On January 18, 2019, the First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling from October 2017, in which a District Judge denied a motion to release to the public the names of jurors involved in the prosecution of Glen Chin, a pharmacist charged with racketeering in conjunction with the New England Compounding Center scandal that led to a nationwide meningitis outbreak. Last week, however, the First Circuit Court took the side of Prince Lobel and our client, WBUR, who had filed the motion for the release of juror names back in 2017. The court ruled that Massachusetts’s jury plan requires trial judges to release the names and addresses of jurors after the jury has delivered a verdict (as decided in a 1990 case), and further maintained that technological changes and advancements have not weakened this position.
Attorney Jeffrey Pyle, who argued the 2017 case before the District Court, agrees, telling Reuters that the decision was a “resounding rejection of the notion that the Internet changes the equation when it comes to transparency in the criminal justice system,” and adding that “I have sympathy for jurors who are pressed into service (and) have to endure media calls. But the alternative is that justice is meted out by anonymous people.” For more of Pyle’s thoughts, read the full article here.