Tuesday, April 5, 2005
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has affirmed a trial court's determination that the Tribune Review Publishing Company may not publish the names and other information about empanelled jurors in the murder case of podiatrist Karl Long, convicted of homicide in August, 2003. The newspaper had argued that after the jurors were dismissed, it should be able to interview them in order to provide further information to the public about their deliberations. The court found "no case law addressing whether a list containing empanelled jurors' names and addresses is a public judicial document subject to a common law rights of access. However, we are guided by the clear policy of protection for jurors' privacy expressed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 632, which requires that "the information provided by the jurors on the [juror] questionnaires shall be confidential and limited to use for the purpose of jury selection only."...The only exception to this rule that the Supreme Court has created is "disclosures made during voir dire."" An attorney for the paper says he plans to appeal. Read the court's decision here.