Sunday, March 05, 2006

Secret Court Records

It seems we are getting closer and closer to 1984. Now courts are keeping more case information from the public and the practice is growing.
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Despite the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of public trials, records are being kept secret for more than 5,000 defendants whose cases were closed over the last three years.

Instances of such secrecy more than doubled from 2003 to 2005.

Most are cooperative witnesses, but include murders and drug dealers and we don't know what "deals" they made or even if they have been released from custody.

As one might expect, in Washington DC the practice is even worse.
In the nation’s capital, the secrecy has reached another level: the use of secret dockets. For hundreds of such defendants, should someone acquire the case number for them and enter it in the U.S. District Court’s computerized record system, the computer will falsely reply “no such case” — rather than acknowledging that it is a sealed case.

We really do live in an alternate universe now.

(read more)


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