DC Circuit Holds FOIA not Waiveable

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals held last August that FOIA waivers in plea agreements are unenforceable as a matter of public policy. As the Court recognized, sometimes FOIA is the last best option for criminal defendants to obtain proof that their convictions or sentences are unconstitutional due to ineffective assistance of counsel. FOIA provides them the opportunity to possibly obtain evidence to advance any such claims. The opinion may be accessed here.
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Mark Allenbaugh is co-founder of Sentencing Stats. He is a former staff attorney for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and a co-editor of "Sentencing, Sanctions, and Corrections: Federal and State Law, Policy, and Practice" (2nd ed., Foundation Press, 2002).

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