Newspaper had sought disclosure of docket numbers of criminal cases involving municipal corruption, prosecuted in public judicial proceedings. Among its findings, court held that CORI statute did not prevent disclosure of criminal record information, but newspaper only had a disclosure right to the extent the requested information correlated with information available from court records or other public records.Recall that unauthorized release of criminal records led to Sheriff Linehan's resignation in NH under AG pressure yes it did. The (mis)information that the Herald used to publish their stories is most certainly NOT available from court records or other public records, this was a dirty deal and we are going straight to Mass AG Martha Coakley's office this week with this blog post to see what she's going to do about it. When we are finished the Herald, Jessica Van Sack and everybody involved is going to realize this is a matter of grave concern and that no amount of government and big-media beat-down is going to deter our pursuit of Justice. And the factors in favor of disclosure of sources clearly outweigh nondisclosure, read the SJC materials on G. L. c. 6, 167 et seq.
(4) News Sources and Nonpublished Information. Before ordering a reporter to divulge a source and the information gathered, a judge must “consider the effect of compelled disclosure on values underlying the First Amendment and art. 16.” Petition for Promulgation of Rules Regarding the Protection of Confidential News Sources & Other Unpublished Info., 395 Mass. 164, 171, 479 N.E.2d 154, 158 (1985). Accordingly, a judge must balance the public interest in the use of every person’s evidence against the public interest in protecting the free flow of information. Matter of a John Doe Grand Jury Investigation, 410 Mass. 596, 599, 574 N.E.2d 373, 375 (1991). See also Ayash v. Dana-Farber Cancer Inst., 443 Mass. 367, 403 n.33, 822 N.E.2d 667, 696 n.33 (2005).Note: There is a radio show about this matter scheduled for Tuesday morning, 29 December 2009 at 8 a.m. at TOUCH FM.org. At that point people will learn more about a man who was the darling of Massachusetts Law Enforcement and media (Chronicle video here) for his video series “Voices from Behind the Wall," until he started speaking out about violence and racism in the prison itself, at which point he became social and political pariah. He went from being a celebrated proponent of social responsibility to being unceremoniously placed in the hole immediately after he spoke out...... (continued on jump page).