Scene at the Courthouse


In court, a prosecutor, big black Sharpie in hand, redacts identifying information page-by-page from a copy of an offense report. After he redacts the driver’s license numbers, phone numbers, cops’ payroll numbers, and so forth from a page, he passes it to the defense lawyer, who, reading from the original offense report, is handwriting the redacted information back on his copy.

Life in the criminal courthouse: Some days tragedy, some days farce.


6 responses to “Scene at the Courthouse”

  1. We go through the same exercise in D.C. The prosecution blackens out parts of the police report. We run down to the police station and pay $3 to obtain an unredacted copy of the same report.

  2. Here they only really redact in gang cases and violent stuff. But they’re so bad at it. Inevitably, in 200 pages of discovery, they’ll leave a last name or an address somewhere, and that’s all we need.

  3. Scott,

    They usually make a copy of the redacted original so you cannot hold it up to the light and see through it. Nevertheless, I am guilty of this very practice – did it yesterday!

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