SJC hopes you can identify mystery justice

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts is hoping someone can identify this justice, who's believed to have served sometime between 1780 and 1820. (Supreme Judicial Court photo)

The highest court in Massachusetts is turning to the public to solve a judicial mystery.

For years, a portrait of a former justice has hung outside the chambers of the chief justice of the state Supreme Judicial Court, which traces its roots to 1692. The trouble is nobody knows who he is.

He's believed to have served on the court sometime between 1780 and 1820.

Court officials have for years being trying to identify the mystery jurist without success, so current Chief Justice Ralph Gants is asking for the public's help.

The person who provides reliable authentication of the portrait will be invited to the court to stand with Gants as he unveils a plaque bearing the mystery justice's name.

A guided tour of the courthouse also will be provided.

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