Jewish World Review August 7, 2003 / 9 Menachem-Av, 5763
Why itís time to release the
Kobe Bryantís arrest
Some time in the next week or so, the
judge will rule on whether to make public arrests
and search warrant information. I am not going
to make some theoretical or constitutional
argument about freedom of the press or the fact
that these documents are presumed to be public
I think it's a lot simpler than that.
The very reasons used by both the prosecution
and defense for sealing the information are coming back to
haunt them. Again and again we hear about the possibility of
tainting the jury pool, the fear that the information could
prejudice perspective jurors.
But is the release of accurate information that will likely
be disclosed at a preliminary hearing in the next few weeks
really worse than prospective jurors hearing false
This weekend another national cable news network
reported that the accuser had been driven home by another
hotel employee and that her clothes were ripped. Not true,
according to among others, the local newspaper in Eagle
County, Colorado one of a series of seemingly inaccurate
reports about the case.
When someone reports an inaccurate story, that
reporter should be accountable for that. With both sides
refusing to comment on just about anything and much of the
information coming from teenaged sources, it's a recipe for
So some may say, "So some reporters are reckless
and sloppy, and that should lead to more information being
I'm not saying that. I am saying if the true goal is to
avoid tainting the jury pool, accurate information is better
than inaccurate information.
Look, if material in the reports could lead to the
accuser or her family being harmed, black it out. Same goes
for any information that would jeopardize leads in the
investigation. But when it comes to Bryant's right to a fair
trial, I would be a lot more concerned about reports that are
false than reports prepared by the authorities.
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