Magazine article Editor & Publisher

California Shield Dented Again

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

California Shield Dented Again

Article excerpt

Reporter found to be in contempt

California's shield law is being pummeled yet again, this time in San Diego, where a reporter faces jail time for withholding notes from a jail-house interview with an accused murderer.

State Superior Court Judge John Thompson found The San Diego Union- Tribune's J. Harry Jones in contempt after the courts reporter declined to surrender to the defense notes of an interview with Jacob Henderson, 28, accused of three murders. The trial, set to begin in February, is a death-penalty case.

The state's 4th District Court of Appeal rejected the reporter's appeal of the contempt ruling June 20. He and Union-Tribune attorneys have until tomorrow to appeal to the California Supreme Court. Jones, a 14- year veteran of the paper, told E&P that his notes are being sought by the defense, which means the defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial is colliding with California's constitutionally mandated shield law. …

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