasonable to give the jurors a single day to begin recovering from the stress of the trial and to think about what, if anything, they wish to say if contacted by the media.

Court watchers may learn Thursday when the Casey Anthony jurors’ identities will be revealed and then the race will be on to see who will interview them first.
> Casey Anthony juror willing to talk to media, but only if he’s paid

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • Anonymous

    Where is the village that these 12 idiots were from? I am sure criminals will want to move there a.s.a.p.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001152700982 Raven Yhelka

    I might not agree with the verdict but i don’t want any one of those people to get hurt of killed just because they thought there wasn’t enought evidence

  • Moomur

    I think when the jurors start talking it isn’t going to be as cut and dried as you think.  Have you ever been on a jury????  You know exactly what it like?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_374CB3QN2AWRHCBADGY7IK5O7A Kezia

    I disagree. They should have to deal with the consequencse of letting this girl off scott free! Really… they have no common sense at all! They were just tired and wanted to go home, they didn’t care about justice at all.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that publishing the jurors’ names, given the uproar in this case, could put them in real danger. Given the general level of media irresponsibility re the Anthony case, I would hope the media would think about the potential consequences of their actions, and leave these people alone.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Moomur also. These jurors could be in real danger if their identities are revealed. I think this is another example of press irresponsibility.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Moomur. Jurors should not have to explain their vote to the public.

  • Moomur

    Wow no these people are going to be stalked.  Glad in Canada are names aren’t given out and we can’t do any interviews or make money off of our experience.