SB 273 - This act provides that, after a criminal investigation is inactive, certain crime scene or death scene photographs and videos that depict a deceased person in a state of dismemberment, decapitation, or mutilation shall be considered an open record for inspection, but a closed record for purposes of copying. Unless prohibited by federal law, this act shall not prohibit disclosure of such material to state and local agencies and the deceased's non-offending next of kin listed in the act. Any next of kin of the deceased who is found guilty of the crime that resulted in the deceased's death is not allowed to access such records.
Circuit court judges are given the authority to order the disclosure of such records after making written findings that the disclosure is in the public interest and outweighs any privacy interest asserted by the deceased's next of kin. Prior to release of such material, the non-offending next of kin must be given at least two weeks' notice.
The provisions of this act do not apply to the disclosure of crime scene material to the counsel representing a defendant. However, such counsel is prohibited from otherwise disseminating such materials except as necessary exhibits in court proceedings.
This act is similar to a provision in HCS/SB 690 (2012), HCS/HB 1515 (2012), HCS/SS/SCS/SB 755 (2012), and HB 1127 (2012).