Yesterday, Mark O'Mara, who represents George Zimmerman, filed a motion for anonymous and sequestered jurors. As some may recall, Mr. O'Mara is representing Mr. Zimmerman in his upcoming second-degree murder trial for the death of Trayvon Martin. The motion, which primarily focuses on obtaining an anonymous jury, is available here. If granted, the motion would not require a completely anonymous jury. Attorneys and court personnel would still have access to the names of the jurors.
Historically, anonymous juries were relegated to cases where juror safety was an issue or when the judge thought that someone might try to influence the jury's verdict. However, judges are now increasingly empanelling anonymous juries in the name of juror privacy. For more background information on anonymous juries go here.
In filing his motion, Mr. O'Mara asserts that
[T]his case is different than most cases because in this case, in that it is Mr. Zimmerman who requests an anonymous jury. Mr. Zimmerman believes that juror anonymity will promote an atmosphere in which jurors can hear evidence and deliberate without fear of reprisal or harassment.
Mr. O'Mara also claims that
If this Court fails to protect the privacy of Mr. Zimmerman's potential jurors it will endanger his rights to due process of law and a fair trial by an impartial jury.
The motion also makes several references to the Casey Anthony jurors who were subject to extensive criticism for their verdict. I am not sure how the government is going to react to this motion but I am sure that the media will seek to intervene and respond. Generally speaking, if a trial judge wants to use an anonymous jury, she has to make factual findings as to why one is necessary.