The judge in the Casey Anthony case has urged the Florida Legislature to change the state's laws to keep jurors' names secret in high-profile cases, especially when they might receive threats because of a verdict.
Judge Belvin Perry wrote in an order that releasing the names of jurors "makes a mockery" of Florida's privacy law, but a public records advocate said Wednesday that people have more faith in a transparent process.
"If you don't know who the people are, you don't know if they may have had some biases or other sorts of issues that may have allowed them to come to the conclusion they have, and that ends up with the public having less faith in the process," said James Rhea, director of the First Amendment Foundation.
Perry has delayed releasing jurors' names in the Anthony case until October, in part because the panel, along with Anthony, received threats after Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.
While Perry was worried about the jurors' safety by revealing their identities, Rhea said they could be protected other ways, including police presence and prosecution. Rhea also said many in the community already knew the jurors' identities.
The judge also took aim at the news media in his order Tuesday, accusing reporters of profiting from the trial.
"Basically, court proceedings are no longer news but entertainment," Perry wrote. "Florida's public records laws were never intended to further the media's (as opposed to now old-fashioned news organizations) bottom line."