Missouri judges would decide when to name defendant

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — The Legislature has given final approval to a bill designed to fix problems with a previous attempt to shield the identities of some crime victims.

A 2007 law closes records that could identify victims of sexual and domestic assault, stalking or rape. Michael Lee Selby, a Columbia attorney, used that law while appealing his conviction for domestic assault to be identified only by the initials "M.L.S."

Selby argued that including his full name in court records would have identified his wife, who was a victim of domestic abuse. That case prompted a state appeals court judge to urge lawmakers to change that law.

The House voted 152-3 on Tuesday to allow judges to decide whether to release identifying information about defendants. The bill now goes to the governor.


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