WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– In a decision made Tuesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the names of jurors who serve in criminal cases are to be available to the public.
The new ruling means that if you serve on a jury, your name will become public record by the end of the trial at the latest, but the decision that isn’t sitting well with everyone. Those opposed to the ruling argue it will create harassment and other risks for those jurors.
While those in support of the decision, like Jana Seiler of West Springfield, told 22News that deciding if someone committed a serious crime or not is a big deal, and they want to know who’s behind making that decision.
“I think everybody has a right to know who sat on that jury and made that decision, especially the family of the victim or of the person being accused,” Seiler said.
Attorney Justin Dion told 22News that it seems the intention of the ruling is to promote an open judicial system, but along with safety concerns, there are additional risks of the jury getting pressure by those involved the trial to sway them one way or the other.
“The concern is really about safety for the jurors and making sure that they are not going to issue a decision in a conservative manner, because they are concerned about the public outcome,” Dion said.
Dion said the change won’t impact the Boston Marathon bombing suspect’s trial, because that case is being carried out on the federal level.