It ought to go without saying that the public has a general right to know the identities of people arrested by the federal government, except in cases when the government can prove in court that there is a pressing national security justification for keeping the names secret. Instead, the government can make secret arrests as a matter of general policy.
Steven Spader, though his court appointed attorneys, argues that state’s own sentencing memorandum, which included psychiatrists’ evaluations and findings and depositions of his mother and father, should be secret. The state filed the memorandum under seal at their request.
The Telegraph of Nashua and the New Hampshire Union Leader filed motions to unseal the documents arguing the public’s right to know outweighs Spader’s right to privacy. His lawyers argued in motions that the memorandum is equivalent to a pre-sentencing investigation, which are sealed. Unsealing the documents, they argue, would make it more difficult for investigators to glean honest and open testimony from defendants and others in future pre-sentencing investigations.
By Rose Cavanagh, executive director, New England First Amendment Coalition This month saw another victory for the public’s right to know in New Hampshire, this time involving a successful challenge to an order restricting reporting on juror descriptions to only the juror’s “gender, approximate age, and general occupation.”
By Dan Kennedy, assistant professor of journalism, Northeastern University New Hampshire Republicans have hit upon a novel idea to help U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte: lock up a pollster hired by one of her opponents for the crime of engaging in political speech. According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the state GOP, chaired by […]