Posts tagged "1004813"

Commonwealth v. Winfield (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-048-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11288   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  KEITH WINFIELD.     Middlesex.     November 8, 2012.  ‑  March 18, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Constitutional Law, Access to court proceedings.  Court Reporter.  Waiver.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on August 1, 2006.   A posttrial motion for an order allowing access to audio recordings of trial testimony was heard by Kathe M. Tuttman, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Jonathan M. Albano (John Reinstein with him) for Steve Audette. Fawn D. Balliro Andersen, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       GANTS, J.  The issue presented in this case is whether a judge erred in denying a documentary film maker’s motion for access to an audiotape “room recording” of a trial made by a court reporter where an official transcript of the trial had been prepared and provided to the film maker.  We conclude that, where the court reporter’s room recording is not the official record of the trial and is not filed with the court or referenced in the court file, the film maker is not entitled to a copy under the public’s right of access to criminal proceedings guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, as applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, or under our common-law right of access to judicial records.  We also conclude that the judge did not abuse her discretion in refusing to give the film maker access to the recording. Background.  In 2007, in the underlying case, a Superior Court jury convicted Keith Winfield of two counts of forcible rape of a child under the age of sixteen, indecent assault and battery of a child under the age of fourteen, and assault and battery of a child causing serious bodily injury.  The Appeals Court affirmed the convictions.  Commonwealth v. Winfield, 76 Mass. App. Ct. 716 (2010).  Steve Audette, a film producer, is currently making a documentary film about the defendant’s prosecution and convictions that, according to Audette, “will examine, among other things, [the defendant’s] continued assertion of innocence in light of the evidence presented at trial.”   The court reporter at trial was a “voice writer,” who created […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm

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