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Inmate Requests Test Public Records Law

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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The Associated Press – Inmate Requests Test Public Records Law:

An arsonist imprisoned for firebombing the cars of two lawyers is using his remaining 19 years behind bars to dig up information on the judges, lawyers and corrections officers who helped put him there.

But Allan Parmelee’s hundreds of requests under the state’s Public Records Act have become so numerous, and so creepy, that a prosecutor has taken the extraordinary step of asking a judge not only to let his office ignore Parmelee’s pending requests, but to bar him from filing any more.

I am generally in favor of open government and open records. But how do we enforce limits to avoid abuse and threats? Not everyone is, after all, looking out for the public interest.