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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Sort of Solidarity We Need in Access Battles...

The Chicago Tribune petitioned a Cook County judge Tuesday to lift the veil of secrecy shrouding the R. Kelly case.

The emergency motion requests that Judge Vincent Gaughan make all Kelly-related court records public, release transcripts of several secret hearings and lift the gag order on the attorneys involved in the upcoming trial. Gaughan has been holding discussions with lawyers behind closed doors for months, usually in the privacy of his chambers.

The Tribune and Sun-Times filed the motion together in a rare show of unity between competitors. The newspapers hope to have their arguments heard before another closed-door hearing Friday.

"The right [to access court records] is essential to the public's right to monitor the functioning of our courts, thereby insuring quality, honesty and respect for our legal system," the motion states. "Particularly during pre-trial criminal proceedings, the absence of a jury, long recognized as an inestimable safeguard against the corrupt or overzealous prosecutor and against the compliant, biased or eccentric judge, makes the importance of public access . . . even more significant."

More here.

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