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Justice Department Moves to Seal Plea Agreements

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  1. Freedom of Information
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The Justice Department asked the federal courts to end public Internet access to plea agreements and related docket notations in criminal cases. Currently, all unsealed plea agreements are available in electronic case files. The Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys said in a letter to the Judicial Conference of the U.S. that increasing violent crime prosecutions and the rise of websites that name those who cooperate with prosecutors has made the change necessary. The department also wants cell phones and other photographic devices barred from courtrooms. (9/25/07)