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Judge keeps records from parents despite go-ahead to release

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  1. Court Access
A federal judge refused to give the parents of a woman killed in Salt Lake City last year a report…

A federal judge refused to give the parents of a woman killed in Salt Lake City last year a report that includes an interview with a man who sold the gun to their daughter’s killer.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball said on Monday that he was not going to release the report even though a circuit court and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah both said he had discretion to do so.

Kimball’s ruling on Monday echoes a decision issued by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January, upholding Kimball’s initial finding that the parents were not entitled to the report.

The court did rule, however, that Kimball has discretion to release any or all of the information contained in the report. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said it would leave the ultimate decision about whether to disclose the report up to the judge.

Paul Cassell, the attorney representing Vanessa Quinn’s parents, said he intends to file a motion within the next day or so asking Kimball to reconsider. Otherwise, Cassell said the decision could generate a legal dead-end for victims seeking information about the crimes with which they were involved.  

“It’s created a chicken or the egg problem for [Quinn’s parents] and any other victims around the country to prove they’re victims in a crime because the government is refusing to give us information,” he said. “If you can’t get information proving you’re a victim, then you can’t take advantage of the victims’ right statute.”