August 29, 2019 Top Story

Jurors' Names and Addresses Must Be Disclosed after Trial

Social media and privacy concerns do not protect jurors' identities

By Erik A. Christiansen

A U.S. court of appeals has ruled that generalized concerns about privacy in the internet age is not enough to prevent public disclosure of juror names and addresses.

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It held that unless a district court made particularized findings concerning privacy, a district court would be required to publicly disclose juror names and addresses immediately following trial. Observers suggest that the decision potentially undercuts juror safety, especially in high profile cases.

In Chin v. Trustees of Boston University, a public radio station in Boston, WBUR, sought to obtain jurors names and addresses after a criminal trial involving Glenn Chin. The defendant, a pharmacist, had been charged with 25 predicate acts of second-degree murder after he distributed contaminated medications nationwide causing a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak. Chin was found guilty of mail fraud and other lesser offenses but not guilty of the 25 counts of murder.

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