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Judge To Newspaper - Reveal Name of Commenter 307

First time accepted submitter Andy Prough writes "A Kansas judge has ordered a Topeka newspaper to release the name of a commenter on one of its stories about the trial of Anceo D. Stovall for the murder of Natalie Gibson. Using the name 'BePrepared,' the commenter posted the following in response to a story about the ongoing trial on July 21 at 1:45pm: 'Trust me that's all they got in their little world, as you know, I have been there. Remember the pukes names they will do it for ever.' The problem? The court is convinced that 'BePrepared' was a juror, and was not supposed to be accessing news about the trial before it ended on July 24th. The court wants BePrepared's name, address and IP address. The jury was ultimately unable to find Stovall guilty of 10 of the 11 charges against him — including murder. Both defense and prosecution lawyers appear to want a new trial, and if it turns out that BePrepared was a juror, they are more likely to get their wish."
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Judge To Newspaper - Reveal Name of Commenter

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  • Re:News? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @08:38AM (#41840817)

    The last time I was a juror I had to swear under oath that I would not/did not access outside sources of information about the trial at hand.

    Yeah but anyone too dumb to get out of jury duty is not credible.

  • Re:News? (Score:5, Funny)

    by polebridge ( 517983 ) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @09:04AM (#41841057)

    I guess if you're ever on trial you'll be judged by a jury of your peers.

  • Re:News? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:19AM (#41841751)

    Yes, this is a good point. Should jurors be paid at minimum wage? At average per capita? At their current rate? What about child care? What about job guarantees so you don't get fired while you're on jury duty?

    "government...they" - you probably meant "government....we"

    Not getting fired is covered. Here's the relevant text from the Kansas courts: "(c) State law should prohibit employers from discharging, laying off, denying advancement opportunities to, or otherwise penalizing employees who miss work because of jury service." Looks like other states have similar policies.

    The self-employed are kind of screwed, too, in addition to the people you mentioned, since the law wouldn't protect them from losing business because they had to close up shop.

    Hardship isn't considered a reason to be excused form jury duty, but being affected by the hardship can be if the worry you're experiencing would make you unable to fulfill your duty to pay attention and be "fair and impartial".

    Actual example from my one day of jury duty:

    Brain surgeon asks to be excused. He has patients to operate on.

    Judge: Having something else to do is not a reason to be excused.

    Doc (in standard-issue neurosurgeon bow tie): I have patients scheduled tomorrow!

    Judge: No, that's not a reason to be excused, as long as you can be fair and impartial. Your patients' welfare is not the question here. Can you be fair and impartial?

    Doc: I would try my best to be. But my patients are scheduled for surgery.

    Judge: Could your worry about your patients impair your ability to be a fair and impartial juror?

    Doc: I'd try my best.

    Judge: But would the anxiety from being in court and not caring for your patients impair your judgement as a juror?

    Doc (finally catching on): Yes . . . I would be worried about my patients the entire time, and it could affect my ability to devote myself to jury duty.

    So it doesn't take a brain surgeon to get out of serving, but the judge might need to help a little.

The other line moves faster.