"To the extent that your honor is considering the release of the transcripts, we would certainly request some kind of protective order," said the doctor's attorney, William Ramsey. "Again, I would not imply that it would be proper to release them at this point. But any sort of disclosure would have to have a protective order based, again, on the publicity of this case."
Prosecutor Wible also mentioned ongoing publicity and widely circulated Internet interest in Alissa's case in objecting to the release of the grand jury testimony.
"I don't think there's any order that this court or any other court can issue -- protective order that keeps stuff from getting on the Internet. There's not," Wible told the judge, according to the hearing transcript.
Too much misunderstanding?
In a phone interview last week, Wible said Alissa's death was "the only one I've seen of that nature" in his 10 years as LaGrange County prosecutor.
The grand jury Wible called then is also the only grand jury he's ever called, he said. Although Shaffer was a suspect, "I was uncertain as to what to charge her with."
He's frustrated with the tenor of outside pressure surrounding the case since Judge VanDerbeck released Shaffer from prison early.
In the previous 24 hours before speaking with a reporter, Wible said, he'd had no fewer than nine phone calls from people around the country calling for him to reopen the case and charge Shaffer with murder, despite the Constitutional protection against double jeopardy that law experts agree would prevent that.
Even though he's only called a grand jury once, Wible defends their use in gauging the credibility of witnesses or taking the temperature of a community standard.
And if grand jury testimony were to become public, he said, it might inhibit the willingness of witnesses to come forward.
"He doesn't understand what he's doing," Wible said of Delph's efforts to abolish grand juries and question how special prosecutors are used. "He may be a good conservative Republican, but that doesn't mean he knows what he's talking about."
Wible recently appointed a special prosecutor -- longtime southern Indiana prosecutor Stan Levco -- to investigate a State Board of Accounts audit released a few weeks ago alleging improprieties in county officials' use of hundreds of acres in LaGrange County left to the county by the terms of a trust.
The prosecutor said he couldn't fight public perception either way if he'd handled the case himself, with people generally assuming either that he's friends with other county authorities or that he worried about his own budget being affected.
So Wible approached a well-respected prosecutor from the other end of the state, who agreed to pursue it.
"He will do what he decides to do," Wible said of Levco and the SBOA allegations. "What my county needs out of this whole thing, no matter what he decides, my county needs closure."
'Lens of legitimacy'
Craig Bradley, the Robert A. Lucas professor of law at Indiana University for more than three decades, was a federal prosecutor in an earlier life.
Bradley said last week the Supreme Court has upheld the requirement for all federal charges to come through grand jury indictments, but it has let states choose for themselves how to use grand juries.
In fact, Indiana is known as a non-grand jury state, he said.
Grand juries began in England as a way to prevent a king from deciding on his own whether to charge someone criminally, Bradley said, rather letting six citizens determine culpability.