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Henry lawsuit: Use of state’s grand jury secrecy laws unconstitutional

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
rstokes1450@gmail.com
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Date: Aug 03 2019 7:34 PM

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News


In a legal fight to publicly reveal his 2014 Lee County grand jury testimony, former state representative Ed Henry now wants to depose the state’s former lead prosecutor.


In his 2017 federal lawsuit against Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Henry alleges that the state is preventing him from talking about not only what happened when he testified in 2014 before the  grand jury investigating then-Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, but what he knew prior to his testimony. Henry says the state’s grand jury secrecy laws are being used to silence witnesses and violate the First Amendment.


Henry, a Republican from Hartselle who did not seek re-election in 2018, was still a lawmaker when he filed the lawsuit in September 2017. Earlier this year he pleaded guilty to a felony in an unrelated matter.


“Rep. Henry desires to reveal public issues and matters of public importance, including issues related to his grand jury testimony,” the complaint filed in federal court in Montgomery states. “However, he is not free to do so without fear of criminal prosecution due to defendants’ interpretation of Alabama’s Grand Jury Secrecy Act and defendants’ threatened application of said laws to Rep. Henry based on the warnings he received from Defendant (Matt) Hart.”


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