Government Playbook for Prosecutors Should Be Public

The Justice Department has guidelines on sharing information with defense lawyers. But they're secret.

I want the Blue Book.

Photographer: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo bank/getty images

An appeals court has held that the Department of Justice need not make public a guide book that tells federal prosecutors what information they must give to defense attorneys. The decision is legally wrong, as two of the three judges said in a concurring opinion. The government's so-called Blue Book is an important document that deserves public scrutiny. The full court should reverse the panel’s decision, or else the Supreme Court should.

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