The full Texas Senate is scheduled to debate a bill which would put limits on who can access crime scene photos.
Andy Kahan is head of Houston’s Crime Victims Assistance Office. He says it was the publication of crime scene photos of a 15 year old Houston girl and her three year old cousin which drove him to try to change the state laws. Kahan says this isn’t aimed at legitimate media outlets.
“The basic premise of the bill is to not eliminate, but reduce public access to graphic crime scene photos,” Kahan explains.
He says seeing a loved one’s pictures online in a crime scene photo just adds to the suffering of those families.
“This would give peace of mind and a semblance that they can no longer worry about their loved ones photo being plastered all over the internet for all the world to see,” Kahan says.
First Amendment advocates and media companies oppose the limitations.
The Texas Attorney General’s office reports it gets fewer than 20 such requests every year. Kahan says, while that is true, the proliferation of the internet means that number will grow – and we should get ahead of the problem.