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Arizona high court rules against secrecy in victims' rights case

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Supreme Court said prosecutors must give crime victims' birth dates to defense attorneys unless the prosecutors get a court order saying otherwise.

The unanimous ruling Wednesday erases a lower court's ruling that prosecutors don't have to disclose victims' birth dates to defense lawyers.

Defense lawyers said they needed the victims' birth dates to determine whether their offices had represented the victims in other cases and therefore couldn't also represent the defendants.

The Court of Appeals said requiring disclosure would be a privacy violation under the state's protections for crime victims.

But the Supreme Court's ruling said that's not so under either existing law or court rules. The justices say changing current disclosure requirements is best considered as changes to the law or the rules.

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