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Ohio Supreme Court Rules That Records Become Public Once a Trial is Over

The Ohio Supreme Court is backing the Innocence Project in it's lawsuit against Columbus police ruling that records become public record once a trial is over despite potential appeals.

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

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. 

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.