Victim's Life Photo bill passes Tennessee General Assembly
The Tennessee General Assembly passed "The Victim's Life Photo" bill Tuesday.
This legislation allows an “appropriate photograph” of a homicide victim prior to his or her murder to be shown during trial.
Prosecutors usually introduce into evidence a reasonable likeness of the victim prior to his/her murder in addition to crime scene photos. However, due to recent high-court rulings, trial judges now do not allow the practice for fear of having a verdict overturned. The result of this trend was murder trials in which the only “presence” allowed for the victim is the image of her body – or remaining portions of it – at the crime scene.
Tuesday's actions by legislators will change that trend and guarantee that murder victims will have the same rights as other victims of crime in Tennessee.
Today's passage also comes during Victims' Rights Week.
The vote in the House was 86-1. Rep. Stewart voted no. In the Senate the vote was 27-1, with Sen. Kelsey voting no.