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Judge strikes down private hearing law

A judge Tuesday ordered the press and public admitted to legal proceedings against accused kidnapper Kenneth Parnell, striking down as unconstitutional a California law allowing a defendant a private preliminary hearing. The challenge to the 107-year-old state law was pursued through two Ukiah courts by United Press International. UPI and other news-gathering organizations had been barred from covering the hearing for Mr. Parnell to determine if he should be held for trail for the kidnapping of 5-year-old Timmy White.


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