Experts are divided over whether the New York Post and Wall Street Journal should have identified juror Ruth Bennett Jordan after she made what appeared to be an “OK” sign to defendants in the Tyco corporate fraud case. A New York judge has refused to declare a mistrial, and jury deliberations are continuing.
The New York Post quotes defense lawyer Joseph Tacopina as saying the papers did the right thing: “There would have been no reason to print her name had she not misbehaved in the courtroom. She basically said, ‘Look at me.’ She made herself fair game.”
David Bookstaver of the New York State Office of Court Administration was troubled by the disclosure during deliberations. “There’s usually an unwritten code of conduct for covering a trial, and it’s highly unusual to name a juror while the case is still pending,” he said. “It is public information, but it does raise a whole host of issues, and it further complicates in this case what has already been a complicated – and very lengthy – trial.”