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Mon Jan 2, 2017, 12:45 AM

Columbus police illegally withheld public records, Ohio Supreme Court rules

Columbus police have illegally withheld some public records by refusing to release files on closed criminal cases, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled this morning.

The ruling overturns the police divisionís practice since 2010 to refuse to release records in homicide and other high-profile cases to private investigators, reporters at The Dispatch and others.

The justices found that the city improperly relied on prior court rulings, with city officials arguing records could not be released as long as defendants still had potential appeals, which generally can be filed at any time. Such a practice, critics said, meant records were secret until defendants died or were freed from prison.

A lawyer for an Ohio Innocence Project attorney who filed the lawsuit against the city had argued that Columbusí stance could keep the innocent in prison and true killers walking the streets since police case files could not be examined by third parties.

Read more: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/12/28/Supreme-Court-rules-against-Columbus.html

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