The Kansas Press Association wants the public to be able to view the criminal affidavits that detail investigative work used to justify an arrest, reports the Associated Press. The group says Kansas is the only state in the country that doesn't unseal affidavits at some point in a criminal case. “It's just us and Cuba,” joked Doug Anstaett, KPA executive director. “We believe the information needs to be scrutinized and out there for the public.”
Until the late 1970s, Kansas residents and journalists could view the documents. But that changed when an affidavit was mistakenly released revealing a suspect not yet arrested and a newspaper ran the name. “I understand the need to balance public safety with the citizens' right to examine documents,” said Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six. A legislative committee sent the issue to the Kansas Judicial Council for study. Hearings are scheduled to begin Aug. 21.