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NCJ Number: 213492 Find in a Library
Title: Privacy and the Criminal Arrestee or Suspect: In Search of a Right, In Need of a Rule
Journal: Maryland Law Review  Volume:64  Issue:3  Dated:2005  Pages:755-874
Author(s): Sadiq Reza
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 120
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues that the identities of arrestees and suspects should be kept private until a judge or grand jury finds probable cause of guilt.
Abstract: The main conclusion of the author is that a collective decision via legislation should decide when an arrestee or suspect is publicly named and should not be left up to the discretion of criminal justice agencies and reporters. Criminal accusations, many of which turn out to be baseless, have the power to stigmatize an individual for the rest of their lives, even if the accusations were unfounded and dismissed. Yet currently, members of the criminal justice system and media have the discretion to name criminal suspects, yet are not obligated to report on a defendant’s exoneration. In making his argument that arrestees and suspects have a right to privacy, the author begins with a review of common law privacy doctrine. He argues that the privacy protections that should be advanced to arrestees and suspects are grounded in the same informational privacy doctrine that already protects sexual assault complainants, juvenile offenders, accusees in quasi-criminal proceedings, and restricts the dissemination of arrest records. The article goes on to examine the three pertinent doctrines of public access to government information in terms of how they impact on the right to privacy for arrestees and suspects: the Supreme Court’s government information jurisprudence, the common-law doctrine of access to government information, and the constitutional doctrine of access to the courts. The author also examines how the public disclosure tort impacts the privacy rights of suspects and arrestees. A sample privacy statute is presented that combines elements of the protections for sexual assault complainants in California and New York. The statute ensures that privacy protections are consistent and formalized and covers all criminal arrestees and suspects before a judicial finding of probable cause of their guilt is made. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Legal privacy protection; Right of privacy
Index Term(s): Common law; Defendants; Legal doctrines; Suspect identification
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