The Hartford Courant requested documents created by the perpetrator, Adam Lanza, through Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (FOI). When the state denied the request, the Hartford Courant brought this suit.
The Connecticut Attorney General argued that the records fell outside the scope of the FOI. The Attorney General claimed statutes (§§ 54-33a through 54-36p) governing the nondisclosure of evidence gathered during police searches and seizures should bar disclosures under the FOI.
The Connecticut Supreme Court disagreed.
This question of statutory interpretation also must be resolved in light of certain general principles governing the act. First, we have often recognized the longstanding legislative policy of the [act] favoring the open conduct of government and free public access to government records. … We consistently have held that this policy requires us to construe the provisions of the [act] to favor disclosure and to read narrowly that act’s exceptions to disclosure.
In their coverage of the lawsuit, the Hartford Courant released the following statement from Andrew Julien, publisher and editor-in-chief.
Since the day of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Courant has worked to advance the understanding of how so heinous a tragedy could happen and we applaud today’s decision as we feel these documents are necessary for us to tell a complete story in our reporting.
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.