Any member of the public wishing to follow official documents pertaining to the criminal trial against Roger J. Stone Jr. brought by the U.S. Department of Justice— or any case filed in federal courts — may do so through the court’s electronic filing system.

Observers simply create an account the PACER Case Locator (pcl.uscourts.gov), provide credit card information, and pay for search results and document downloads. Searches can be nationwide or through a particular court, which in Stone’s case is the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia (dcd.uscourts.gov). Stone’s case number is 1:2019cr00018.

A copy of Stone’s arrest warrant, which costs 10 cents, lists the particular section of the U. S. code violations he faces. Cornell Law School maintains a website (law.cornell.edu) containing the full language of each code title and section.

What could be dismissed as mind-numbing and tedious is, on closer examination, where the rubber meets the road. We have an elegant system of self-governance as it applies to the rules we live by and whether and how to enforce them.

Media outlets and personalities and their conflicts over informing and shaping public opinion are certainly attention grabbing and occasionally even sober and useful when the source does not intentionally or unintentionally mislead or falsify information.

May the court of public opinion at least be aware of the existence of the document filing system and the ability of citizens to read the actual pleadings and judge for themselves.

 

Emily G. Adams
Dover-Foxcroft


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