Skip to main content
Article
“What’s in a name?” : A Paradigm Shift from Press-Enterprise to Time, Place, Manner Restrictions When Considering the Release of Juror Identifying Information in Criminal Trials
American Journal of Criminal Law (2009)
  • Scott J. Sholder
Abstract
This Article addresses the ongoing conflict that arises when the press seeks to obtain the identities and addresses of jurors in a criminal trial: the press’s First Amendment rights clash with the defendant’s Sixth Amendment fair trial right as well as the privacy interests of trial jurors. The jurisprudence on this specific area of law is unclear, as federal and state courts throughout the country take varying approaches on when the press can gain access to this sensitive personal data by inconsistently applying Supreme Court precedent dealing with presumptive First Amendment rights to access criminal proceedings. The Supreme Court has yet to speak on the issue of access to juror identifying information, and the trend in case law is leaning toward absolute press access to such data. This Article argues that the framework set forth by the Supreme Court’s “experience and logic” test in the Press-Enterprise family of cases is not the proper standard to apply in the specific context of access to juror identifying information. The interests of the press, defendant, and jury shift in priority depending on the particular stage of trial; accordingly, a more flexible alternative framework is needed. This Article suggests that courts should consider using a modified version of the First Amendment test for “time, place, and manner” restrictions to control press access to juror identifying information and determine when the release of such information is appropriate. This test proves to be more malleable to the parties’ shifting rights, and allows trial judges more flexibility in controlling the flow of information in and out of a criminal trial.
Keywords
  • First Amendment,
  • Sixth Amendment,
  • jury,
  • privacy,
  • release of names,
  • criminal law,
  • press,
  • media
Disciplines
Publication Date
Fall November, 2009
Citation Information
36 Am. J. Crim. L. ___ (2009) (forthcoming)