Court Rules With FBI, Permits Heavy Redacting In Death Row Inmate’s FOIA Request

A Tennessee death row inmate will be granted access to some records related to the murder investigation that put him in prison, but information within the report can be redacted by the FBI, a federal appeals court ruled.

Inmate Michael Dale Rimmer FOIA’d information on photo lineups where a witness identified someone other than him as a suspect spotted near the crime scene, The Associated Press reports. The FBI filled his request, but redacted much of the reports’ contents, citing the risks of privacy invasion and disclosing the identity of a confidential source.

From the three-judge opinion, according to the AP:

Rimmer acknowledges that he is already in possession of most of the information that he now seeks,” the opinion said. “Even in the few isolated instances where Rimmer might not know exactly to whom a redaction referred, exposure of this information would not help the public to discern whether the FBI was acting corruptly.