Attorneys for CBS News have reluctantly given a Superior Court judge an unaired "60 Minutes" interview segment in which a triple murderer suspect allegedly confessed killing his parents and grandfather.
The action averted a legal test of California's "Newsman's Shield Law," which protects reporters from divulging sources of information or turning over notebooks to authorities.
CBS attorney Edwin Heafey Jr. of Oakland agreed to give Alameda County Superior Court Judge Stanley Gold the 28-minute audio portion of the tape on condition that he listen to it privately to determine if it could be used as evidence for either the prosecution or the defense. Gold agreed.
Barry Braeske pleaded innocent to three murder charges in November, 1976, in superior court. He was found guilty in June, 1977, but the California Supreme Court in 1979 reversed the conviction and sent the case back to the court for retrial, saying Alameda County sheriffs failed to advise Braeske of his rights when they arrested him.
"With these unique circumstances in mind, CBS has consulted with Judge Gold in search of a solution that would respect the important and legitimate rights of all concerned without the need for a constitutional confrontation," Heafey wrote.