Fla. lawmaker wants to bar jurors from cashing in on service

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Florida lawmaker says jurors should be temporarily prohibited from profiting from the trials they sit on, The Tampa Tribune reports.

State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, has filed a bill — spurred by the Casey Anthony case — that would prohibit jurors from being compensated for providing information related to the case they had deliberated on. The ban would be in effect before, during and for at least nine months after the trial.

“We don’t want jurors during jury selection thinking about profits,” Randolph told the Tribune. “It’s just trying to take away that financial incentive so there are no shenanigans in the jury room.”

The bill would also make it illegal for anyone, including news organizations, to request such information from jurors in exchange for payment during the same period.

Tampa attorney John Goldsmith questioned the constitutionality of the measure.

“I think there is a very good chance that a court could come down on finding that it is unconstitutional,” Goldsmith told the newspaper. “I think if it’s challenged, there is a reasonable chance it would be struck down.”

Under the proposal, a juror who violated the law could be charged with a felony, a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each violation.