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An anonymous jury is a highly loaded concept. Yet, nearly every federal and state jurisdiction confronted with the concept has blessed it in practice. At first blush, it might seem like fire and brimstone for a defendant. But an anonymous jury has its up sides, if used effectively and without prejudicing rights. Let’s review the basics.

An anonymous jury is, typically, a nameless jury. A fully anonymous jury is created when selected venirepersons reveal little identifying information; not their names, addresses, businesses, and religious, political or social backgrounds, to counsel, the press or even the judge during voir dire or any other part of the trial. The seated jury simply consists of “Juror No. 1,” “Juror No. 2,” etc.

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