Appeals court rules Circuit Attorney can withhold witness inform - KMOV.com

Appeals court rules Circuit Attorney can withhold witness information

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St. Louis circuit attorney's office (Credit: KMOV) St. Louis circuit attorney's office (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office will be allowed to keep phone numbers, birth dates, addresses and social security numbers of witnesses from criminal defendants during the discovery process, the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District ruled Tuesday.

“It’s a good day for the people of the City of St. Louis,” said Circuit Attorney Jennifer M. Joyce.  “While there is still work to be done, we believe important steps have been taken to protect the safety and cooperation of victims and witnesses.”

The Circuit Attorney’s Office has removed phone numbers, social security numbers, addresses and birth dates of witnesses before police reports were released to defense attorneys for the last 10 years. According to the Circuit Attorney’s Office, the information was withheld to protect witness safety without objection from defense attorneys.

Prosecutors filed a “Writ of Mandamus” against Circuit Judge Michael K. Mullen after he decided to require the Circuit Attorney’s Office to turn over the information.

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