Connecticut lawmakers on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill blocking the public release of photos of homicide victims and other records in response to the Newtown school shooting, The Hartford Courant reports.
The legislation applies to all homicide cases in the state and will block disclosure of photos, videos, or video stills “depicting the victim of a homicide, to the extent that such record could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy” of the victim or the victim’s family. The original language of the bill would have blocked audiotapes of 911 calls from public release as well, but that language was revised in order to allow the bill to pass.
Only four legislators voted against the bill in either house. Gov. Daniel P. Malloy (D) is expected to sign the bill into law, which would take effect immediately.
“My goal with this legislation was to provide some measure of protection for the families affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School [in Newtown],” Malloy said in a statement. “But the fact is, all families have a right to grieve in private.”
In addition, the legislation establishes a task force “to consider and make recommendations regarding the balance between victim privacy under the Freedom of Information Act and the public’s right to know.”