Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Journalist reporting on Holmes case tests how shield laws work going among states
The New York State Supreme Court sided with a Fox News journalist, Jana Winter, and ruled that the reporter does not have to reveal her sources to Colorado authorities trying James Holmes for his July 2012 rampage at a theater in Aurora.
New York state law is more protective of professional journalists than is Colorado, but here there seems to be a “Full Faith and Credit” issue, as to whether another state could use its own laws to force an out of state journalist to disclose sources inside the state.
The Fox version of the story, involving drawings that Holmes had shared with a university psychiatrist about his destructive fantasies, is here.
An “amateur” blogger in New York would not have been protected by the ruling.
It seems that there is a real issue here, in that a state in Colorado’s position needs extreme deference from the (other states’) courts in subpoenas for critical evidence in murder or death penalty cases, to prevent any possibility of wrongful conviction, a subject I have covered on my movies and TV blogs lately.