Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’


FOI Fail of the Week: Ala. judge seals court records in professor’s murder trial

This week’s FOI Fail award goes to Madison County Circuit Judge Alan Mann, who sealed court records in the capital murder case of Amy Bishop. She is charged with killing three employees during her time as a biology professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Bishop is accused of killing three biology department colleagues during a Feb. 2010 meeting and shooting three other employees. The court seal will keep information about the case from public view.

Mann already issued a gag order in March on both parties involved in the case. He did, however, reject a request from Bishop’s lawyers to keep pretrial court proceedings closed to the public.

The Huntsville Times and WHNT News 19 are both considering potential legal actions that could re-open public access to the sealed court records.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email (mwatkins@spj.org) or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).

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