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Star-Advertiser, HNN urge unsealing of Deedy transcripts

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 02:23 p.m. HST, Sep 06, 2013

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and its television news partner Hawaii News Now asked the Hawaii Supreme Court today to release transcripts of closed court sessions in State Department special agent Christopher Deedy's murder trial.

The media organizations also asked for an order prohibiting Circuit Judge Karen Ahn from closing future courtroom sessions in the Deedy case or any other criminal case without giving the public a chance to object.

Ahn presided over the highly publicized seven-week Deedy trial that ended in a deadlocked jury, and the judge declaring a mistrial on Aug. 26.

But before her ruling, Ahn held a private bench conference before a packed gallery with the jury out of the courtroom and then cleared the court.

When the public was allowed back into the courtroom, the judge polled jurors who affirmed they would not be able to reach a verdict if they were given more time to deliberate. She then declared the mistrial.

According to the court file, the judge sealed the transcript of the bench conference and closed court sessions.  

She also held court proceedings in the Deedy case earlier in the day and sealed those transcripts.

The request for the court order filed by Honolulu attorney Jeffrey Portnoy said  it is "beyond debate" that Ahn violated the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment in clearing the courtroom without giving the public and media a chance to object and sealing the transcripts without stating a reason.

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IMVHOAgain wrote:
Yes, and that will ensure a fair retrial how???
on September 6,2013 | 02:30PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
on September 6,2013 | 02:40PM
allie wrote:
on September 6,2013 | 04:43PM
golfcrackerjack wrote:
on September 6,2013 | 08:10PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Agree ... To a certain point ... Try go look at my comments earlier, timewise.
on September 7,2013 | 07:08AM
eastside808 wrote:
Shouldnt this request be after the second trial is concluded and a verdict reached? Why would you want to expose the facts for open public debate prior to another trial?
on September 6,2013 | 03:14PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Advertising revenue.
on September 6,2013 | 04:04PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
If we watched the OJ Simpson case, there were many sidebars. An expert, Vince Bugliosi, who in 1997 published "Outrage", a stunning piece indicating America got wham boozled by the incompetence of both the Prosecution and the Judge (Lance Ito), was passionately 100% for guilt. Although defense attorneys can wham boozle a wowed jury by saying (in the Simpson case) that evidence was mishandled and former Detective Mark Fuhrman was a racist rogue cop, the prosecution did not counter the defense, making it easier and much easier for the jury (omg, nine blacks out of the 12).

Here, for all we know, Judge Ahn could have been asking unnecessary questions during the closed sessions that she would not want others to hear. Then again, this newspaper will vehemently edit and limit participation in these forums, so I can say this: Hypocrisy is running wild, people !!!!!

on September 6,2013 | 03:58PM
tigerwarrior wrote:
Speaking of the O.J. Simpson trial--Judge Ito, like Judge Ahn--ordered the sealing of all but one closed court transcript--and because of this he came under widespread media scrutiny as well as intense pressure from the ACLU. Much of the brouhaha dealt with the unprecedented dismissal of 10 jurors--and according to some in the media--the dismissal of these jurors wasn't justified.
on September 6,2013 | 07:53PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Only the naive thinks or believes that the integrity of the blood samples tested for DNA in the OJ Simpson case was not detrimentally affected. The presence alone of a preservative in the blood evidence in the OJ Simpson case is proof positive that there was deliberate tampering of blood evidence and completely wipes out any semblance of integrity of the case against Simpson. The DNA expert in the OJ Simpson case (Barry Scheck) has since then with his Innocence Project have used DNA to exonerate around 311 people including 18 sentenced to death.
on September 6,2013 | 10:19PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
So u calling me naive??
on September 7,2013 | 07:05AM
GorillaSmith wrote:
As a layman, this looks like an open and shut matter (i.e. the transcripts should be unsealed). Has anyone with legal credentials suggested a rationale for Judge Ahn's actions?
on September 6,2013 | 04:35PM
allie wrote:
she was most unimpressive during this trial
on September 6,2013 | 04:43PM
jussayin wrote:
I guess SA is looking for a juicy story
on September 6,2013 | 06:00PM
golfcrackerjack wrote:
precisely... "if it blleds it leads" so let's make it bleed...
on September 6,2013 | 08:09PM
golfcrackerjack wrote:
The unspoken reality here is that the "victim" was lowlife and Deedy with a few beers in his belly may have gotten badge-heavy. Regardless, it's completely clear that there is no way any reasonable jury would decide unanimously that Deedy is guilty of murder or even manslaughter. It's testimony to the zenophiobia of some jurors that they only 8 of 12 voted for acquittal.. So what's' really ridiculous is trying Deedy again. Sure, it's a game show for the media and those who would whine about the great loss they've suffered as they sue in civil court for monetary damages. But for the rest of us it's a waste of government money trying to convict a perp with no evidence other than a gun, a badge and a dead crudball. Do you think a Honolulu cop would have even been indicted for this? Of course not... and good thing too!
on September 6,2013 | 08:07PM
RandolphW wrote:
What a dog and pony show.
on September 6,2013 | 08:54PM
scooters wrote:
Ambulance chasers..priceless.. so just what does the public need to know or is it just the ambulance chasers who feel a real new to known/ unf2cking believable...
on September 6,2013 | 09:16PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Ian Mattoch anyone?
on September 7,2013 | 07:07AM
Kuniarr wrote:
The transcript that contains testimony of Deedy himself would be sufficient material for an FBI profiler to determine whether Deedy arrogantly used his badge to kill a civilian.
on September 6,2013 | 10:23PM
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