Two bills recently introduced by Gov. Bob McDonnell would permanently seal search warrants issued to use a tracking device to follow a suspect.
Such warrants would be unsealed only at the request of a prosecutor or defendant. Typically, most search warrants become public record 15 days or less after being granted by a judge.
The bills also stipulate that a newspaper reporter or Internet blogger who publishes the existence of a search warrant related to tracking devices could be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and could spend up to a year in jail.
Officials from the Virginia Press Association and Virginia Coalition for Open Government expressed alarm about HB 1298 and SB 685, saying that most search warrants should be public documents and that journalists should not be threatened with jail for doing their jobs.
Sorry Jackass, but freedom of the Press means if you’re a public servant or a public employee and the press finds out you’re doing something they can tell anybody they want!
If you live in Virginia, let your opinions be heard!