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Court Rules In Federal Trials, Jurors' Names And Addresses Must Be Released After Verdict18:27
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A jury forewoman speaks to reporters in Seattle in 1985 after the verdicts in a racketeering trial of Neo-Nazis. (Courtesy of David Boeri)
A jury forewoman speaks to reporters in Seattle in 1985 after the verdicts in a racketeering trial of Neo-Nazis. (Courtesy of David Boeri)

How do we uphold transparency and accountability in the federal court system — in short, the public's right to know  — with a judge's desire to protect the identity of jurors when they might be in danger?

It's an important question, because sometimes — say, in a terrorism trial or most recently, in the case of the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo —jurors might be in danger if their identities and addresses were made public.

This question was at the heart of a decision last month by the first circuit court of appeals. The court ruled that in federal trials, jurors' names and addresses must be released in a timely manner after a verdict.

WBUR was front and center in this case. Our lawyers filed multiple motions requesting the release of jury lists during a number of high-profile cases, including a terrorism case and another case about responsibility for a deadly meningitis outbreak.

David Boeri writes about WBUR's victory in the U.S. Appeals Court here.

Guests

David Boeri, WBUR special correspondent.

Nancy Gertner, WBUR legal analyst, former federal judge and senior lecturer at Harvard Law School. She tweets @ngertner.

Jeffrey Pyle, attorney with Prince Lobel Tye. He tweets @JeffreyPyle1.

This segment aired on February 6, 2019.

Related:

Nancy Gertner Cognoscenti contributor
Judge Nancy Gertner was appointed to the bench in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, and retired in September of 2011 to join the faculty of Harvard Law School. Her autobiography, "In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate," was published in 2011.

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David Boeri Twitter Senior Reporter
Now retired, David Boeri was a senior reporter at WBUR.

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Anthony Brooks Twitter Senior Political Reporter
Anthony Brooks is WBUR's senior political reporter.

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Paris Alston Twitter Producer, Radio Boston
Paris is an associate producer for Radio Boston.

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