Newspapers Complain of Secret Court Filings in Tsarnaev Marathon Bombing Case


GateHouse Media, which owns daily and weekly newspapers in Massachusetts, is objecting to the secrecy of court filings in the federal prosecution of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing, Politico reports. The firm complained to U.S. District Judge George O’Toole that the omission of dozens of legal filings from the public docket is interfering with news coverage of the case. At least 56 legal filings appeared to be missing from public dockets in the prosecution of Tsarnaev for the bombing and of three other men charged with interfering with the investigation. More than 100 other matters remained under seal that were opened in the Boston federal court in the month after the April 15 attacks that killed three people and injured scores more. What’s unusual is that the documents have been “super-sealed,” meaning that entries have been deleted from the public docket. In many courts, the titles of sealed filings would be listed or at least an entry indicating a sealed filing was made on a certain date by a certain party. At Tsarnaev’s arraignment last month, Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler said the “court frowns upon the sealing of judicial documents unless it's absolutely necessary.”

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