Monday News and Open Thread
The media joins forces to request the unsealing of all records in the George Zimmerman case. The motion is here. My view: Keep it sealed. The time to release it is after the case ends, whether by pre-trial dismissal or verdict. The public can then decide if they believe the judge or jury's actions were justified. There's no need for them to "play along" as the case progresses. The media's motion makes the best case for keeping it sealed. It says:
"Defendant's confession has already been disseminated in various news articles."
Zimmerman has not confessed to any crime. He hasn't publicly said anything yet. No statement signed by Zimmerman or police recording of any of his statements has been released. A police report and statements by his lawyers and family that he acknowledged shooting Martin is not a confession of wrong-doing or confession to a crime. By all reports, he is denying he committed a crime.
Since the media cannot be trusted to report fairly, the motion should be denied. Update below, with a change in my position: [More...]
Update and Amendment: My objection is to the discovery being released, investigative reports and the like. I agree all pleadings should not be automatically filed under seal. There should be a motion for seal with grounds for any motion the parties want sealed. A blanket seal order is not appropriate. The judge that granted that request is the same judge that approved the arrest warrant and affidavit. Both were done on a moment's notice without time for adequate reflection. He had just received the arrest warrant affiavit moments before and the same for the motion to seal. So my position is the pleadings should be presumptively open, absent a showing of good cause, made on individual basis. And arrest warrants and affidavits shouldn't be rubber-stamped in approval, but examined to see if there is probable cause contained within the four corners of the affidavit for the specific crimes the state seeks to arrest on.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming:
The judge has excused 48 potential jurors in the John Edwards trial. Trial begins Monday.
Jury selection is underway in the Roger Clemens perjury retrial.
This is an open thread, all topics welcome.
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