California somehow manages to keep even the most vital government records secret from public view. Requesting records to facilitate investigation of fraud and waste in state or local government is an exercise in futility. Bureaucrats and politicians can easily hide their misdeeds under California’s records laws.
California’s records laws, offers nearly total privacy for criminals by hiding previous criminal convictions from public view. It makes it nearly impossible to determine the effectiveness of judicial and penal actions on criminals when the records are hidden from view.
The so-called Megan’s Law that identifies dangerous sexual predators came very late to California where Liberals fought taking the steps to protect our children for years. Eventually they relented to public pressure and joined the rest of the country.
One of the deterrents to a life of crime is having that ‘rap sheet” available for viewing by employers, media and neighbors. That enables thousands of small businesses to be gutted by thieves and forced into bankruptcy every year. Career thieves can easily find employment where valuables and cash are at hand.
Most of California’s court records are public but the pre-sentence probation reports in those records are not because they contain the criminal history of convicted defendants.
L.A. County District Attorney, Steve Cooley often released information to the media in connection with high profile suspects until a recent opinion by the California Attorney general, Bill Lockyer. Cooley will no longer be able to reveal that information because of the law outlined in the opinion.
Keeping secret government records worked well for the Nazi and Soviet style governments but in America we reject that. The problem is that California is only part of America when it comes to burning federal tax money.
That Attorney General’s opinion can be found right here.
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