Showing posts from July, 2014

The Public's Right to Know (About Potential Juror Misconduct)

Oahu Publications Inc. v. Ahn (HSC July 16, 2014) Background. Last summer, Christopher Deedy was on trial for the death of Kollin Elderts. After weeks of testimony, the case went to the jury for deliberation. The jury deliberated for several days before it became hopelessly deadlocked and the circuit court, Judge Karen Ahn, declared a mistrial. This case was covered by Oahu Publications, better known as the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and KHNL/KGMB. On the fifth day of jury deliberations, Judge Ahn held five hearings that were not open to the public at the end of which, Judge Ahn sealed portions of transcripts pertaining to these sessions. At the last proceeding, Judge Ahn ordered the courtroom cleared a few times. The media did not object to the closing of the courtroom. When they resumed in the open, Judge Ahn declared a mistrial.
A few weeks later, the Star-Advertiser and KHNL/KGMB (the media) filed in the HSC petitions for a writ of prohibition and a writ of mandamus on the grounds th…