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Tue Jun 14, 2022, 08:59 PM

Arizona Supreme Court says anonymous juries constitutional

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that state courts can keep juror identities secret, rejecting a challenge from a southern Arizona journalist who argued that the right to observe trials included access to the names of jurors who decide the fate of people charged with crimes.

The unanimous ruling written by Vice Chief Justice Ann Scott Timmer turned away arguments made by attorneys for the publisher of the Cochise County Record that withholding identities during the jury selection process without a compelling reason violated the First Amendment.

The decision continues an ongoing movement in some American courts toward allowing the identities of jurors who have traditionally been named to be kept secret. A media group that filed a friend of the court brief said that routinely keeping juror identities secret would undermine the media's ability to play its watchdog role.

But Timmer wrote that while the First Amendment implicitly guarantees the right of the public and press to view criminal trials, it does not extend to all “confidential” information.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/arizona-supreme-court-says-anonymous-214734270.html

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