Newsweek Banned James Holmes

Published: July 23, 2015

Newsweek Banned James Holmes, Newsweek reporters are barred from the courthouse for the remainder of the Aurora theater shooting trial after violating a judge’s order by publishing a juror’s name.

Judge Carlos Samour had set strict rules to protect jurors’ confidentiality during the lengthy trial of James Holmes, convicted July 16 for killing 24 people in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater as they watched a Batman movie.

Newsweek violated the judge’s order following the verdict, when it tweeted a link to a story about the trial, named the juror, and said that juror “never took his eyes” off the defendant as the judge read the verdict. The juror’s name was included in both the tweet and the linked story.

Newsweek had revised the story Friday to remove the name after a court officer brought it the the Newsweek reporter’s attention, Newsweek home page editor Grant Burningham told USA TODAY. But editors forgot to delete the tweet, he said.

In court Wednesday, the juror, clearly unsettled by the breach, informed Samour about the tweet. Newsweek deleted the tweet minutes later.

Samour, in barring Newsweek from the courthouse, said most members of the media covering the trial had respected his order.

“Frankly, Newsweek should know better,” Samour said, calling the publication of the juror’s name “disappointing.”

He said Newsweek editors told court staff in advance of his ban that they have no plans to attend court hearings in the future. Samour turned down defense attorneys’ request for a special investigation.

In a statement posted to Twitter a few hours later, Newsweek managing editor Kira Bindrim said the judge took appropriate action: “Big fat unfortunate mistakes were made & we regret them.”

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