A Colorado group that fights for openness in public proceedings is sounding off over a recent attempt by Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes to seal documents in his case.
“A heinous crime committed in a darkened movie theater that left 12 dead and hundreds injured and devastated should not result in the judicial process being shrouded in secrecy,” said Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. “We hope the judge will deny the defendant’s request and keep our courts open to public scrutiny and accountability.”
In a statement issued last week, the CFOIC urged a judge to shoot down a motion by Holmes’ attorneys asking to seal all transcripts in the case and to force the Colorado Judicial Branch to remove from its website a variety of documents that pertain to the prosecution.
The defense says allowing access to the documents poses a threat to Holmes’ right to a fair trial.
Contending the documents are a matter of public record, the CFOIC argued that removing them from the state website would “overwhelm” clerks in Arapahoe County with documents requests by reporters. Click here to view documents under dispute.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Council is a nonpartisan alliance that promotes freedom of the press, open courts and open access to government records and proceedings, according to its website.