Monday, June 22, 2009

Whoops, was that off the record?

Duffy Carolan, the attorney representing the Chauncey Bailey project, was chewed out by a judge for telling reporters that prosecutors won't seek the death penalty for Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey for the murders of Bailey and two other men.

Prosecutor Chris Lamiero told Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson about the decision in a closed session in his chambers where Carolan was present, according to Bay City News. Here's BCN's account of the courtroom action:
    Jacobson told Carolan Thursday that, "Apparently I wasn't clear" that the conversation in his chambers was off the record.

    When Carolan tried to explain her actions, Jacobson cut her off and said, "Don't interrupt me! Don't run through me!"

    The judge told her, "What you did was sleazy and unethical" and "you probably were in violation of the rules of professional responsibility."

    Carolan protested that Jacobson's order for her not to talk about the case is "an unconstitutional violation of my free speech rights" but Jacobson cut her off again and ended court for the day.
After the May 29 hearing, Carolan said the Chauncey Bailey Project wants to have the grand jury's transcript unsealed because it believes the public has a right to see if the state entered into an appropriate plea agreement with Devaughndre Broussard.

According to BCN, Carolan said she also will argue that the gag order, which was first imposed by Judge Allan Hymer at a May 13 hearing and continues in force, should be lifted because "it's important for the news media to have access to official sources and not have to rely on third parties" who might have incorrect information about the case.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Carolan shouldn't sweat this one. Judge Jacobson isn't seen as a very good judge. He's a Schwarzenegger appointee definitely biased toward the prosecution (he's a former DDA) and he ALWAYS rules against public access. He upheld the gag order in the Mehserle case, for instance.

The East Bay media (what's left of it) should keep track of how many times appeals courts reverse Jacobson and print a comparison between him and other judges. Judges read newspapers, and they don't want to be isolated as being out of the mainstream.