Progress coaxes hearing in bomb case….but little else
The Daily Progress is reporting that Albemarle County Judge Paul M. Peatross Jr. has ordered a hearing to discuss the possibility of opening the case of one of the teens convicted of plotting to blow up two Albemarle County high schools.
Last week, Progress attorney Roman Lifson argued that the teen’s case was "improperly closed, citing a lack of notice or adequate finding in Circuit Court" and that a "presumption of openness" already exists. In a letter the Progress received yesterday, Peatross agreed to schedule the hearing, saying, "The Court notes that circumstances in the case pending since April 27, 2006 have changed and the Court wishes to review the decision to keep the proceedings closed." The story goes on to say the Progress is "seeking access to the files and transcripts of previous hearings."
Ironically, this story about seeking details in the case offers precious few. While continuing its questionable habit of naming the juveniles in the case (the paper has also plastered photos of two of the teenagers on its front page), the Progress story trumpets its own efforts to open the case without providing any new details, or even some known facts. For example, it does not mention the fact that at least three of the teens were released. Which is perhaps the oddest known fact. After all, if these kids were so dangerous, why were they allowed to go home?
The paper also continues the habit of pretending there are no other media in town. No mention of Hook editor Hawes Spencer’s attempt to convince Peatross to open the cases back in June, during which Peatross read the state statute concerning juvenile appeals and its exceptions, and concluded, "Nothing in this case would trigger the file being opened."
So what "circumstances" changed to change Peatross’ mind? Was it simply the persuasive powers of the Progress lawyer? Or might it have been the Hook’s recent interview with the parents of the one of the convicted teens, in which a series of shocking details were revealed? Or maybe it was the excerpts in the story from the trial transcipt obtained by the Hook?
One thing’s for sure, you won’t read about it in the Progress.