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Jurors

April 28, 1993

I read the comments of one of the jurors in the aftermath of the Rodney King federal trial with interest (April 18). To the reporter who attempted to interview him, he is quoted as saying, "Why should I talk to you when others will pay?" Who knows how high he is setting his sights? Movie deals . . . recording contracts . . . Geraldo? The morality of such actions is questionable, but there is a practical issue to consider as well.

In the absence of laws restricting jurors from selling their stories, objective verdicts are endangered by the prospect of potential profits. Especially in high profile cases, jurors could be swayed by the marketing possibilities of one verdict versus another. In the King federal trial, had not at least some guilty verdicts been returned, the juror's ability to market his story would have been constrained by the necessity of continued anonymity.

This is not simply another opportunist trying to capitalize on notoriety. There is more at stake. The judicial system should take steps to ensure that deliberations are free of extraneous influences. The system is compromised when jurors are allowed to sell their stories.

CRISTI B. HENDRY

Los Angeles

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