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Jurors, money and TV: a bad combination (access required)

But should court officials take steps to curb the possibility of jurors collecting payments for interviews?

Raleigh publicist Rick French caused a stir when he approached television networks saying he represented a juror in the recently ended Casey Anthony case and his client would not grant an interview without compensation – reportedly as much as $50,000. French declined to specify the juror and has said there was no price named. So far, no juror has received a check for explaining why the jury in the tabloid-worthy Florida trial didn’t think Anthony was proven to be her two-year-old daughter’s killer. But the episode raised a prospect that worries trial attorneys and prosecutors: Could the usually burdensome task of jury duty become a coveted role for people seeking to cash in on high-profile cases? “If you begin to see jurors who have a financial stake in the case, they could make decisions that they believe would be more valuable to TV or the news media,” said Wade Smith (pictured) of Raleigh, one of the state’s top defense lawyers.

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