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Michigan prosecutor wants reporter and law students to testify

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
A Michigan prosecutor working on the retrial of a murder defendant filed a witness list earlier this month that included…

A Michigan prosecutor working on the retrial of a murder defendant filed a witness list earlier this month that included a reporter for The Orange County Register and seven law students, the Detroit Metro Times reported.

California journalist Peggy Lowe attended interviews between the defendant and his student attorneys at the University of Michigan law school’s Innocence Clinic. Lowe was in Michigan last year participating in the university’s journalism fellowship program. The student attorneys working on the defendant’s case found additional evidence that included potentially exculpatory information in police files that was not disclosed, the Metro Times reported.

The prosecutor, Robert Stevens, filed his witness list March 5 and the law school clinic co-director requested that Wayne County Circuit Judge Tim Kenny strike from the list the reporter, Lowe, and the students for confidentiality reasons.

Judge Kenny has asked both sides to file briefs and scheduled oral arguments on the issue for March 29.

In a similar but unrelated matter, prosecutors in Illinois are seeking evidence uncovered by Northwestern University journalism students involved in the Medill Innocence Project that cast doubt on a murder conviction.