January 24, 2013

Newspaper objects, but Kennebunk juror review still secret

A jury may be seated by Thursday morning in the prostitution case, followed by opening arguments.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Justice Nancy Mills responds Wednesday to the Press Herald’s objection to her decision closing the prostitution case jury selection process to the public and media.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

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Mark Strong Sr., left, and his attorney Daniel Lilley arrive Wednesday in York County Superior Court in Alfred. Strong has pleaded not guilty to 59 misdemeanors in the case.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

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Schutz's firm, Preti Flaherty, said it plans to make further filings Thursday in York County Superior Court and await action from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

The Sixth Amendment establishes the right to a public trial except in some narrowly defined circumstances, such as juvenile cases, rape cases or those involving sensitive or classified information. A judge can close a courtroom only after considering all potential alternatives, and then only in extreme circumstances.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that "trial courts are required to consider alternatives to closure even when they are not offered by the parties," or by anyone else, on the principle that court proceedings should be open to the public to both protect the innocent and serve the public's interest in maintaining confidence in the criminal justice system.

After Tuesday's proceedings, the judge held a brief session in the courtroom with all 145 members of the original jury pool and dismissed 50 of them.

At the end of Wednesday, Mills made no statement about what had occurred in the closed sessions and ordered prosecutors and defense attorneys not to talk to the media about them.

A judicial marshal who the judge authorized to speak to the media said roughly 37 potential jurors had been questioned individually Tuesday and Wednesday.

Some of the 95 people remaining in the jury pool Wednesday were released, but she didn't know how many.

Strong's trial is expected to last as long as three weeks.

Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

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Mark Strong carries a box while leaving York County Superior Court at the end of the day on Tuesday while his attorney Daniel Lilley talks with reporters.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

  


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