Media outlets sought to have court documents unsealed in the case of George Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder in the Sanford, Fla., shooting death of unarmed African American teenager Trayvon Martin. The motions are the latest friction between the public's right to know and the desire of lawyers to protect the interests of defendants, especially in high-profile cases. The court records in the case were sealed last week; normally, they'd be a public document in Florida.
"The criminal justice process belongs to the public, and it's supposed to be difficult to seal documents that are part of criminal trials, especially given the number of important public issues raised in this case. The media companies we represent are challenging the fact that these records were sealed without prior notice to the public, and on nothing more than Mr. Zimmerman's attorney asking that they be sealed. The law does not allow that," said Media Law Partner Scott Ponce.
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