Decision to withhold Florida bank victim names tests new law
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A Florida police chief's decision not to release the names of some of the five women killed in a bank shooting this week represents the first high-profile test of a new victims' privacy law on the books in several states.
The police chief in Sebring, Florida, declined to release some of the names of the slain women at the request of their families, citing a provision in the "Marsy's Law" amendment to the state constitution that voters approved in November. Florida's law specifically allows crime victims to prevent the disclosure of information that could be used to locate or harass them or their families.
But a First Amendment advocate says allowing crime victims to determine what information gets released to the public sets a dangerous precedent.
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