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September 14, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel provided testimony this morning before the Michigan House Judiciary Committee in support of House Bills 4798 and 4974, which aim to protect the privacy of victims and witnesses involved in prosecutions.
The bills address safety concerns created in March when the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a decision in People of the State of Michigan v. Ricky Dale Jack. The ruling holds that a prosecutor must provide the addresses and telephone numbers of victims and witnesses when turning over discovery under the Michigan Court Rules.
Nessel filed an amicus brief later that month in support of the People's emergency application before the Michigan Supreme Court to protect the personal information of victims and witnesses in prosecutions. The Court denied that application in June, making legislative action even more important to protect victims and witnesses involved in prosecutions.
"While certainly we need to respect the due process rights of defendants, first and foremost - above all - the purpose of criminal law is to protect the safety and security of victims," Nessel told committee members in part.