WBUR radio in Boston challenged the practice of some federal judges who release just the name and hometowns of jurors, which meant that news reporters found it impossible to locate jurors.
Judges must release the names and street addresses of jurors in a timely manner at the end of trials, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled, reports WBUR radio. The decision allows trial judges to refrain from releasing jurors’ addresses in special circumstances. WBUR went to court to challenge the practice of some federal judges who released just the names and hometowns of jurors. The denial of street addresses meant locating some jurors was impossible.
WBUR sought the ruling in a criminal case against New England Compounding Center pharmacist Glenn Chin, who was tried on charges of mail fraud, corruption and second degree murder in the case of medications that caused a fatal meningitis outbreak. he judge ruled that in the internet age, release of jurors’ addresses was an invasion of privacy and could expose jurors to danger. Attorney Jeffrey Pyle, who represented WBUR, said, “The court’s decision reminds us that unfocused fears about the internet are no reason to reduce accountability and transparency in our system of justice.” WBUR and other news organizations use the addresses to locate jurors, but do not publish the addresses.