State Supreme Court hears arguments on releasing Sandy Hook shooter documents

Connecticut's Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday over whether or not state police should be required to public...

Posted: Mar. 2, 2018 9:07 AM
Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 9:07 AM

Connecticut's Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday over whether or not state police should be required to publicly release documents that belonged to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter.

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Adam Lanza killed 26 students and staff at the Newtown school in Dec. 2012 before turning a gun on himself.

The Hartford Courant and the state Freedom of Information Commission appealed a lower court decision.

A judge ruled in 2016 that state police did not have to release the materials.

Some of the documents included a violent story Lanza wrote as a child and a spreadsheet ranking mass murders.

State police seized many documents, such as a spiral bound book written by Lanza called "The Big Book of Granny."

Police have described that book as a tale of a violent grandmother who shoots children but won't let anyone see it.

The attorney general's office is defending the state police, saying these documents are exempt.

"The court made the decision this should be seized and used for law enforcement purposes only - not for a public right to review and inspect," said Steve Barry, of the office of the Attorney General.

"It seems to me that it was sort of implicit in that argument is the policy claim that what is the purpose of the search and seizure statutes," said Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer.

A trial court agreed with the state, but the Hartford Courant and the Freedom of Information Commission are appealing to the supreme court.

They say the investigation is over and there is no prosecution so there is no reason to shield these documents from the public.

"We are seeking these documents through the court because we think they will shed light on what was in the mind of a mass killer and in order to tell a complete story about what happened that horrible day, and in the mind of Adam Lanza, we think these documents are important," said Andrew Julien, editor and publisher of the Hartford Courant.

The Courant agrees there are exemptions but they feel this does not fall under them. They say the public should be able to see these documents.

It could be weeks or even months before the supreme court makes their decision.

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