Five days after George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin, the criminal case against him is already tied up in knots. Zimmerman’s lawyers filed a motion asking the trial judge, Jessica Recksiedler, to remove herself from the case due to an alleged conflict of interest. But the contents of that motion are not available from the court, because of a separate judge’s decision last Thursday—the day after Zimmerman’s arrest—to seal virtually every record in the court docket.
Media Law Partner Scott Ponce said it is not unprecedented to seal a docket, but that it is unusual to do it without giving the public or the media a chance to weigh in. “For an initial hearing,” Mr. Ponce said, “for a judge to seal something, having not seen the records, and just say, ‘We are going to seal the records,’ is unusual.”
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