The Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that trial courts must create lists of jurors in all cases and make them available to the public “no later that the completion of trial.” Justice Cordy concluded that revealing the identities of jurors is an ancient practice in Massachusetts, and he cited the 18th century Boston Massacre case, where the jurors who acquitted the British soldiers were known to the public. Jurors names may be withheld only if there is a “good cause” showing that a risk of harm to the jurors exists. Justice Gants dissented, noting, among other things, that including a juror list in case files “may, over time, diminish the fairness and impartiality of jurors” and induce a greater reluctance among citizens to serve on a jury.
This is a new development in jury trial practice in Massachusetts, and the effect upon the jury selection process, the willingness of jurors to serve and the post-trial impact in this age of social media as a retribution platform is yet to be seen. All the more reason for you to retain experienced trial counsel like Harris & Associates, P.C. to navigate your case from start to finish.