Releasing some of the most intimate and explosive materials relating to the 1999 Columbine High School shootings was debated yesterday in the Colorado Supreme Court as attorneys split over issues of personal privacy and the public’s right to know about government actions, reports the Rocky Mountain News. The materials include the lengthy “basement tapes” made by high school killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold that detailed their arsenal and philosophies, along with a diary written by Eric Harris’ father, Wayne Harris.
The parents of Klebold and Harris brought the case to the Supreme Court arguing that the records from their homes, while obtained via search warrants, constitute their personal property and should not be released to the public. The parents were joined by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which executed the search warrants and is holding the materials. Attorney Steven Zansberg spoke on behalf of The Denver Post, arguing that the materials were used to conduct a criminal investigation and the public has a right to scrutinize them to help determine whether the sheriff acted properly and thoroughly. Zansberg noted, that days after the shootings, then-Sheriff John Stone said the killers’ parents must have known what their sons were up to and that the killers had accomplices.