Time: Wed Jul 16 05:59:11 1997
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Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 05:54:48 -0700
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From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Okla. Bomb Evidence Seal Upheld (fwd)

>.c The Associated Press  
>DENVER (AP) - A federal appeals court rejected arguments by news
>organizations that the Oklahoma City bombing judge violated the public's
>right to information by sealing pretrial documents. 
>U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch had sealed motions by defendant Terry
>Nichols to suppress evidence and FBI reports concerning Nichols' nine-hour
>statement to authorities before his arrest. He also sealed motions from
>Nichols and Timothy McVeigh for separate trials. 
>Nichols faces a Sept. 29 trial on murder and other counts in the April 1995
>bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 people and
>injured more than 500. McVeigh was convicted last month on identical charges
>and sentenced to death. 
>During arguments before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, media
>attorneys argued that Matsch used secret documents to decide McVeigh and
>Nichols deserved separate trials. 
>The attorneys said that violated the public's right to know and
>constitutional guarantees of a free press. 
>In its ruling Monday, the appeals court said the suppressed evidence,
>including Nichols' statement, was not admissible at trial. 
>Disclosing the information, the court said, ``would play a negative role in
>the functioning of the criminal process, by exposing the public generally, as
>well as potential jurors, to incriminating evidence that the law has
>determined may not be used to support a conviction.'' 
>The appeals court said the public and media had ample opportunity to
>understand the circumstances of Nichols' statement during a four-day public
>The court also said defense attorneys and prosecutors were very candid about
>their cases under the promise the motions would be kept secret. 
>The appeals court said it reviewed the still-secret documents and concluded
>that ``the district court properly sealed only those portions of the
>documents'' necessary. 
>AP-NY-07-15-97 0825EDT
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Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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