‘Midnight Rider’ Court’s Wi-Fi Password Raises Questions Of Bias

By David Robb, David Bloom

The Wi-Fi password in the Georgia courthouse where the Midnight Rider defendants will be standing trial beginning March 9 appears to show a distinct bias against criminal defendants. The court’s password is LOCKUMALLUP** (Lock ‘Em All Up — password partially redacted).

“That seems highly inappropriate to me,” Don Samuel, the attorney representing Midnight Rider director Randall Miller and producer Jody Savin, told Deadline.

Jay SedrishReporters covering the criminal trespassing and involuntary manslaughter trial of Miller, Savin and unit production manager Jay Sedrish won’t be using that password, however. According to Capt. Kenny Poppell of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, a new wireless system and a new password are being installed just for this trial. Even so, the fact that the courthouse has been using such a password suggests a presumption of guilt toward defendants who appear before it.

“That will change,” Poppell told Deadline. “That password goes through our law enforcement system — we’re going to cancel that one.” Asked if reporters covering trials in the courthouse today are using the LOCKUMALLUP** password, Poppell said: “If you were in the courthouse today, you would have to — that’s correct, sir.” He cautioned Deadline against publishing the password. “We don’t want every Tom, Dick and Harry to have our password,” he said.

The Midnight Rider defendants, accused in connection with the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones in February 2014, will be getting a very speedy trial. Jury selection is only expected to take one day, and the trial might only take one week — a trial that could see the defendants face 10 years in prison.

First assistant director Hillary Schwartz was separated from her co-defendants Thursday and could go to trial at a later date.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2015/02/midnight-rider-court-wifi-password-controversy-1201382468/