New law would give murder victims a face in the courtroom
Murder cases in the state of Tennessee could be affected by a new proposed law. It would allow pictures of victims to be shown during trial.
Holly Bobo's face became a familiar image for many people after she disappeared in 2011. But her face might not be shown during her accused killer's murder trial unless the law changes.
In many state murder trials, the jury sees nothing but autopsy photos and a gruesome crime scene. But Carol Daugherty, whose daughter was killed, is asking lawmakers to give victims a face in the courtroom.
"This is Carrie," Carol said, showing off photos of her daughter's big smile.
"She was an amazing girl. She had a lot to offer the world."
Carrie Daugherty, the 24 year-old Notre Dame High School grad and Homecoming Queen, was killed in 2008 in Knoxville. She was attacked in her own driveway by her roommate's boyfriend.
"He took absolutely everything from Carrie," said Carol. "She should be seen. Her face should be seen."
But the jury never saw that smiling face during the two-week murder trial in 2011. According to a Tennessee Supreme Court appeals court ruling, murder victims' pictures can jeopardize the entire trial's outcome.
"If Carrie would have survived this, she would've been there. She would have sat at that table and faced that monster."
But next Wednesday, exactly six years to the date Carrie was killed, the state legislature will consider a bill that would allow juries to see victim's photos in the courtroom.
Carol said it would make the jury see victims were "a human, a person and loved."
The mother will be lobbying in Nashville next week, being a voice for her daughter -- showing a face, and a smile, a jury never got to see.
"I hope we can pass this bill for other victims," she said.
"It means everything."
Carrie's killer was sentenced to life behind bars.
For more information on supporting the Haynes/Burks Victim Life Photo Bill (SB1726), click here.