Feb 122013
 
 February 12, 2013  Court, Misc, Online

Sam Reynolds reports:

Survivors of the Colorado movie theater massacre have been harassed by conspiracy theorists who posted victims’ addresses and phone numbers online, prosecutors said in a motion to have the victims’ names redacted.

James Holmes is charged with murder and attempted murder in the midnight shooting that killed 12 people and wounded 58 others during the premiere of a Batman movie, “Dark Knight Rises.”

Arapahoe County Judge William Sylvester in November ordered  names released of those injured and killed.

The media had claimed there would not be “any danger to the physical safety of any witnesses, or the substantial probability of attempted witness tampering.”

But Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said in his new motion last week that the victims’ personal information has made the rounds on the Internet, at the hands of skeptics who doubt that the July 20, 2012 shootings happened as reported.

“Since the time this case was filed, unforeseen events continue to adversely affect the lives of the victims and witnesses in this case,” Brauchler wrote in a Motion for Reconsideration.

Read more on Courthouse News.

Should the court shield survivors’ names because of conspiracy theorists or those who might use the disclosure to contact victims’ friends and family or survivors in ways that may be experienced as harassing? The prosecutors cite Colorado’s Victims’ Rights Act as their justification for the request.

It’s balancing act time, it seems. Which way do you think the balance should tip in this case?