by Max Brantley
I note that Circuit Judge Bill Pearson reportedly ordered reporters not to question jurors as they left the courthouse following the hung jury in the Nona Dirksmeyer murder case. He also, according to one account I read, ordered jurors not to talk to reporters.
I'm not sure about the constitutionality of these actions, however desirous he might be of tamping down public discussion in advance of a likely retrial. I think he can tell jurors they need not talk to reporters and perhaps even note that more publicity wouldn't be a good thing in this case. I certainly don't think he can gag reporters. Perhaps there are circumstances on this not immediately clear from the reporting. Anyone have further insight?