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Friday, February 06, 2009

Coroner, autopsy reports exempt from Calif. Public Records Act

The Third District Court of Appeal upheld a superior court judge's decision to not force El Dorado County to release coroner and autopsy reports to Kathryn J. Dixon, a reporter planning to write a book on the murder of Elizabeth Cloer.
Coroner and autopsy reports from suspected homicide deaths are exempt from disclosure under California’s Public Records Act, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

Reasoning that the reports present a concrete and definite prospect of criminal law enforcement proceedings, the court rejected a former-California-attorney-turned-publisher’s request for records relating to a Sacramento woman whose bullet-riddled body was found in an open El Dorado County field in 1971.

Phillip Arthur Thompson was convicted in 2008 of the murder of Elizabeth Cloer after a 2003 analysis of DNA left at the scene tied him to the crime.
More here.

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