The Wisconsin legislature has scaled back a bill that would have allowed police, prosecutors, and judges to keep crime victims’ identities secret, the Associated Press reports. The provision caused an uproar among open government advocates and news media representatives, who feared it would create secret court proceedings and might curb a defendant’s constitutional right to confront an accuser. “I read this thing and it blew my mind,” said Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, a statewide group that works to protect public access to government meetings and records.
The overall bill would require law enforcement agencies to investigate all crimes against children and correct their reports if a victim challenges them. It contained a provision that would have forced police, prosecutors and judges to honor crime victims’ requests to keep secret any information about their identity or their family. The clause was dropped before the bill was approved this week.