ST. LOUIS (AP) – A St. Louis public defender is accusing a circuit attorney of violating Missouri Supreme Court rules by withholding information about crime victims and witnesses.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce’s office and her prosecutors have stripped the telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses of victims and witnesses from police reports before handing them over to defense attorneys.
Joyce claims she is protecting those people by removing the information. District public defender Mary Fox, who sued Joyce last year to stop the practice, alleges that the withholding of information without a protective order is an “abuse of power.”
Joyce’s chief trial assistant, Beth Orwick, said in a hearing Friday that Joyce and her prosecutors believe the state Supreme Court’s disclosure rule is unconstitutional.