The Virginia Supreme Court will receive public comments until Sept. 1 on a proposed rule that would seal juror information in all criminal trials, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported. The Virginia Coalition for Open Government says this is "potentially unconstitutional."
The Virginia Supreme Court has proposed a rule to tighten access to juror information in all criminal trials, expanding on a 2008 state law that gives courts the authority to keep juror lists secret where there is "good cause."
The proposed rule would shield jurors' identities, giving them numbers by which they would be referred to in court. It would allow judges to further restrict disclosure of personal juror information collected by the clerk's office in some cases. Virginia Beach courts have already launched a similarly restrictive policy, closing access to juror information in all cases, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
The Virginia Coalition for Open Government has come out against the proposed statewide rule.