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Kansas bill would exempt juror addresses from public record

Associated Press - May 7, 2017 8:20 am

A new law signed Friday by Kansas GOP Gov. Sam Brownback enhances penalties for those who commit crimes against police officers.

Kansas lawmakers Friday passed a compromise bill aimed at protecting jurors from harassment without impairing court transparency.

The House passed the bill 118-3 on Friday. The Senate passed it 40-0 on Wednesday.

The bill exempts jurors’ addresses from the public record. The original bill also exempted jurors’ names, but transparency advocates say that would be a step toward court secrecy. They reached a compromise with district judges who say disclosing jurors’ names and information leaves them open to harassment. District judges say the disclosure has a “chilling effect” on prospective jurors.

Jurors’ names would still be public record under the bill. District Judge James Fleetwood says just guarding jurors’ addresses would help prevent harassment.

GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s spokeswoman Melika Willoughby declined to say whether Brownback would sign the bill.