Dubose Trial Judge Restricts Off-Session Media Coverage; He Wants All Blog, Video Shut Down When Not in Court's Proceedings

Article excerpt


A Jacksonville judge who earlier restricted blogging at a murder trial told reporters Thursday to shut down blog and video coverage when he's not there.

"If I'm in the courtroom, public business is going on," Circuit Judge L. Page Haddock told reporters. "When I leave, it ceases to be a public matter."

It was the fourth time Haddock had set rules for reporting on the murder trials of Rasheem, Tajuane and Terrell Dubose. The men are charged with the 2006 shooting death of 8-year-old DreShawna Davis.

The ruling came one day after a video camera with audio transmitted lunchtime discussions between court employees, some of whom were joking.

Setting rules for media conduct when court isn't in session is unusual, said one legal scholar who stressed that he couldn't evaluate Haddock's order because he hadn't seen it.

Orders are normally used to control behavior during a court proceeding, but the proceeding stops if the judge isn't there, said Sandy D'Alemberte, president emeritus of Florida State University. D'Alemberte is a former American Bar Association president.

"If he's not in the courtroom, his authority to control your conduct out of his presence is probably pretty limited," D'Alemberte said. …


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