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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Monday, August 13, 2007

ABA ScrapsCriminal Records Proposal

Good news on the ABA front today, as the group backed down on its well-intentioned but really bad idea: to the proposal, said limiting public access to records would violate the First Amendment and make it harder to expose misconduct by police and prosecutors.

"We've always said that if discrimination is the problem, then directly address the problem, don't try to hide reality or hide the historical record," said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The proposal urges governments to seal files immediately in cases of people who were arrested but never convicted of crimes, or whose convictions were later set aside. The records of those convicted of misdemeanors and felonies should be closed after some undefined period of law-abiding conduct, the measure says. Violent crimes, large-scale drug trafficking and similarly grave offenses would not be included.

More here.

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