Gag order issued for Greitens case

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JEFFERSON CITY - The report from the committee investigating Gov. Greitens will be released to the public Wednesday afternoon.

On Tuesday, St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison issued a gag order after complaints that Greiten’s attorneys were trying the case in the media.

“The argument that a case is being tried in the media is basically saying that this information is getting out to these potential jurors, their minds will already be set, they cannot be impartial,” said Sandy Davidson, adjunct professor at the University of Missouri School of Law.

Davidson said there are two different types of gag orders. This one is an indirect gag order, which constricts people associated with the case, like attorneys and witnesses, from making public comment about certain things.

In this instance, the judge has restricted public comment about deposition materials, opinions about what witnesses might testify, and other speculative issues.

Traditionally, a gag order is used to insure a safe and honest trial.

“There is always a concern before a jury has been seated that information that gets out will make it more difficult for an impartial jury to be found,” Davidson said.

Burlison said that he will not finalize the gag order until he hears back from both parties.

Davidson said the gag order would not have an effect on the report issued Wednesday afternoon.

Greitens’ trial is set to begin May 14 in St. Louis.

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