VCOG amicus brief in Department of Corrections v Surovell

VCOG filed an amicus brief in the Virginia Supreme Court case Department of Corrections v. Surovell.

A trial court ruled that the DOC should turn over manuals detailing the death penalty process redacted so as not to disclose information that might jeopardize the safety of prison staff, inmates and the public.

On appeal, the DOC argued that the trial court should have deferred to the DOC expert who said release of any and all requested records were exempt under the security/safety exemption, and that it should not have to redact records that are exempt.

VCOG's brief focuses on this latter point. Our pro bono counsel wrote that since FOIA specifically provides for redaction: "To adopt the VDOC's position would be to risk gutting VFOIA itself."

Read the full brief here