Judges Order 2 Pa. Newspapers to Delete Stories

July 7, 2010 06:41

Two newspapers want a state judge to overturn an order requiring them to delete archived stories and other information about two defendants, cases that touch on the potential for media censorship.


The Centre Daily Times and The Daily Collegian student newspaper at Penn State were ordered to expunge records of information about the defendants, an unusual provision inserted by a defense lawyer into otherwise standard orders signed by Centre County Judge Thomas King Kistler.

Such orders typically direct public agencies to clear a person’s record in cases in which charges are dismissed or withdrawn or aren’t applicable for someone who’s a first-time offender who completes a rehabilitation program.

Attorney Joseph Amendola told the Times he included the newspapers in orders for five defendants, including the two before Kistler, because he was concerned the media’s First Amendment rights to free speech were trumping his clients’ rights to have cleared records. It’s common for attorneys to draw up legal documents for judges to consider.


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