Newspaper to challenge mug shot order

July 8, 2005 at 11:58 PM
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BOULDER, Colo., July 8 (UPI) -- A Boulder newspaper plans to challenge a judge's order forbidding publication of a mug shot that had already been released.

The Daily Camera posted the shot on its Web site Wednesday after the Boulder County Sheriff's Office released. Later that day, after he learned the paper had posted the mug shot, Judge John Stavely issued the order forbidding the photo's publication, the Denver Post reported.

Judge Roxanne Bailin had signed an order Tuesday sealing the case of Phillip Martinez, who was charged in the assault of a University of Colorado student. The order was not filed until Wednesday, after the sheriff's office had already Martinez's mug shot.

Prosecutors said releasing the picture could jeopardize the case, the Post reported, because they still need to have witnesses view the suspect in a police lineup. District Attorney Mary Lacy said if the suspect's image shows up in public before lineups are conducted, any identification by witnesses could be inadmissible at trial.

Camera editor Sue Deans said the court order is unconstitutional.

"We believe it is prior restraint," she said. "We had gotten (the mug shot) without any wrongdoing on our part."

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