I would like to thank Judge Timothy Cissna, Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett, Ms. Julia Fox, Mr. Steven Betz and Mr. Jason Daniels for allowing the court to be open this afternoon.
It is a matter that could have been discussed in a closed courtroom. I respect that all parties were agreeable to discuss a very sensitive matter in an open courtroom.
I was the only member of the press present and went back to court this afternoon on a "hunch". I asked the bailiff if the courtroom would be open. Just a few minutes after the attorneys went in, the court was opened.
I respect Judge Cissna and the process. This morning, KIEM, Times-Standard, Mad River Union and I were all present and saw what happened to Jane Doe. Since there will be media coverage of that, it is only fair that the public know that all proper procedures are being followed before the trial resumes tomorrow.
It is important because there have been high profile cases locally and private attorneys do not ask for gag orders and do not request closed courtrooms for every little thing. Gag orders do not prevent the media from writing about a case. Two recent high profile cases, Gary Lee Bullock and Jason Warren had plenty of people that knew nothing about the specifics of the case or the case.
The only thing gag orders do is make it more difficult to clarify information and questions the public has about cases that have life consequences for both the victim and the defendant.
While I respect Judge Cissna's remarks that if less information was out there, it would be better, since "a lot is invested in the trial", it is better for the public to know that all measures were taken to give Mr. Daniels a fair trial.