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FL: Court Rules Public Has Access to Sex Offender Hearings

An appeals court has ruled the public cannot be excluded from a courtroom when a judge is considering whether a sex offender should be committed indefinitely after his prison sentence has expired. Judge Jack Tuter gave NBC 6 permission to bring a camera into the courtroom.

But the attorney for Corey Lake, a sexually violent sexual predator whose 13-year prison sentence expired in 2012, objected. Assistant public defender Rob Jakovich argued details of confidential treatment records would be exposed in open court, unless the public was barred. …

Because ___ was seeking to prove he deserves to be released from the civil commitment center for sexually violent predators, he “does not have the same expectation of privacy of an ordinary citizen in his medical records,” the court found, adding “___ ‘s limited privacy interest in the treatment record is dwarfed by the strong presumption of openness in court proceedings.” Full Article

 

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  1. Nicholas Maietta

    But doesn’t this directly violate Federal HIPPA laws? You can’t go onto break another law in the process of saying it’s okay to release medical records by way of court hearings.

    • Joe

      Doesn’t listing scars on the Megan’s Law web site directly violate Federal HIPAA laws? I have seen a listing that says: Chest / Open Heart Surgery.

      • Nicholas Maietta

        Yikes.

        In some county jails in California, they strip you nearly naked and take photos of any scars and birthmarks and place them into a database. You cannot opt out. This is done at processing and even if you are found not guilty of a crime, your DNA, photos and other information collected is made avaialble for law enforcement and now in turn, some of that information is shared with the public.

        In Fresno County, they have a system called ShareNET. I don’t doubt for a second that system is duplicated across many agencies and counties, even in other states. The system is scary. It’s “protected” via usernames/passwords. We all know just how much fail usernames/passwords are for security. The system is exposed to the web, available in a Google search. Scary.

        Collecting medical information on an individual against their will should be a crime if is not already. That is private unless you can’t help but show it. (On face, hands, etc). Likewise, dissemination of this information that is private should be a felony to everyone who participates in dissemination of this information.

        I wonder just who must adhere to HIPPA laws. Are law enforcement officials exempt from HIPPA laws.

        Sometimes, information needs to be private. ESPECIALLY information about a person’s body and a person’s medical history.

        What about woman who have stretch marks or scars from caesarean sections and they then go to jail and get this information documented? That information shows up on a mugshot website. Then when she eventually wants to date someone that other person does a google search and then decides they don’t want to be with her because she’s got unsightly scars without ever getting to know the woman. It’s an invasion of privacy. Plain and simple.

  2. Stephen

    Some day this ruling will come back to bite them on the ass. Makes me also think these Judges are Elected.

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