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Government & Politics

Ohio Supreme Court Rules That Records Become Public Once a Trial is Over

The Ohio Supreme Court is backing the Innocence Project in it's lawsuit against Columbus police ruling that records become public record once a trial is over despite potential appeals.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled records of most criminal investigations are public records once the trial is over.  

In 2013, the Innocence Project requested criminal investigation records from the Columbus Division of Police.

The city would not provide some of those records, arguing they could be withheld until all proceedings were concluded, even if the defendant was not actively appealing his case. 

A divided Ohio Supreme Court ruled a defendant has a clear legal right to those records and the city has a duty to release them.

But while she agreed with that, in part, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor wrote in her dissent that some records could still be shielded until a defendant's appeals are over or the case is closed without charges.