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SUPCO Rules On Public Records

Columbus Division of Police

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

The case involved an investigation by Columbus Police of Adam Saleh, who was sentenced to 38 years in prison for killing a woman in 2005. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

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.

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