Increased public records restriction under consideration

(The Center Square)—Legislation under review Tuesday in North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee could increase restrictions on public records.

Language in a bill that includes a section on autopsies would add those reports from the state’s chief medical examiner to an exemption list, if they are part of an unsolved crime investigation file. Once solved or prosecution complete, access could be granted.

Inspection of the documents while a case is unsolved or prosecution is yet to be completed would also be restricted from public view, reversing a state law. The documents can’t be copied but can be viewed.

Answering a question from Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed, D-Mecklenburg, the discretion of a prosecutor to be with them while viewing photos would be permitted, said committee Chairman Danny Britt, R-Robeson.

House Bill 250 has the support of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys.

The public records change proposal follows last
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