Almost Free and Clear

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ATLANTA: At least one federal judge believes it is time the FBI leave Richard Jewell alone. Acting on a suit by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV, U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester ruled Wednesday that officials investigating the July 27 Olympic Park bombing have five days to release the documents used to obtain warrants to search Jewell's home and car. Delivering his verdict, he said: The court concludes that the Jewell chapter of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing investigation has been closed." He added that the documents can be considered "historical information" rather than evidence in an ongoing investigation, and the details of the episode are now a "historical footnote." Jewell was widely heralded as a hero for spotting the suspicious knapsack that contained a crude but deadly pipe bomb and moving crowds away from danger. But three days later, the FBI leaked that he was a suspect in their investigation -- not their prime or only suspect, but the only one made public. Since that day, Jewell's reputation has been under a dark cloud, but Wednesday's ruling may mean the skies are clearing. -- Scot Woods