‘ProJo’ Drops Appeal Seeking Jurors’ Statements

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(AP) The Providence Journal has dropped its appeal of a U.S. District Court judge?s decision to black out parts of a document in the Lincoln Park bribery conspiracy trial.

The document contained prospective jurors? statements about government corruption in Rhode Island. Judge Mary Lisi she redacted the information out of concern that if certain statements were reported by the media and seen by a juror, that could prevent the defendants from having a fair trial.

The newspaper decided to drop the appeal Friday because the full text of the juror questionnaires is now available. Lisi released the unredacted document after the trial of former Lincoln Park executives and the park itself ended.

Chief Judge Michael Boudin of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston had questioned why the newspaper continued to press forward.

?You are inviting the court to make a decision that might come out against you,? he told Journal lawyer Howard Merten.

Merten said the newspaper had gotten all it expected at this point.

Lincoln Park and two former executives, Nigel Potter and Daniel Bucci, were charged with conspiring to bribe a former House speaker for approval for more video slot machines and to help block a Narragansett Indian casino.

In February, a jury returned five innocent verdicts but was deadlocked on 20 other counts, including the underlying bribery-conspiracy charges.

The U.S. Attorney?s Office has filed charges anew and both sides are now preparing for a second trial.

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