Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin says he will ask the Legislature to expand public access to information about criminal cases.
The Governor’s proposal would do away with existing Vermont law that he says has been interpreted as providing "absolute and indefinite confidentiality" of records from criminal investigations.
Instead, Shumlin said he would urge lawmakers to adopt the federal standard under which records of criminal investigations can only be withheld if disclosure would result in specific harm. The list of harm includes interference with enforcement proceedings or with a defendant's right to a fair trial.
Shumlin says if his proposal is adopted, agencies and courts would benefit from greater clarity.
The Vermont Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union applauded the governor's proposal.
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