(LibertySociety.com) – Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee granted Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s recent request to conceal the identities of the jurors who will decide the fate of the 19 defendants charged in the 2020 Georgia election case. The Superior Court’s rules already require consent from the judge before any type of photographic or electronic equipment can be used, but Judge McAfee’s order goes further. He will prohibit drawings of the jurors that would reveal their identities, while also forbidding the recording of statements given by jurors or prospective jurors. Taped conversations and images of the jurors will also not be allowed.
Judge McAfee will allow the jury foreperson to be recorded by audio when delivering a verdict or when asking questions from the jury. Jurors and prospective jurors will be given a number for identification in court filings. No identifiable information will be disclosed such as their addresses, phone numbers, or places of employment. Willis’s request was initially opposed by media outlets that argued for a narrower order to ensure they could sufficiently cover the juror selection process. However, the media group and Willis’s office both consented to the judge’s order from Judge McAfee.
Willis made the request out of concern for the safety of the jurors and the integrity of the trial. She argued that the jurors would be “doxxed” if their identities were public, which could put “them in physical danger” and risk potential impartiality. Attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro will go to trial on October 23, with the order from Judge McAfee in effect.
The two defendants both requested a speedy trial, which prompted the judge to sever their cases from the other 17 defendants. Their trial dates have not been scheduled yet, likely due to the multitude of filings from defendants who have requested their cases be moved to a federal court. Willis had originally requested a March 4 trial date, but shortly after, Washington D.C. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan set Trump’s other election case for that date.
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