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August 02, 1978 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-08-02

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The Michigan Daily--Wednesday, August 2, 1978-Page 7
Reporter loses bid to avoid jail sentence
WASHINGTON (AP) - Reporter sought-after files would not be made nold's subpoena, and state Judge
Myron Farber's attempt to avoid an in- public before a state trial judge Theodore Trautwein ordered Farber
definite jail term for refusing to give reviewed them. jailed until he turned over the infor-
confidential files to a New Jersey judge The information was gathered by mation. Trautwein found Farber and
was rejected yesterday by Supreme Farber while preparing stories in 1975 the newspaper in contempt of court and
Court Justice Byron White. on mysterious patient deaths at River- fined both.
The New York Times reporter now dale Hospital in Oradell, N.J., 12 years FARBER'S JAILING has been post-
faces jailing unless he surrenders his ago. poned twice, first by the New Jersey
files in a celebrated murder case. After Farber's articles appeared, the Supreme Court and last Friday by
IN ADDITION, the Times faces a state reopened its investigation and Dr. White.
$5,000 fine for each day it refuses to turn Mario Jascalevich was eventually in- Acting only minutes before the New
over the files. dicted on five counts of murder. Jersey court's stay would have been
"There is no present authority in this JASCALEVICH, identified only as exhausted, White ordered state
court either that newsmen are con- "Dr. X" in Farber's initial news authorities to let Farber remain free
stitutionally privileged to withhold duly stories, currently is standing trial in for at least four days.
subpoenaed documents material Bergen County Superior Court. He is White asked Jascalevich's lawyer to
to ... a criminal case or that a defen- accused of killing five patients by using respond to Farber's request that he be White
dant seeking the subpoena must show curare, a powerful muscle-relaxing allowed to remain free pending a New Jersey reporter's shield law and
extraordinary circumstances before drug. Supreme Court appeal of his contempt by the Constitution's free-press guaran-
enforcement against newsmen will be Judge William Arnold last month or- conviction. tees.
had," White said. dered Farber and the Times to surren- THAT RESPONSE, contending that The reporter's 30-page emergency
The justice said a temporary stay he der all notes, tape recordings and Farber's files were vital to request to White said enforcement of
granted Farber last Friday that has documents used in preparing the "Dr. Jascalevich's defense in the murder subpoenas through imprisonment and
kept the reporter out of jail will expire X" articles. Arnold said he would trial, was received by White yesterday fines would irrevocably injure the
at noon today. review the information confidentially morning. ability of reporters to do their jobs, par-
IN HIS 11-PAGE opinion turning and then decide whether to give it to Farber and the Times contend that a ticularly investigative reporters.
down Farber ' and the Times, White Jascalevich's lawyer for trial use. reporter's confidential files and sources Both Farber and the Times were con-
relied heavily on the fact that the Farber and the Times resisted Ar- are protected against disclosure by a victed of criminal and civil contempt.


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