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Arizona ruling protects crime victims' birth dates

PHOENIX -- A new appellate court ruling said Arizona crime victims don't have to disclose their birth dates to defendants and their lawyers.

The Court of Appeals ruling was issued in appeals of trial judges' rulings in two unrelated criminal cases. The judges had ordered the birth dates of victims be provided defense attorneys.

The defense attorneys said they needed the victims' birth dates to help determine whether their offices had represented the victims in other cases and thus couldn't ethically also represent the defendants.

However, the Court of Appeal ruling said crime victims don't have to disclose their birth dates to defendants.

It said requiring disclosure would be a privacy violation under the state's bill of rights for crime victims because the information doesn't bear on guilt or innocence.

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