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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Westerfield Defense Argues Against Media Presence

Aired August 15, 2002 - 12:53   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take you out to San Diego where deliberations have been ongoing for almost a week now involving the jurors in the David Westerfield case. He is accused of murdering and kidnapping little Danielle van Dam. We want to listen in now to the defense attorney, who is having conversations with the judge now. Let's listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... where the jury can go at breaks. So that they are not subject to the constant scrutiny of the media. It is impossible, it seems to us, for any citizen to go some place on this floor and find any peace of mind in the face of what is behind us and in the face of the intensity of the media pressure as we speak.

We renew again our request to sequester the jury. The court now knows another juror feels as though there may be citizens following our jurors. It doesn't seem to us there is a reasonable way in which to protect them, given their present election that they don't -- that they are comfortable with where they are, but the reality is, we have no assurity (ph) -- we have no assurance, that they are not being intimidated at breaks by the presence of the media, and fundamentally, your honor, it seems to me the easiest thing this jury can do is to return a verdict of guilty, and I say that because there is all this pressure, there is all this press, there is all this attention focused on them, and certainly it seems to us that were they to return a not guilty verdict, there would be social aprobrium (ph), they would be basically attacked by the media, by the community, and that just doesn't seem like it is an environment that appropriately allows for independent, objective, nonemotional deliberations.

Another concern is that by keeping the cameras on, people will become intimidated, be they witnesses or parties, and the court, it's our view, needs to consider -- we would ask you to consider pulling the plug. Because if we don't pull the plug, and I don't have any problem with print media being here, I'm concerned about if we get some place else, what effects this may have. I'm concerned about the intensity of -- if there is a verdict any time soon, the splash it's going to make...

WHITFIELD: You have been listening to the defense attorney representing David Westerfield in a San Diego court, arguing to the -- to the judge, rather, that he wants to have the jurors sequestered. They haven't been, as they have been continuing their deliberations, but it is the defense attorney's argument to the judge that the jurors have been intimidated by the mass media attention in this case. We will be following this story. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


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