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Censorship The Courts

Judge Closes Online Access To Info On Civil Case 64

Posted by kdawson
from the need-not-to-know dept.
Ponca City, We love you writes "The Tulsa World reports that Judge Linda Morrissey has ordered online access to information about a civil case locked up on the court website for the duration of a retrial out of concern that jurors might access earlier trial information and be prejudiced. The first trial, which focused on a death amid allegations of negligent medical care, wound up in a mistrial because jurors did not reach a verdict. Lawyers involved in the second trial agreed to the order because they were concerned that jurors could be influenced by getting information from a record of events in a case filed in February 2007 that could be inadmissible as trial evidence. Morrissey routinely gives strong admonitions to jurors that they not search the Internet for information about a case being tried. But not everyone agrees with the judge's closing of court records. The lawyers involved in the trial 'don't represent the public's interest in those records,' says Joey Senat, an associate professor of journalism at Oklahoma State University who writes for FOI Oklahoma, adding that what might be convenient to trial participants does not outweigh 'the public's right or need to know.'"
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Judge Closes Online Access To Info On Civil Case

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