January 23, 2019

First Circuit Rules Public Has Right to Names and Home Addresses of Jurors

On Tuesday, January 18, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled in the matter of United States v. Glenn A. Chin, the public has a right to the names and home addresses of jurors.  Preti Flaherty attorney Sigmund Schutz and attorney Nashwa Gewaily drafted the amicus brief filed by the New England First Amendment Coalition (NEFAC) in support of Intervenor Appellant WBUR-Boston, arguing that delaying access to juror information is “contrary to democratic norms of transparency and accountability inherent in the American criminal justice system.”

WBUR-Boston filed an appeal when the station was denied access to the names and home addresses of the jurors in Chin.  Notwithstanding increased privacy concerns, the court said “[T]here is now a greater potential for the public release of a juror’s name, and, especially, a juror’s address, to be more intrusive and concerning than would have been the case in an era in which social media was unknown.”  “But”, the court added, “these technological changes have by no means diminished the need for accountability and transparency in our system of justice…”

To learn more about this case, the full NEFAC press release and First Circuit decision are available here:

New England First Amendment CoalitionFirst Circuit: Despite Technology Advances and Privacy Concerns, Juror Addresses Public

United States v. Glenn A. Chin, Case: 17-2048, January 18, 2019

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