Feds Keeping Defendant Deals Secret
The Sixth Amendment guarantees public trials. But a recent investigation by the Associated Press has found that 5,000 defendants who passed through the federal courts had the details of their cases kept from public view.
At the request of the AP, the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts conducted its first tally of secrecy in federal criminal cases. The nationwide data it provided the AP showed 5,116 defendants whose cases were completed in 2003, 2004 and 2005, but the bulk of their records remain secret.
On the one hand, there is good reason for this. Most of these defendants cooperated with the Government for a lesser sentence and provided information about confederates and other wrongdoers. If this information was not sealed, they would be in physical danger when they arrive at their designated prisons. No matter what you think of the system that allows defendants to purchase their freedom through ratting out others, they should not be placed in physical danger.
|< Bush in India Photos | Released Guantanamo Documents >|