Earlier this week Tom Diaz noticed something that I had overlooked with regard to the ongoing legal proceedings in the Alex Sanchez case.
Back in January, if you will remember, after the 9th Circuit rapped Judge Manual Real on the knuckles for the way he earlier went about refusing Sanchez bail, Real granted Sanchez had one last bail hearing. The hearing, however, was a two-part series—the second part of which featured two sets of “experts,” one chosen by the prosecutor, the other by Sanchez’ attorney, Kerry Bensinger. The experts testified in a closed door session with the judge on January 13.
Then shortly after the doors opened, Judge Real announced that he was granting Alex Sanchez bail. (Here’s a link to my post on the events of that day. Then find the rest of the Alex Sanchez posts here.)
Naturally, we who were confined to the trial-watching bleachers wanted to know who was in those two groups of experts, and what exactly they said that convinced Judge Real that Alex was not a gargantuan threat to public safety.
But the court quickly sealed up both the names and the testimony. (That was after it accidentally allowed the prosecution’s list to be posted online—Ooops!—but then hurriedly resealed it.
AP reporter Christina Hoag also wanted to know what went on in the hearing so she and the AP formally requested the transcript.
On Monday February 22, Judge Real declined to release it.
Something about invading people’s privacy.
Tom Diaz has his take on it here (which you should read).
Mine is a bit different. (I know, you’re shocked, shocked.)
Here’s the thing: We know by the outcome of the hearing that someone in the room—or perhaps several someones— spoke in support Alex Sanchez. So why can’t we know who that might be and what that person or persons said that persuaded Real to be his own devil’s advocate on the issue of bail?
Is it really that politically untenable to speak out publicly in behalf of a man who has not yet been convicted of anything?
Never mind. Don’t answer that.