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In a message dated 3/7/02 3:59:29 PM Pacific Standard Time, [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

What's your opinion on the idea in the editorial Keeping Secrets, No
Matter the Venue at
http://www.polisource.com/editorials/01-06-02_00002.shtml (6th paragraph) about having a special legal panel hear witnesses in gang/drug related cases and keeping the witnesses anonymous? The author (me) tried to address the concerns that some people would have with the idea.

"If a judge agrees that evidence shouldn't be completely disclosed, or that a witness should maintain some level of anonimity, testimony on that evidence or by that witness should be heard in a private session, only by a special panel of jurists, and never made public. The same jurists would be responsible for checking the background of the "anonymous" witness and investigating the testimony in ways that don't defeat the purpose of the special panel. To compensate for the limits on their investigation, the special panel would have access to information on the witness that would be disallowed if an attorney was investigating under normal conditions. This is a tradeoff of privacy for safety and justice, but I'd personally prefer giving up a lot of privacy to jurists sworn to secrecy than a little to the world in a public trial."

What was it Jefferson said? -- something about those who trade freedom for security neither have nor deserve either...


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