[UPDATE] Pensacola Sheriff, Judges at Odds Over Jury Greeting

By: AP
By: AP

[UPDATE] PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- March 25, 2011 -- 10:35am --

A Panhandle sheriff says he will follow the request of three federal judges and stop greeting their potential jurors.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan announced his decision
Thursday after the judges sent a letter asking that he stop meeting
and handing out his business cards to jurors when they gather on
Monday mornings at a downtown Pensacola parking lot.

The judges said they feared Morgan could create a pro-law
enforcement bias among jurors in some case.


PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- March 22, 2011 -- 9:06am --

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says he will continue to greet prospective jurors as they board a trolley bound for the federal courthouse, even though three federal judges have asked him to stop.

Morgan told a local news outlet on Monday that he's prepared to take the matter to court.

In a letter dated March 3, judges Roger Vinson, Casey Rodgers
and Lacey Collier told the sheriff his interactions with jurors
raised concerns about the court's ability to seat impartial juries.
Morgan responded on March 17 that he considers greeting jurors part
of his First Amendment rights.

Morgan says he's just "thanking prospective jurors for their
public service."

The issue first came to light last year when defense attorney
raised complaints.

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