Butterworth v. Smith (1990) said prohibiting grand jury witnesses from
disclosing their testimony after the grand jury term has expired violated
First Amendment rights.
Jury Issues Archives
In a case that offers insight into how early American courts viewed liberty
of conscience, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a judge’s decision to
remove a juror who opposed the death penalty. In Commonwealth v. Lesher
(1828), the court questioned how a judge could have forced a juror to “take
the affirmation, which in his own heart he was determined to disregard.”
Sugarman v. United States (1919) upheld a conviction under the Espionage
Act against a challenge that the judge had not given instructions about
First Amendment protection.