Saying that Arizona journalists have a qualified privilege to refuse to surrender their notes, state appellate judges ruled in favor of an Arizona Republic editor, the Republic reported, in a case pitting the First Amendment right of a free press against a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial.
The Arizona Court of Appeals turned down arguments that the reason the editor’s notes are needed is to aid in the defense of murder suspect Gary Thomas Moran, whose lawyers said he might face the death penalty, the Republic‘s Michael Kiefer reported.
Overturning a lower court decision for Moran, the appellate judges found in favor of John D’Anna, a Republic editor who is vice president of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona Inc. One of D’Anna’s attorneys in the case is fellow coalition board member David Bodney, a partner in the Phoenix firm of Ballard Spahr, LLP.
Read The Republic‘s Michael Kiefer’s story here.
The case number is No. 1 CA-SA 16-0096.