In the US, can a witness statement for a court case that has been concluded be publicly posted? (Not seeking legal advice, just a general idea of the situation)
So I came across a Facebook post where a friend’s witness statement was posted for the purposes of shaming them. i.e. this person is a rat.
Is this legal to do? I was under the impression that only law enforcement, court and investigative agencies had access to witness statements. Do they become public domain after the trial has completed?
Criminal trials are a matter of public record. If this witness statement was entered into evidence in the trial (or if the witness testified) then anyone will have access to it. There are exceptions for things involving juvenile defendants and perhaps other unusual reasons, like national security issues.
Is the OP perhaps asking about witness statements made to investigators during a pre-trial interview or interrogation?
So my understanding is that a search warrant was executed on a motel room that was being used by my niece and several other individuals. Illegal items were found and there was other questionable activity surrounding the group.
The police arrested a couple of them but told her she was free to go and they had no interest in charging her with anything. They requested she show up at the police station to answer some questions and she agreed.
She was asked to identify which belongings (found in the motel room) were hers and which belonged to the individuals who had been arrested. She did so, identifying the illegal items as belonging to the suspects in custody.
Fast forward, the court case is concluded, and one of them went to jail. Now someone has posted to Facebook a large document that is titled “supplemental narrative” and looks like it was filled out by a police officer. It details everything my niece said.
I was hoping to get a general idea if such a thing is public record. Can someone just post these things for all to see and its perfectly kosher?