William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


James R. Cady


Legislation recently enacted in California attempts to preserve further the right of the accused to a fair trial and the integrity of judicial proceedings by allowing criminal prosecution of jurors and witnesses who would enter agreements for or accept payment, benefit, or other consideration in exchange for information pertaining to criminal trials. This note analyzes the constitutionality of this legislation through an evaluation and a balancing of the rights and interests of the accused, the jurors, the witnesses, the press, and the public implicated in criminal trials. Despite supporting compelling governmental interests, certain portions of the statutes are too broad, too vague, or not narrowly tailored to meet these governmental interests. This note then considers proposals to amend the statutes for the purpose of rectifying constitutional infirmities and withstanding future constitutional challenges.