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Newspaper's request for gang records denied

By The Associated Press
06.20.06

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A judge has denied a newspaper's request for the addresses of 33 juveniles charged with being in a gang, saying release of the information might endanger neighbors and relatives.

The Mahoning County Juvenile Court released the names and ages of the suspects who were arrested last month. Their addresses were not released.

The Vindicator newspaper's lawyer, David L. Marburger, argued that the newspaper needed the addresses to differentiate the defendants from others with the same or similar names.

Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick ruled June 14 that the safety of others could be jeopardized.

"The targeting of specific neighborhoods for violence based upon misuse of this information must be considered," Dellick wrote.

She said the prosecutor's office said releasing the addresses would pose a threat to an ongoing gang investigation, and that criminal gang activities involve drive-by shootings and witness intimidation.

Dellick said the names and ages of the defendants, who range from 12 to 20, along with court-provided street quadrants, was enough information for accurate identification.


Related

Ohio high court sides with newspaper in open-records case

Draft of Cincinnati's settlement with the Justice Department over police use of force shouldn't have been kept secret, justices rule 5-1. 12.27.02

Ohio state employees' home addresses not public records
But state supreme court warns agencies not to overinterpret its ruling, deny other records requests. 09.08.05

Ohio high court rules Gov. Taft can keep some records secret
Majority gives governor limited ability to withhold certain policymaking info, but rejects notion of sweeping executive privilege. 04.14.06

6th Circuit upholds Ky. juvenile-court secrecy
Panel rejects effort by press association to open proceedings involving people under 18 to public. 07.10.06

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