ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s highest court has voted to allow anonymous juries in criminal trials when a judge believes there are concerns about juror harassment, tampering or safety.

The Court of Appeals voted 6-1 on Monday to allow the new rules that would go into effect Sept. 1. The rules allow a judge to determine in each case if there is reason to protect jurors’ identities and call for jurors to be referred to by number.

The judges say anonymous juries should be a rare exception.

Chief Judge Robert M. Bell was the lone dissenter, saying before voting that the issue for him was juror responsibility.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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