Jenny Holtzclaw is the older sister of Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma City police officer sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing women on the job.
On Thursday, some documents were unsealed regarding Daniel Holtzclaw’s appeal. The documents referred to a secret hearing held in late-June, and suggested it had to do with former Oklahoma City Police Chemist Elaine Taylor. Taylor’s testimony on DNA evidence was critical in Holtzclaw’s trial.
J. Holtzclaw said, “It absolutely was. Two of the jurors have already spoke publicly about how that impacted their decision which led to his conviction.”
The freshly unsealed documents are a confirmation for the Holtzclaw family.
Jenny Holtzclaw is in frequent contact with her brother. She spoke to him Thursday night.
“He’s happy that the public now knows for sure that it is about the DNA,” said J. Holtzclaw.
She said the family welcomes the unsealed documents, but it’s not enough.
“He is upset that the 347-page transcript, he still hasn’t been able to read those.”
That’s because the hearing transcript contains the details of a “personnel investigation”. By Oklahoma law, personnel matters can stay confidential.
The Attorney General’s Office stated, “The Office of the Attorney General has yielded its strong commitment to transparency only because the law required it, and does not – in any general sense – advocate the sealing of documents, ex parte hearings, or closure proceedings to the public except in the most extraordinary cases.”
Jenny Holtzclaw is concerned that whatever happened in the closed-door hearing could make the difference in Daniel Holtzclaw’s appeal.
“We’re hoping that they will see the injustice and give Daniel a chance for a fair trial,” she said.
One of the unsealed documents was an Interim Protective Order. It states, “the parties are prohibited from making public or distributing to any unauthorized third party”.
For the media, it means no comment about what happened in that secret hearing.