Author Topic: ABC/Gutman Reportage  (Read 2325 times)

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Offline MJW

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ABC/Gutman Reportage
« on: February 07, 2013, 01:53:52 PM »
TalkLeft suggested that the discussion of ABC coverage on the Crump affidaivit thead be moved to a separate  thread on ABC/Gutman. There didn't seem to be an already-existing thread, so I created one.

I mentioned that in State v. Davis, the  Florida supreme court held that in a similar situation the defense should have been allowed to depose a reporter about an interview with a witness. TalkLeft countered with a circuit (trial) court order that a reporter didn't have to testify about unpublished portions of an interview. There's an important distinction that makes the Davis situation more similar to the the Zimmerman situation. In the trial court, the question was whether the prosecutor could require the reporter to testify. In Davis, it was whether the defense could depose a reporter.  Only the latter implicates significant constitutional rights. As the Davis court said:

For example, in a criminal case in which the government is seeking information, it would have to establish that the information was relevant to the crime being investigated; that the government could not obtain the information from another source; and that the government has a compelling need to obtain the information to adequately prosecute the crime at issue. As noted by Justice Powell, in determining the compelling need of the government, a court must weigh the freedom of the press and the obligation of all citizens to give relevant testimony with respect to criminal conduct.

When determining the compelling need of a defendant, however, a court not only must weigh the concerns expressed by Justice Powell; it also must factor into the equation the federal and Florida constitutional rights to compulsory and due process so as to ensure that the defendant receives a fair trial.

I would imagine that figured into the trial court's decision.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 01:55:26 PM by MJW »

Offline RickyJim

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Re: ABC/Gutman Reportage
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 02:08:31 PM »
When do reporters want to invoke a shield law for any reason besides protecting somebody who would face retribution for giving them information?  I just can't see who that person is in this case.


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