The Campaign For DA

1.07.2012

Our Own Little Pentagon Papers



FORT WORTH -- Visiting Judge Elizabeth Berry issued a sweeping gag order Friday in a capital murder trial that prohibits the news media from reporting or disseminating anything that happens in open court outside the presence of the jury . . . . Among other restrictions, Berry's order states that the media may not interview attorneys, litigants, employees of the district attorney's office, parties, witnesses, victims or relatives of victims until the trial ends.


That's baloney, and I'm proud the Star-Telegram is going to fight it. We have conflicting constitutional rights of giving someone a fair trial vs. freedom of speech, but this is insane. You'll often hear of "gag orders" which prevent lawyers from discussing the case (which I'm not sure the Supreme Court has ever addressed) and that makes some sense when one party is trying to influence a trial or potential trial. But telling a newspaper how it will gather and report news is downright frightening.