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Fla. Senate Votes To Keep Death Videos Private

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Crime scene tape

Crime scene tape

Legislative Session Coverage

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) — The Florida Senate has approved a bill that would exempt photos, videos and audio recordings of deaths from the state’s public records law.

The 34-4 vote means the bill (HB 411, substituted for SB 416) goes to Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s desk for his signature. The House passed a similar measure.

At the beginning f April, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted  13-0 in favor of a bill (HB 411) that exempts videos, photos or audio recordings depicting someone dying from Florida’s open records laws. It matches an existing law that exempts autopsy photos or videos from open records laws.

The family of the deceased would be able to access the recordings under the proposal. For anyone besides the family to view a recording of someone dying, a court order would have to be issued by a judge showing good cause.

A two-thirds vote was required to create an exemption to the state’s public records law.

Video was released in 2006 showing juvenile boot-camp guards in north Florida beating 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson. He later died and the video brought national attention to Florida’s boot camps. They were eventually closed.

The outrage from that case led to the closing of the state’s five juvenile detention centers.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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