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Fair trial versus public right to know in Michael Dunn trial

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Updated: 1/04 12:22 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A new battle continues in the trial for a man accused of murdering a Jacksonville-area teen.

This time, it involves the public's right to know.

[Special Coverage: Murder over Loud Music]

A local judge is now reconsidering his own ruling to partially release evidence in the Michael Dunn case.

"My favorite amendment isn't the First Amendment, it's the Sixth Amendment -- it says right to a trial by jury," said Jordan Davis' family's attorney, John Phillips.

The law also says every defendant has the right to a fair trail. That has been called into question in the case of Dunn. He's accused of killing Davis in a gas station parking lot over loud music. It happened last November and has since sparked national attention.

"All of a sudden, everyone starts to offer their opinions or their take on what this meant or what was said or what the ramifications are and how it might play out, and it just spreads and spreads and spreads out of control," said Judge Russell Healey.

Davis' family just wants justice, but the public wants more details. The judge made a ruling that the court can decide which pieces of evidence, like jail letters and witness statements, will be made public. He's now reconsidered his ruling after members of the media filed a motion to allow all evidence to be public record.

"What we're worried about -- and I know Duval County is very big -- is some of them already having preconceived ideas based upon Dunn's own words or anybody's own words such that they can't be a fair juror in this trial," said Phillips.

In a rare instance, both the prosecution and defense are on the same page.

"We have a right to represent people in the state of Florida in a fair trial for us. This defendant certainly has a right to a fair trial. We believe those constitutional rights outweigh any interest of the media or the public," said State Attorney Angela Corey.

The judge will take a week to decide whether to uphold his restrictive order. His fear is if too much information is out there, the court will be forced to change venues for the trial -- which is costly to the taxpayers.

The Davis family is holding a commemorative one-year anniversary and candlelight vigil marking Jordan Davis' death at Latham Plaza, in Jax Beach, Nov. 23 from 5-8 p.m.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

geraldine - 12/11/2013 2:41 PM
0 Votes
my buddy's ex-wife makes $66 hourly on the internet. She has been without work for 5 months but last month her check was $13438 just working on the internet for a few hours. linked here.....

Truthseeker - 11/19/2013 4:44 AM
0 Votes
A fair trial trumps all other concerns.

MrBane - 11/13/2013 12:55 PM
0 Votes
@Biblelady: This "poor man" killed a kid. Yeah he deserves a fair trial but give me a break with the poor man stuff. Hopefully you are on here ranting about defendants rights in every case and not just this one.

biblelady2 - 11/12/2013 3:48 PM
0 Votes
Number one, the media has gone overboard, in demanding to have ALL the evidence made public. HOW will that give this poor man a FAIR trial? The jury should not be allowed, to choose what goes public and what doesn't. How ridiculous! Normal juries are composed of people who don't have a smidgen of an idea as to how the justice system really works, they just want to make sure they get their 2 cents in. I served on a jury, and believe me, it's pitiful, HOW the final verdict is arrived at. This man, Dunn, has a right to a fair trial, and to be judged correctly, by the jury and the judge. I am SO FED UP with hearing how unfair the laws are, if the other guy doesn't get off scott free. Remember, one day, we ALL will stand before the Judge, and give an account of every idle word we speak. God desires mercy, not justice. If we all got what we deserved, according to the Bible, we'd all be burning in hell forever. Romans 10:9-13 John 3:16-21

Realchange - 11/7/2013 9:28 PM
1 Vote
Corey has no room to comment about fair trials or information. Withholding Trayvon Martin's Cellphone evidence could convicted a man of murder who acted in self defense. Her actions are not ethical nor morale in nature. A man who is 17 likes to beat the hell out fellow class mates, enjoys making snitches bleed, numerious police interview videos in high school, likes to drink purple lean and smoke pot, trying to buy street guns and more activites should all be with held from the jury for justice. Now she wants withhold evidence in the Dunn case you can bet it is not in the interest of the justice that she is doing that.
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