A Personal View Of The
The Internet Subculture
Surrounding the JonBenet Ramsey Murder case
Linda Hoffman-Pugh vs
Alex Hunter (Mary Keenan)
|August 4, 2000|
Linda Hoffmann-Pugh vs. Alex Hunter (Mary Keenan)
Lawsuit claiming that the Colorado law prohibiting her from talking
about her statements to the grand jury violates her First Amendment
and right to free speech.
|The Ramsey's former housekeeper, Linda Hoffmann-Pugh testified before the Boulder grand jury in the JonBenet Ramsey case in September 1999, and was required to take an oath of silence.
Under Colorado law, Pugh must maintain secrecy until the grand jury issues an indictment or report. The grand jury disbanded in October 15, 1999 with no indictment and no report.
Linda Hoffman-Pugh's lawsuit is claiming that the Colorado law prohibiting her from talking about her statements to the grand jury violates her First Amendment right to free speech.
Legal Documents Filed:
August 4, 2000
Linda Hoffman-Pugh vs Alex Hunter
April 16, 2001
Plantiff's Summary Judgment Brief
June 1, 2001
Defendant's Response to Summary Judgment
June 9, 2001
Plaintiff's reply to Defendantís Response
to Summary Judgment
|July 5, 2001: Linda Hoffman-Pugh will hold a press conference on the Denver Federal Courthouse steps at 1929 Stout Street. A hearing is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Wiley Y. Daniel in Federal court for Darney Hoffman to argue that the Colorado courts' rule keeping grand jury witnesses from revealing their testimony is unconstitutional.|
VICTORY - July 5, 2001: Linda Hoffman-Pugh challenged a state rule preventing grand-jury witnesses from disclosing the contents of their testimony. U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel struck down the rule as an unconstitutional infringement on freedom of speech.
|21. "The First Amendment"|
Posted by New York Lawyer on 02:45:36 8/06/2000
Read the decision of the US Supreme court in Butterworth v. Smith if you want an answer to your question. The Court felt that at some point in a criminal proceeding and investigation, the First Amendment rights of people started to take on greater importance than the rights of an individual criminal defendant or victim. Afterall, this is why criminal trials are subject to press scrutiny, despite the apparent "prejudice" to the defendant that can occur from the resulting publicity. (Remember we live in America, NOT the USSR. The First Amendment is considered more important than the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth combined. The First Amendment affects ALL of us, everyday of our lives, while the 4th, 5th, and 6th only affect the unlucky few who are arrested. There are trade-offs here, and the Supreme Court tends, rightly or wrongly, to "err" on the side of Free Speech.)
So, in answer to your question: LHP's "rights" are "greater" than JBR's. If you don't like it, you should seriously think about moving to England, where there are serious restraints on First Amendment rights and the media. The libel laws are so "primitive" (and pro plaintiff)in England, that American courts REFUSE to enforce British libel judgments against American citizens.
Posted by New York Lawyer on 06:42:46 8/05/2000
Linda has an EXCELLENT chance of succeeding. The US Supreme Court in a case involving a Florida grand jury in 1990 held that it was an unconstitutional infringement on a grand jury witnesses' First Amendment rights to be permanently silenced by a grand jury secrecy law. (Butterworth v. Smith). Naturally, if Linda suceeds, ALL the grand jury witnesses can talk about their testimony.
|Date||Links to Cases ~ Stories and Media Reports|
|02-18-1999||Linda Hoffman-Pugh Story in "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town"||08-03-1999||Daily Camera: Ramsey housekeeper doubts intruder|
|03-17-2000||RMN: Woman 'hurt' by Ramseys' book||08-11-2000||RMN: Ramsey housekeeper sues District Attorney|
|03-04-2001||KMGH: Former Housekeeper Sues Ramseys||03-08-2001||Denver: Former Housekeeper Sues Ramesys||03-19-2001||KMGH: Housekeeper's Lawsuit Moves Forward||07-04-2001||RMN: Lawyer: Open JonBenet grand jury files||07-05-2001||Daily Camera: Lawyer: Open JonBenet grand jury files||07-05-2001||Denver Post: Ramsey ex-housekeeper to testify||07-05-2001||Ramsey Housekeeper To Give "Dramatic New Evidence"|
|07-05-2001||A VICTORY FOR ATTORNEY DARNEY HOFFMAN|
REPRESENTING LINDA HOFFMAN-PUGH
|07-05-2001||Judge: Grand jury silence rule unconstitutional||07-05-2001||Judge's Ruling Could Open Up Ramsey Case||07-09-2001||Daily Camera: A win for free speech|
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[The United States Constitution]
which includes the
First Amendment "Freedom Of Speech"
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