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Archive for Sunday, July 30, 2000

Judge blocks ABC interview with Kevorkian

July 30, 2000

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— A state appellate court has blocked ABC's planned prison interview with assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.

A county judge earlier this month had ordered the Department of Corrections to allow an interview between Kevorkian and Barbara Walters for the newsmagazine "20/20," but the appellate court on Friday blocked that ruling.

ABC attorney Cameron Evans said the network may seek an expedited appeal.

During the last two years, the state Department of Corrections has tightened restrictions on media access to prisoners and now bars all televised interviews with inmates. ABC, backed by various news organizations, argued the restrictions violate the First Amendment.

Department spokesman Matt Davis said ABC's interview proposal, which called for Walters and 10 other people to be admitted to the prison for nine hours, demonstrated the possible disruptiveness of media access to prisons.

Davis said the appellate court decision vindicates the department's view that security decisions should be left to prison professionals.

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