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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33150
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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I was reading a book and found my brother's real name and

Customer Question

I was reading a book and found my brother's real name and awful details about a murder he commited included in this book. The book was not about him, but the details of his crime was put in by his prosecuting attorney. Is this legal?? He is in prison for life and denies giving anyone permission to do this.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 12 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

It's almost certainly completely legal. If your brother was sent to prison then the court records are all public records and the prosecuting attorney is allowed to discuss cases that are completed.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 12 months ago.

Of course, if anything was false that was in there and wasn't told to the writer or found in the public records then there could be a slander/libel case but if your brother was sentenced for the murder there's no viable case even if some of the facts are wrong.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 12 months ago.

I am just about to sign off for a couple of hours but will be back ASAP. If you have any follow up questions please ask them in this thread.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Okay, I was just surprised they used his real name. So all details of a murder case is public knowledge?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 12 months ago.

As a general rule, yes. There are occasional instances when all or a portion of a file may be sealed by a judge, usually when a juvenile is involved, but the presumption is always that it is a public record.