June 16, 1970

TO: University Senate
FROM: Committee to Investigate Events of January 15, 1970
Dix W. Noel, Chairman
SUBJECT: Interim report

This Committee has completed its hearing of witnesses, and is now engaged in preparation of its report. It is possible that some further hearings of witnesses will be needed to clarify testimony, and that some changes in the report may be needed if and when the Committee is able to view the films of the demonstration.

The films, although taken by University security people, are now in the hands of the Knox County Attorney General, Ronald A. Webster. The chairman, with assistance from Dr. Weaver, has made attempts to have these films shown to the Committee. The Attorney General continues to be quite unwilling, however, to permit this. He writes that "recent Supreme Court decisions in the area of pre-trial publicity have greatly restricted authorities from releasing information regarding pending criminal cases because same may tend to influence prospective jurors and deny a defendant his constitutional right to a fair trial." For that reason he says he cannot allow the Committee to view the films taken of the demonstration until after the criminal trials are completed.

There is some doubt as to whether or not this Committee should submit its report prior to the trials, since this report also might unduly influence prospective jurors, if it should happen to be made public. If the trials take place in the near future, this problem about the release of our report will not arise. If the trials are substantially delayed, consideration will be given to submitting the report as soon as it is completed, hopefully next month.

Probably most members of the Committee will consider that the report can be substantially accurate without a viewing of the films. The witnesses before the Committee saw the demonstration from many positions and represented all segments of the University Community. They included Messers. Weaver, Baugh, Drennan, Aldman, Hall, Graf, Whitehead, Madell, Bible, Kaufman, Ledbetter, and Levitt. Others, including Messers. Kami and Hadorn, were given an opportunity to appear but failed to appear.

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