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Reversing a Lackawanna County, Pa., trial judge, a Superior Court panel has unanimously held that a Scranton newspaper does not have to reveal its anonymous source for the purposes of a defamation action filed by two county officials who were reported as having stonewalled during a grand jury investigation into alleged illegal conduct at the local prison.

In a June 2005 opinion, Lackawanna County Common Pleas Judge Robert A. Mazzoni argued that although the Pennsylvania Shield Law contains virtually no exceptions, “the public interest is better served by maintaining and enforcing the secret and confidential operation of the grand jury system.”

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