Open records, access and ramifications

The Anniston Star, a great paper in a fine town, is tackling a serious issue here:

In the next few months, as part of an ongoing series, The Anniston Star will take a closer look at the obstacles to public records access in Alabama — obstacles that pop up in matters as mundane as car accident reports and as momentous as lethal injection. For officials who don’t comply with the law, there’s little expectation of a penalty.

“Alabama’s dead last and it is because of a lack of a meaningful law,” said Robert Reed, director of programming for the Illinois-based Better Government Association. Last year, the nonprofit took a close look at the state of public records access in all 50 states, part of a larger examination of ethics laws across the country. Alabama came in last, the least open state in the Union.

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