Tate Murder Case ‘Privacy’ Upheld
Saturday, June 27th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 27 – Dist. Atty. Evelle J. Younger says he doesn’t like the idea, but he has directed his deputies to abide by a judicial ruling in the Sharon Tate murder trial under which they may not disclose proceedings taking place outside the presence of the potential jurors.
Younger said “such a procedure violates constitutional and statute requirements of a public trial.”
Superior Court Judge Charles H. Older’s order Friday also prohibits defense counsel from making similar disclosures or similar comments.
The court called it merely an extension of a previous order.
The official court reporter also was told by Older to refrain from selling transcripts to news media of in-chambers session. These traditionally have been made available as a part of the public record.
The judge’s order came as jury selection progressed slowly in the trial of Charles M. Manson and three of his hippie-style clan who are accused in the murder of the actress and six others last Aug. 9 and 10.
Attorneys indicated the judge was unhappy over their accounts about questioning of jurors individually in the court’s private chambers. They have been asked about the extent of their exposure to pre-trial publicity.
Co-prosecutor Aaron Stovitz said Older evidently was motivated by a belief one prospective panelist might be influenced on learning what had been said by others.
In other development, the 35-year-old Manson’s attorney, Irving Kanarek, told Jury Commissioner William A. Goodwin a person from Manson’s “walk of life” should be on the jury.
After asking Goodwin to stand Kanarek said such a person would be 35 years of age who spent 22 years in custody, had a fifth-grade education and couldn’t read and write fluently.
Goodwin replied that a convicted felon would be ineligible. He answered the rest of the question by saying: “I wouldn’t know if he could pass the test until he had taken it.”
The judge told Kanarek to provide documentation of his challenge of the jury selection system. He said he would rule on this later.
In addition to Manson, other defendants are Patricia Krenwinkel, 22, Susan Denise Atkins, 21, and Leslie Van Houten, 20.