DE Proposal Would Obscure Names of Victims, Witnesses in Records


The Delaware Legislature is considering a proposal that would allow the names of crime victims and witnesses to be replaced with pseudonyms in police and court records, reports the state’s News Journal. The proposal, designed to protect victims and witnesses, has run into opposition from the media and others, who say it would unduly restrict the public’s right to know. John E. Murphy of the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association said that without public access to victim and witness information, “basic public accountability would be lost.”

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Patricia Blevins, a Democrat. Blevins said she introduced the bill on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office. The bill also took flak from the defense bar. Veteran defense attorney Paul Swierzbinski said allowing names to be shielded “would place an impossible burden on any criminal defendant.”

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