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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bag the Gag: First Amendment Coalition Joins Defense Attorney in Requesting Nixing of Gag Order in Oscar Grant Case

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 3:23 PM

click to enlarge Now he wants to talk!
  • Now he wants to talk!
The California First Amendment Coalition yesterday filed a motion in Oakland Superior Court aimed at rescinding the gag order that currently prevents attorneys in the Oscar Grant case -- People v. Mehserle -- from commenting publicly.

In a handful of words, the CFAC feels the public needs to be well-informed about the ongoing case and cannot be if the gag order -- instututed by Judge Morris Jacobson on Jan. 30 when he granted former BART officer Johannes Mehserle bail -- is not lifted. In 18 pages, you can read it for yourself.

The request reiterates the desires expressed last week in a motion filed by Michael Rains, Mehserle's defense attorney.

"The defense believes that the (gag) order has hamstrung Mehserle by

preventing any attempt he might otherwise make to address the barrage

of negative publicity in the case, which has presumed his guilt as a

murderer," Rains wrote in the filing. He added that John Burris, who represents Grant's family in a civil case, is not covered by the gag order -- and can make statements about Mehserle that cannot be countered. Burris declined this obvious invitation to engate in a tête-à-tête.

A Friday hearing will determine whether the gag comes undone.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more

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