|NMU||NEW JERSEY||Prior Restraints||Feb 7, 2002|
Reporter fined for speaking to juror during Neulander trial
- A New Jersey judge fined Carol Saline of Philadelphia Magazine $1,000 and gave her a 30-day jail sentence for violating order forbidding interviews or identification of jurors.
A magazine reporter was fined $1,000 and given a suspended 30-day jail sentence for speaking with a juror during the murder trial of Rabbi Fred Neulander.
Neulander, a prominent religious figure in southern New Jersey had been charged with murder for allegedly arranging for the murder of his wife. Before the trial began last July, Judge Linda Baxter entered an order stating that the media could not identify any of the jurors and “shall not contact or attempt to interview any juror or potential juror.” An appeal from news organizations, including the Associated Press and Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., is before the New Jersey Supreme Court.
According to court hearings, Philadelphia Magazine reporter Carol Saline on Nov. 9 asked a juror during the trial whether the jurors would be willing to speak to the press when the case ended. The juror mentioned the incident to other jurors and reported it to Baxter.
Last month, State Superior Court Judge Theodore Z. Davis found Saline in contempt of court for violating Baxter’s order. At a sentencing hearing today, Davis gave the reporter a suspended 30-day jail sentence and a $1,000 fine, which was the maximum allowed.
Neulander’s trial ended in a mistrial because the jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict. A new trial is expected this year.
© 2002 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press