Crime & Justice

Public interviews with potential Miramonte witnesses could pollute jury pool

Screenshot from KTLA's report
Screenshot from KTLA's report

Former Miramonte students alleging lewd conduct are being interviewed more often — and in more public spaces.

After one student told her story on KTLA, two more showed up on Dr. Phil Thursday, where they were backlit and their names were withheld.

Laurie Levenson, a former prosecutor and current law professor at Loyola University, warns that while interviews with victims make great copy, they might not make just trials — or happy lawyers.

"Not very happy at all," she says. "Whether it's the defense or the prosecutors."

Defense attorneys, according to Levenson, are dealing with potential jurors hearing what is essentially testimony, but not under oath and not subject to cross-examination. And prosecutors face the specter of whatever their future clients say rearing its potentially-ugly head during trial.

"Whenever a witness, a parent talks outside the courtroom, it ends up inside the courtroom," Levenson added. "People are more likely to say what's sensational because that's what sells to the camera."