Paper seeks juror names in Justine case
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is challenging a judge's decision to keep sealed the names of jurors who convicted a former police officer in the fatal shooting of Australian life coach Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Mohamed Noor was convicted of murder last April in the July 2017 shooting of Damond just minutes after she called 911 to report that she thought she heard a possible sexual assault happening in the alley behind her Minneapolis home.
Noor argued at trial that he fired a single shot when Damond approached his squad car because he feared for his partner's life.
Hennepin County Judge Kathryn Quaintance has cited media interest in the case to repeatedly keep the jurors' information sealed, most recently in January.
In a motion filed yesterday, The Star Tribune argued that there was no threat to juror safety nor to Noor's ability to get a fair trial.
The newspaper also said the secrecy violated First Amendment rights, and that Ms Quaintance's citation of media interest as a reason to seal the names made no sense.
"(T)he Court seems to be saying, juror names should be released only in cases that people do not care about - or only after people stop caring about them," the motion stated. "By this logic, the names of jurors in high-profile cases such (as) this one might never be released." Noor was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison in Damond's death.