NEW IDEA: Perhaps Mary Beth Heffernan, recently appointed to Governor Patrick's Cabinet -- up from Undersecretary Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) -- can help us get to the bottom of this. In point of fact, she's already helping even if she doesn't know it.
UBER-UBER UPDATE: On 29 December 2009 I filed this with Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley's office with a request for her intentions regarding the CORI violation. That will be followed with a request for her intentions on Cat Gibbons' Division of Banks Civil Rights/Discrimination case, new information and blog post coming later today on that fiasco.
UBER UPDATE: There appears to be a CORI violation. Globe Newspaper Co. v. District Attorney for Middle Dist., 439 Mass. 374, 788 NE2d 513 (2003).
Newspaper had sought disclosure of docket numbers of criminal cases involving municipal corruption, prosecuted in public judicial proceedings. Among its findings, court held that CORI statute did not prevent disclosure of criminal record information, but newspaper only had a disclosure right to the extent the requested information correlated with information available from court records or other public records.Recall that unauthorized release of criminal records led to the Sheriff Linehan's resignation in NH under AG pressure yes it did. The (mis)information that the Herald used to publish their stories is most certainly NOT available from court records or other public records, this was a dirty deal and we are going straight to Mass AG Martha Coakley's office this week with this blog post to see what she's going to do about it. When we are finished the Herald, Jessica Van Sack and everybody involved is going to realize this is a matter of grave concern and that no amount of government and big-media beat-down is going to deter our pursuit of Justice. And the factors in favor of disclosure of sources clearly outweigh nondisclosure, read the SJC materials on G. L. c. 6, 167 et seq.
(4) News Sources and Nonpublished Information. Before ordering a reporter to divulge a source and the information gathered, a judge must “consider the effect of compelled disclosure on values underlying the First Amendment and art. 16.” Petition for Promulgation of Rules Regarding the Protection of Confidential News Sources & Other Unpublished Info., 395 Mass. 164, 171, 479 N.E.2d 154, 158 (1985). Accordingly, a judge must balance the public interest in the use of every person’s evidence against the public interest in protecting the free flow of information. Matter of a John Doe Grand Jury Investigation, 410 Mass. 596, 599, 574 N.E.2d 373, 375 (1991). See also Ayash v. Dana-Farber Cancer Inst., 443 Mass. 367, 403 n.33, 822 N.E.2d 667, 696 n.33 (2005).Note: There is a radio show about this matter scheduled for Tuesday morning, 29 December 2009 at 8 a.m. at TOUCH FM.org. At that point people will learn more about a man who was the darling of Massachusetts Law Enforcement and media (Chronicle video here) for his video series “Voices from Behind the Wall," until he started speaking out about violence and racism in the prison itself, at which point he became social and political pariah. He went from being a celebrated proponent of social responsibility to being unceremoniously placed in the hole immediately after he spoke out.
Joanna Marinova is Co-Director, Programs and Operations for PressPassTV, and she publishes "Coming off the ropes" which contains crucial information. Meanwhile State Representative Gloria Fox has been a proponent for change in the prison system for years, funny how they would come under fire isn't it.
Darrell Jones is incarcerated for a murder conviction and proclaims his innocence. While TOUCH 106.1 Boston blog has covered wrongful convictions in the past -- see the Harrington v. Richter U.S. Supreme Court post highlighting Boston and NH DA abuses -- the issue here is a manifest injustice that is more readily transparent and proved:
The Boston Herald appears to have unlawfully accessed CORI records and lied about an alleged sexual tryst between Darrell Jones and Joanna Marinova. To wit:
"State Rep. Gloria L. Fox is under state scrutiny for allegedly sneaking a murderer’s girlfriend - previously bagged for engaging in “sexual acts” with the killer con - into a state prison in Bridgewater, the Herald has learned.Subsequently, many major media like Channel 7 and Fox 25 repeated the Defamatory comments.
As Davis tells it, Marinova drove Fox to the pen, never mentioning she and Jones had been bagged for prohibited “sexual acts” in the visiting room months earlier."
But Fox and the woman were bagged by a vigilant guard who recognized the “aide” as Jones’ girlfriend - a woman previously written up for engaging in prohibited “sexual acts” in the visitor room with Jones.
The problem is that none of that is true. Ms. Marinova showed this writer how the Weekly Dig, the Phoenix and Boston Globe properly railed against the Herald and Van Sack. And note that the alleged sexual conduct happened back in November 2008 but was not even important until State Rep. Fox came snooping around to discuss conditions in May, 2009 -- half a year later!
First of all, contrary to the ahem... naked assertions by Ms. Van Sack, there were no charges ever filed against Ms. Marinnova.
Second, the charges against Darrell Jones were dismissed.
Third, the Herald has never run any retractions or corrections.
Mr. Jones and Ms. Marinova have released the official report as thumbnailed here, and note the conclusion: DISMISSED. People are watching:
In terms of a Defamation analysis it's going to get interesting. Darrell Jones is most likely a public figure, Ms. Marinova is likely not a public figure. Either way I believe that both of them have been victims of unlawful Defamation, and I encourage them to seek legal redress for that Defamatory conduct against both Jessica Van Sack and the Boston Herald and anyone who repeated the Defamatory comments that were materially false and the lack of any retraction or followup shows the actual malice involved. These big businesses work with bad government actors and think they can just say and do whatever they want to do to people, but the people need to fight back with appropriate litigation and community involvement.
That's why I'm here.
cc: Howard M. Cooper, Esq., Judge Ernest Murphy $3.4M final settlement in Murphy v. Boston Herald, 449 Mass. 42, 865 N.E.2d 746 (2007), may the Herald remember its recent history. I have downloaded a copy I will obtain a copy of the Murphy Complaint for Ms. Marinova and Mr. Jones so they can consider their legal options and seek learned counsel. I would advise Ms. Van Sack not to "throw her notes out" as Reporter Wedge allegedly did in the Murphy case, ahem.