State v. KomisarjevskyAnnotate this Case
Defendant was charged with, inter alia, six counts of capital felony in connection with a triple murder, sexual assault, and arson. During the trial, the trial court granted the motion of intervenors, a newspaper and one of its reporters, to vacate an order sealing Defendant's "witness list." The appellate court dismissed Defendant's appeal of the trial court decision for lack of a final judgment. The Supreme Court granted Defendant's petition for certification to appeal, (1) concluding that the appeal should be treated as a late petition for certification to appeal and, therefore, not determining whether the appellate court properly concluded the trial court's decision was not a final judgment; and (2) reversing the trial court's order granting the intervenors' motion to vacate the sealing order, holding that Defendant demonstrated that the potential abridgement of his rights to a fair trial and to prepare a defense clearly outweighed the rights of the intervenors and the public to access the witness list document.