ACLU sues over Arizona law barring talks with crime victims

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PHOENIX (AP) -

A group of defense attorneys are suing Arizona in federal court over a law barring them from speaking to crime victims unless the prosecutor's office sets up the interview.

The lawsuit filed Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and attorneys representing Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice says the law restricts lawyers' free speech rights. They say almost no victims or family members end up talking with defense attorneys after being counseled by prosecutors.

Amy Kalman of the attorneys group says the law is an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech and makes it difficult for lawyers to provide effective representation to defendants.

The law dates to 1990's Victims' Bill of Rights approved by voters.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich's office had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

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