Tuna Chatterjee's blog

Third Circuit Grants Public Access To Prospective Juror Information

On August 1, 2008, the Third Circuit Court of the Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Wecht. The opinion is great news for citizen media creators, because the court ruled that the First Amendment confers a presumptive right of access to obtain the names of trial and prospective jurors in a criminal case prior to empanelment. U.S.

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Maine Enacts State Shield Law

Last Friday, Maine enacted a state shield law to protect journalists from disclosing the identity of a confidential source or source material that the journalist obtained or received during the newsgathering process. See 16 Me. Rev. Stat. ยง61 (click on the "webpage" link under the "Final Disposition" section). However, the law does not give journalists an absolute privilege against disclosing this type of information.

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A Tale of Two Prisoners

This week, a judge ruled that Allan Parmelee, an inmate at the McNeil Island Corrections Center in Washington state, can continue to request public records under the state Public Records Act. According to the Associated Press, Parmelee has requested hundreds of public records about the state troopers, prosecutors, judges, prison guards, and others who incarcerated him for firebombing two cars.

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