Dallas Observer Refuses to Hand Over Interview Tape to Judge

november 13, 2009  10:35 am
After a guilty verdict was handed down in Dallas' high-profile political corruption trial last month, one juror told an Observer reporter that the jurors may have discussed -- or overhead outside discussion about -- some pieces of evidence during the trial, both of which are against the rules of the court. That revelation led one of the defense attorneys to request a new trial, which led the judge to request the interview tape from the Observer. The paper said no, drawing a snippy rebuke from the judge, who wrote that the alt-weekly was citing "some vague constitutional protection unknown to this Court" in its refusal to give her the tape. "But 'round here we call that 'vague constitutional protection' the First Amendment," notes Observer managing editor Patrick Williams, adding: "We're not in the business of becoming an adjunct to the government."