SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A judge on Tuesday weighed how much information to release about the arrest of a former policeman accused of the Golden State Killer.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet began considering the issue after a hearing where the lawyers of defendant Joseph DeAngelo argued that the sharing of the data may lead to an unfair process.
Sweet indicated that he is not likely to release information, and works with prosecutors and defense attorneys to determine how much to edit, that would continue to shield some of the details of the public.
The Associated Press and other news media are insisting on information from search and arrest warrants be made public.
Transparency helps the public act as a check on the legal process and ensures researchers are acting appropriately, said Duffy Carolan, a lawyer for the news media.
“The press, the public and the victims deserve open procedure,” she claimed.
Authorities arrested Joseph DeAngelo, 72, in April, and said he is responsible for at least a dozen dead and about 50 rapes in the 1970s and ’80s. The investigators have searched his home in Citrus Heights, California, his computer and his mobile phone.
Defense attorneys said the warrants include information about other allegations against DeAngelo that can no longer be tried, as well as the details of the proof and the methods.
Making that information public could taint jurors and witnesses, advocate David Lynch said.
“We have witnesses of the events of decades ago. Fading memories are a major problem in this case,” he said.
Prosecutors have no objection to the release of the documents, but wants to shield some of the information, including the research techniques, and victim and witness identities.