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Juror Names Presumptively Public, Federal Appeals Court Rules

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  1. Freedom of Information
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The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the media has a presumptive right of access to the names of jurors. It said a federal judge in Pittsburgh erred when he sought to empanel an anonymous jury in the corruption trial of a former county coroner. “The prospect that the press might publish background stories about the jurors is not a legally sufficient reason to withhold the jurors’ names …. Although such stories might make some jurors less willing to serve or more distracted from the case, this is a necessary cost of the openness of the judicial process,” Judge D. Brooks Smith wrote. (8/12/08)