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Arizona Supreme Court rules anonymous juries are constitutional

(KYMA, KECY/ AP News) - The Arizona Supreme Court has rejected 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.

Ultimately, the court ruling that state courts can keep juror identities secret.

The unanimous ruling 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.

But a Chief Justice 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.

In response, the media group argued that keeping juror identities secret would undermine the media’s ability to play its watchdog role.

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Cole Johnson

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